Self-tracking of health affecting health behaviour Essay Sample
This essay sample is written on self-tracking devices used for self-tracking of health and their effects on the behaviour and psychology of a person.
It focuses on the healthcare and well-being of a person who uses self-tracking technology to keep a personal track of his health. It also discusses the issues that need to be addressed by the long-term self-tracking device.
Self-tracking can be done through biometric and self-tracking devices which help individuals to manage their health and draw benefits.
It can be done through many mobile applications used for monitoring food intake, mood, sleep, water intake, and exercise. These factors directly affect the behaviour and the psychology of the person.
Using IT devices and software technology enhances the standard of living and quality of life of a person. It gives them a sense of self-independence, self-control, and effective decision-making.
There are many wearable mobile sensory devices, smartphones, and smartwatches to monitor and track the levels of blood sugar, food intake, water intake, haemoglobin, sleep, etc.
It is for only short-term usage and can last for just weeks and a couple of months using for a behaviour change intervention. It collects valuable information and data on health and provides opportunities for health management and its welfare.
Benefits of using modern health tracking devices by patients
Many benefits can be drawn by the person using such modern health tracking devices and some of them are:-
- The traditional method of health tracking was mostly manually done in the form of writing on paper or memorizing the health record.
While the recent health devices keep an easy record of information and health data which has made people generally more aware and knowledgeable about their health status.
- Electronic self-tracking devices have no fear of losing information as it is properly recorded and also cannot be stolen easily. Hence, it improves the quality of life of such a person.
- This also ensures personal involvement and interest in taking self-care and management of diseases and understanding of the health condition.
- People with health devices can easily self-track and diagnose any disease and cope with the treatment easily at the healthcare unit.
- It also improves the level of communication between the patient and the healthcare providers.
- Tracking diet and exercise can help in the prevention of health issues and adopting safe health practices for the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. It promotes healthy habits and getting meaningful feedback on health.
- The collection of information by the devices helps in self-identifying illnesses and health indicators. It helps in controlling health symptoms and the prevention of diseases.
- MAHI (Mobile Access to Health Information) is an application on the phone which helps in the diagnosis of diabetes in patients. There are many such devices for other ailments like cancer, bowel syndrome, asthma, heart-related conditions, etc.
- It helps in routine tracking for self-reflection of health data and information and does not require personal visits to a doctor’s clinic.
Drawbacks of modern self-tracking devices
- We do not find these self-tracking devices to be very useful in the self-tracking of chronic diseases and their management.
- Self-tracking devices are not so advanced in their technology to match the level for addressing chronic diseases. They’re suitable for knowing the general health status of a person.
- Patients are not capable enough and are also unwilling to manage such complex health issues so they do not want to take up the responsibility.
- Biometric health devices work only when the patient takes personal interest and makes efforts to get information.
Issues that require attention by long-term self-tracking device
Many issues require to be addressed by self-tracking devices for health and behaviour.
- The quality and quantity of data change over time resulting in challenging interpretation of it.
- Data collected is either irregular, inconsistent, or non-reliable in quality for effective tracking of health and progress.
- Such collected data can be interpreted in two different ways by different users as it is heterogeneous.
- Data is unstructured and in the form of texts, images videos, etc which creates difficulty in data interpretation.
- Tracking devices can be left by the users, and become obsolete or unavailable after some time.
- Collection of data and conducting of research can take many long years to study health and create difficulty in tracking the health of people.
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