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Professionals Share A Roundup Of What They Expect To Be 2020’s Top Health Trends
Trends come and trends go and the medical field is no exception. As we start a new year, many health providers expect technology will play a larger role in healthcare throughout 2020 and the next decade.
A big reason for this is the amount of technology-driven tools that put patient care in their own hands. Devices like Fitbit, Apple Watch and Garmin watches can help with numerous health tasks from tracking your blood pressure and monitoring your heart rate to measuring your sleep quality and counting the number of calories in your meals.
Jason Whateley, D.O., physician, Ascension Medical Group has noticed how more patients are wearing technology gadgets as they engage in healthy activities. This allows them to see their progress and track results, making it easier for them to stay focused on achieving their goals, he said.
“Wearable technology was number one under the American College of Sports Medicine Worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2020,” he said in an email. “The convenience and ease of these devices is what attracts patients.”
However, while these devices have made great strides in patient’s health, Whateley explained that they still have their limitations.
“Patients need to realize results they are obtaining from these devices are much more limited compared to what a complete diagnostic test can provide. Working with a health care provider fills in the gaps that these home gadgets and applications are lacking,” he said.
Beyond exercise-specific technology, people need to be aware of the role technology plays in their everyday lives, said Dr. Kurtis Kieleszewski, family medicine physicians, McLaren Macomb.
“Technology in general has a detrimental impact on many of American’s health because by being ‘plugged in’ and staring at a screen, we’re likely less active and engaging with one another less and less,” he said.
Technology can also change the way patients interact with medical providers. Ascension Online Care is designed for patients in need of after-hours care. This service is much like a virtual urgent care clinic where patients receive one-on-one care using their smartphone, tablet or laptop to video chat with a physician who reviews their symptoms and provides the care they need in real time. A summary of their visit is also sent to their Ascension primary care doctor.
So as they track their progress, what activities are people choosing to participate in? There is definitely a trend toward High intensity interval training (HIIT), which is now listed second under the American College of Sports Medicine Worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2020, said Whateley.
These programs focus on short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short rest period. The big appeal of these exercises is that they can be done at home with little or no equipment, he said.
Kieleszewski said he encourages his patients to move most days of the week.
“However they can fit that in their busy schedules and whichever method(s) fit their budget,” he said in an email. “A blend of cardiovascular and resistance training is usually ideal for everyone to optimize their physical and mental health.”
Despite the popularity of home gyms, don’t expect joining a gym to fall out of favor. Whateley said those looking for access to more equipment, group sessions and strength training will continue their gym memberships.
For years, those struggling with mental health issues have faced an unwelcome stigma and an uphill road. New trends show that attitudes toward mental health continue to evolve, making it easier for people to seek out care if they need it.
“Hopefully all matters relating to mental health will be valued and emphasized as they rightfully should be,” said Kieleszewski.
He said the delay in patients seeking assistance and the sometimes limited resources for mental health patients to be evaluated and treated by specialists are challenges for many.
“Mental health affects every facet of our daily lives and we as a society need to be more compassionate to those it affects,” said Whateley. “I believe this trend will continue to be a major focus in 2020 along with aiding those with addiction.”A trend toward better sleep
Failing to get a good night’s rest may be depriving you of more than you think.
“Not getting enough sleep has been attributed not only to our mood and focus but also to many chronic conditions such as diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease,” said Whateley. “As physicians we place a lot of focus on preventive medicine. Improving your sleep quality can aid in avoiding these diseases.“
He shared these strategies from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that can help you improve the quality of your sleep starting tonight:
• Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on weekends
• Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature
• Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers and smartphones, from the bedroom
• Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bedtime
• Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night
• Consult your health care provider to rule out other underlying diseases that may be affecting your sleep
Sourced from theoaklandpress.com