Harnessing digital media for enhanced patient engagement and outcomes

News
Article
Ophthalmology Times EuropeOphthalmology Times Europe November 2023
Volume 19
Issue 09
Pages: 24 - 25

Patients who received digital education demonstrated a better understanding of their disease and its management

In recent years, the landscape of patient education in the field of eye care has undergone a significant transformation thanks to the rapid advancement of digital media and smartphone applications. The paradigm shift has led to enhanced engagement and the integration of technology into the doctor-patient relationship. This has driven improved subjective patient outcomes via improved patient understanding of disease.

We have witnessed these improvements in different patient populations. Traditional methods of patient education, which relied on printed pamphlets and verbal communication, are now complemented and enhanced by digital platforms. According to data from recent studies, an increasing number of patients have a strong preference for visual and interactive content.1-3 In response, ophthalmology practices have embraced digital media, including technology such as CheckedUp, to meet the demand for accessible educational resources.

CheckedUp is a digital platform that has gained prominence in eye care for its innovative approach to patient education and engagement. Developed specifically for eye care providers, CheckedUp serves as a comprehensive digital solution that facilitates communication between the provider and patients. It uses auditory, visual and tactile elements to enhance patients’ understanding of their conditions. By providing personalised content, for example, anatomic explanations in patient-friendly language, CheckedUp aids patients’ comprehension of their eye diseases. This integrated platform can be implemented in both virtual and in-person consultations, effectively managing patients across a spectrum of eye diseases.

Digital media’s role in educating patients

Observational studies1-3 using survey data were conducted with different cohorts of patients, those with diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and dry eye, seen at a private eye clinic. The results of the surveys showed that patients who received digital education using CheckedUp demonstrated a better understanding of their disease and its management compared with the group who did not engage with the platform. Of patients who answered “No” when asked about their knowledge of a disease, a common reason was often that they forgot the details of what was shared by the physician at the time of the follow-up visit.

Benefits of digital media in patient education

An infographic lists benefits of digital media in patient education. Enhanced accessibility, improved engagement and tailored education all have potential to lead to better health outcomes.

Enhanced accessibility: One of the primary advantages of using digital media and technology like CheckedUp is the ease of accessibility. Patients can access educational content at their convenience, allowing for continuous learning that has the potential to extend beyond the provider’s office visit.

Engagement and interactivity: CheckedUp, and similar digital platforms, enable eye care professionals to create interactive content, such as 3-dimensional animations, videos, and quizzes. This dynamic approach to education enhances patient engagement and understanding, as complex concepts can be visually explained or gamified, leading to improved retention and adherence to treatment plans.

Tailored education:CheckedUp’s platform provides personalised education based on the patient’s condition and treatment plan. This individualised approach ensures that patients receive information that is relevant to their specific needs, leading to more informed decision-making, active participation in care and a greater sense of empowerment. Additionally, using digital technology provides the ability to translate information into many languages at the point of care.

Drawbacks and considerations

While digital media and platforms like CheckedUp hold significant promise for patient education in eye care, challenges remain. These include addressing digital literacy gaps, ensuring robust data security, and maintaining the quality of information in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Eye care providers must exercise caution and ensure that the educational resources provided through technology like CheckedUp are evidence-based and up-to-date. Striking a balance between leveraging these tools to enhance patient education while preserving vital doctor-patient interaction will be pivotal for maximising the benefits of technology in the field.

The integration of digital media marks a transformative era in patient education within eye care. As eye care specialties continue to evolve, practitioners must strike a balance between harnessing the power of technology and maintaining the human touch that defines the doctor-patient relationship. By embracing these advancements thoughtfully, the field can continue to empower patients with knowledge and contribute to improved eye health outcomes.

References

1. Gysels M, Higginson IJ. Interactive technologies and videotapes for patient education in cancer care: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials. Support Care Cancer. 2007;15(1):7-20. doi:10.1007/s00520-006-0112-z
2. Shlobin NA, Patel S, Dahdaleh NS. Social media as a tool for patient education in neurosurgery: an overview. World Neurosurg. 2022; 161:127-134. doi:10.1016/j.wneu.2022.02.054
3. Duong TA, Gleason LT, Kichler K, et al. Improving surgical patient education materials using informational design with visual elements. Am J Surg. 2022; 224(6):1497-1500. doi:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2022.08.009

Bela Parekh, BA, BS | E: pbela@med.umich.edu

Parekh is a medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor.

Imane Tarib, MD | E: itarib@gmail.com

Dr Tarib is the cornea and external disease fellow in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois,
Chicago, Illinois.

Richard Awdeh, MD | E: richard.awdeh@gmail.com

Dr Awdeh is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of CheckedUp.

Parekh and Tarib have no financial interests related to this subject matter.

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