Chronic diseases are those that usually last 3 months or longer. These can be slowly progressive diseases that require ongoing treatment, care and monitoring. Chronic diseases usually affect the elderly, but they can affect people of all ages. The most common chronic diseases in our country and around the world are cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and arthritis.
Since there is usually no complete cure for these diseases, they need to be kept under control with treatments. This is why chronic diseases need to be followed up regularly, both in terms of controlling their treatment and their potential for progression.
What are the Risks of Chronic Disease?
Chronic diseases are non-infectious diseases that affect different systems. Because they require long-term treatment and are different diseases, there are no generalized symptoms. However, as with any medical problem, there are risk factors. Knowing these risk factors can help prevent these diseases. The risk factors are as follows:
High blood pressure,
High Body Mass Index,
High blood sugar.
As the risk factors mentioned above are societal risk factors, the extent to which you are personally affected by these factors may vary. Genetic predisposition and the influence of the environment can also increase or decrease the risk of chronic diseases.
What is Follow-up in Chronic Diseases?
People suffering from chronic diseases continue most of their treatment at home, only staying in hospital during acute exacerbations, when the disease is on the rise or attacks occur. This not only leads to a decline in the individual’s health, but also to a significant reduction in their quality of life due to their persistence. It is possible to prevent this, or at least reduce it, and to consider not only the disease but also the patient’s quality of life through patient follow-up. Although follow-up intervals vary for each disease, all chronic diseases need follow-up. Through follow-up;
Adjusting the dosage of medicines used,
Evaluation of the patient’s compliance with the treatment process,
Checking the general health status of the patient,
Preventing drug interactions with each other,
Controlling side effects of medicines,
Obtaining information about the course of the disease,
Information about the patient’s well-being and many other issues can be obtained.
Like the treatment process of the chronic patient, the chronic patient’s general feeling-state about the disease is one of the important variables to be controlled during follow-up.
Follow-up is done by health workers. During these procedures in the hospital, various tests are sometimes used, sometimes only the patient’s history is listened to and the follow-up process can end quickly without the need for a physical examination. Considering the appointment scheduling of this procedure and the time and energy spent by the patient and health personnel on patient follow-up, the importance of performing the controls at home to improve the quality of life of the chronic patient can be understood.
What is the Use of Online Monitoring in Chronic Diseases?
Online tracking systems are e-health services emerging within the scope of health technologies. As with any electronic service system, it is more economical, accessible and faster than the alternative. With all these advantages, online communication in chronic disease follow-up can reduce the time and energy spent by patients and healthcare professionals.
The follow-up interval for each chronic disease is different. For patients who need more frequent check-ups, not only is it difficult to keep hospital appointments and provide transportation, but the increased time spent in hospital also has a negative impact on the patient’s treatment process.
The online tracking system, which will make it easier for people with chronic diseases to adapt to treatment, enables the patient to control treatment quickly and with less effort in the comfort of their home. Thanks to the assessment of specialist physicians, only being admitted to hospital when needed can make a big difference both in terms of time and the patient’s ability to cope with their chronic illness. Online monitoring can be used as a tool to improve quality of life for chronically ill patients.