Tech Supporting Medical Services!
A few weeks back, Med-Tech Innovation published an interview highlighting the benefits of Online counselling services for children. This article highlighted some key points which increase hope and expectations in the MedTech world.
The pandemic of COVID19 has introduced a big boom in the digital space. In these times, remote patient care services have caught up with the pace of change, and they are here to stay! This entire paradigm has challenged MedTech innovators to focus more on enhancing existing technologies. Because of the fast-paced growth, patient expectations have hit new highs.
At first, online counselling services were hard to sell, mainly because the Pacman playing generation was hard to please. But with the severity of public health conditions, the digital natives (young generation) increased the demand and adapted to the online counselling mode. This increased demand and adaptability was then finally accepted by people of all age groups.
Now, with the easing of restrictions, patients are asking whether these online counselling services will be continued or not?
Mable Therapy’s 2021 White Paper collated the following themes:
- Online therapy reduces anxiety and enhances engagement
Counselling sessions have been challenging right from the start. There have been various instances where children are scared to enter the counsellor’s office, awkward to start a conversation and find it difficult to lower their emotional guard. In such times, the counsellors utilise a few sessions to build a rapport with children and then begin the process. It was pretty surprising to see that the research showed online interactions reduced anxiety and enhanced engagement. This was only because the child was in a comfortable setting in their own homes, interacting through personal devices and had control over the session so could end the session if things became too awkward. This is a plus sign for online counselling sessions.
- Online therapy increases access to specialists and reduces waiting time
Irrespective of the pandemic, families had to wait nearly a year to receive their appointments. Children living in remote locations have to travel for their sessions. But with the combination of MedTech resources, all communities benefited as there was less travel and patients could get access to counsellors around the nation. MedTech collaboration enables the integration of the right counsellor at the correct location. Children could easily switch places and receive counselling.
- Creative and game-based software enhances the counselling experience
Software and medical services have started aligning with each other. Innovators are focusing on creating software that can enhance the patient experience. No doubt, such innovations could fall within the scope of the EU MDR which has brought in stricter rules for Software as A Medical Device (SaMD). Innovators need to be cautious because their creation could be classified as a medical device which will significantly increase the regulatory requirements which must be complied with.
Pre-pandemic there were items such as whiteboards and play dough used as tools for counselling. Adapting these traditional methods for online services was a challenge. Counsellors then saw a need of integrating modern technologies where counsellors utilised game-based software. These integrations have greatly enhanced the counselling process.
As we look to the future, there is hope for the further enhancement of these services. There is a clear demand for MedTech tools and innovations which can enrich the patient experience and provide a broader range of support. As an innovator, you must be aware of all regulatory requirements. Counselling software could be seen as a medical device and if so, may bring in legal obligations.
In such situations, Do Not Worry!
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