Skip to main content
Home » Future of Healthcare » Three Things to Know About Digital Health
Future of Healthcare

Three Things to Know About Digital Health

Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer for Prevention, American Heart Association

Telehealth has provided more convenience, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Learn more about how you can take control of your health.

Thanks to smartphones, telehealth medical care is in the palm of everyone’s hands now. It’s easier than ever to find medical information and schedule an appointment online. But how can anyone know that the information and care they’re getting is what they really need? We asked the American Heart Association about effectively navigating digital health information and telehealth. Here are three ways anyone can be more in control of their own health.

1. Know the risk factors

An American has a heart attack or stroke every 40 seconds. Further, half of American adults have high blood pressure, but only 1 in 4 has it under control. So how can anyone know if they are at risk of being one of these people? An appointment with a primary healthcare provider is a good start. Telehealth makes it easy to discuss health and agree on any needed tests to identify individual risk factors.

2. Be an advocate

Knowing risk factors is a good start; now, speak up. Healthcare providers want to know if their patients need more help, so mention any challenges during your next telehealth call. Even during a pandemic, families can help each other by focusing on improving health, preparing healthy meals at home, taking walks, and playing active games. Digital health information and apps can help provide guidance, recipes, and tracking.

3. Seek trustworthy sources

The internet seems to be overflowing with health information, and it’s hard to know who to trust. The American Heart Association has defined ideal cardiovascular health based on seven risk factors, Life’s Simple 7, that people can improve through lifestyle changes: smoking status, physical activity, diet, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose. Even simple changes can make a big difference over time in living healthier.

The American Heart Association provides My Life Check, a free digital health assessment tool that gives a personalized heart health score based on individual information. It scores each of the Life’s Simple 7 categories and provides science-based education, videos and ideas for monitoring and improving heart health status.

Next article