Keep Digital Health Human: Key Takeaways from MM+M’s Media Summit

The pandemic has put increased pressure on healthcare to adapt to better meet the individual needs of both patients and healthcare professionals. While the ensuing rise of telehealth is undeniable, we can’t forget the importance of integrating the personal touch, the empathy—the human element.

Here are my thoughts following MM+M’s inaugural Media Summit:

There’s comfort behind the screen

Personal health topics can be sensitive. Sometimes talking to a bot can feel less intimidating than a healthcare professional with a clipboard, writing their answers down. The rise of chatbots and virtual AI screening has cultivated more honesty and transparency among patients who now feel they can say more without embarrassment—and created an opening to cultivate this through person-to-person interactions as well.

Relationships between patients and healthcare professionals are some of the most important relationships people have in their life

A healthcare professional is likely one of the first people—if not the first—to hold every newborn. As they keep checking in on you throughout your life, looking after you routinely or whenever you need it the most, they’re often the hand on your shoulder when hearing the most life-changing news you could hear about yourself or your family. This isn’t just medical or analytical interactions; it’s emotional, it’s personal and it’s real.

We all need to care about HCP burnout

The HCPs on the frontlines of this virus are heroes, working day in and day out to treat as many patients as they can. We need to put equal effort into understanding and empathizing with their journey. By giving healthcare professionals the same support, care and thought given to patients, we support all involved and nourish the symbiotic relationship between the two communities to the benefit of all.

My takeaway?

I believe not only in the power and heroism of science, but the strength behind personal relationships important to science and medicine. When patients and HCPs alike can find common ground to build a foundation of trust and commitment, particularly during these times of challenge and change, we’re better able to grow together to embrace both new technology and the humans that use it in meaningful and purposeful ways.


This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Robyn Wellikoff, Vice President.

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