Personal healthcare, in terms of both prevention and cure, is set for a major digital disruption.
Today we are facing unique and multifaceted healthcare challenges irrespective of our age, where we live, which industry we work in or our family history. From lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension to mental health issues like stress and depression, we are all at risk of some of the other health issue. With the rise of frequency and complexity of these issues, digital tools are increasingly becoming vital in their prevention, treatment, and management.
Among these digital tools, dedicated healthcare platforms are gaining prominence and also evolving every day to meet the dynamic needs of both medical and psychosocial aspects of the diseases.
When it comes to healthcare, the most important function of an online community is to create a sense of acceptance for your struggles and at the same time create an enabling environment (including providing role models, emotional stability, and psychological security) that motivates and supports your quest for behavioural change. This aspect becomes crucial for the prevention of lifestyle diseases and recovery from addictive behaviours. Additionally, thanks to the safety, sense of belongingness, and non-judgmental support, online community platforms become a reliable long-term support system for managing mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
As people are realising the vital role that the online communities are playing in their healthcare, dedicated community platforms like CareSpace are increasingly emerging as a powerful solution. CareSpace is a unique platform as it strives to bring the best of both worlds for its members i.e. access to professionals, and practical strategies combined with much needed emotional support.
On CareSpace, both patients and healthcare professionals come together on the discussion boards every day to find solutions that work in the long term. The members can participate by asking questions, commenting on others’ posts, sharing a relevant article, or posting a quick poll to get a better understanding of their options.
The deep search features on the platform help you and your family find fellow members from your city or who are managing similar healthcare issues as your own. You can connect with them in private messages for further discussions, exchange of practical tips, and doctor recommendations. Through the social media feeds, news feeds, and video library of the platform you can build a knowledge base that can help you stay updated on the latest developments and treatment options for your conditions. These resources are also useful if you wish to educate a relative or a colleague about your struggles and how they can support you.
Apart from support and knowledge sharing, CareSpace has plenty of tools that improve your healthcare experience in real-life. The platform has an expert panel of healthcare professionals like doctors, specialists, nutritionists, therapists, counsellors, psychologists, trainers and so on. You can connect with them for getting a second opinion or just clarifying your doubts about your treatment protocol. If you are looking for an in-person consult, your fellow members are definitely a good resource for finding best local doctors, diagnostic facilities, and emergency care.
On the platform you can find recommendations for local events, health camps, expos etc. and support groups. This is especially useful for people struggling with mental health issues, patients of chronic conditions or people who need bereavement counselling. The platform even has a handy tracker on which helps you keep an eye on important healthcare indicators like weight, blood pressure, and glucose levels. The tracker is also useful for setting reminders for timing and dosages of your medications. This feature is particularly useful as it works both online and offline.
CareSpace already has exclusive support communities for lifestyle diseases (diabetes, hypertension, stress and anxiety), Chronic conditions (cancer, asthma, kidney care, heart disease, Ortho care), mental health issues (depression, Alzheimer’s & dementia, social media addiction, alcohol addiction), and general health (weight loss, fitness, nutrition, kids health, yoga).
Joining these communities is definitely a good space to begin with. But if privacy is a major concern for you, you can create a private community of your own and invite only selected people in your circle to come on board for discussion and support. Even in public communities or expert sessions, you have the option of asking a question or commenting on a post on the discussion board anonymously. Moreover, you need not share any personal details like phone number or social media handle even for one-on-one chats.
Our approach to health has definitely had a priority shift in the past decade. Apart from the management of physical symptoms and complications, we have become hyper-aware of the important role that psycho-social aspects play in recovery and maintenance. Moreover, being healthy is no more a matter of one-off consultation but of sustained actions throughout our lives. In light of this fact, online communities definitely have the potential to emerge as a viable tool for creating empowering and practical support systems across the healthcare spectrum.
Are you struggling to manage a chronic health condition or finding your way through recovery? Check in with the members and healthcare professionals on CareSpace today for finding all the practical, emotional, preventive, and effective support systems in one place.