Can eHealth play an active role in life?

Article posted on: November 12, 2015

Personal experience of our eHealth tester in The Netherlands

From 8-10 June 2016, eHealth Week co-organised by the Dutch Ministry of Health, the European Commission and HIMSS Europe will take place once more and what’s more: this year the venue is Amsterdam. This pleases me to no end, as eHealth has played an important part in my life these past few years.

Before I was introduced to eHealth, I went to my physician when I had a serious complaint (and I still do). However, you do not want to make an appointment for every single thing you notice on your body. Usually, you wait until the complaint disappears by itself, which often happens. Then again, waiting could very well make things worse. With eHealth, this is no longer necessary, because it empowers you to act immediately. Many complaints can be handled without involving a physician, if only you know what to do. EHealth can help you with this. It enables you to take a much more active role in managing your health. It makes for fewer visits to your physician, no more walking around with complaints any longer than necessary and less insecurity as you wonder what is wrong with you.

Fit and healthy

One of the things I have learned from using eHealth is that staying in shape is really important for a fit and healthy body. This we cannot do without regular exercise. Running is not only effective. It is also extremely efficient: after all, you can run whenever you like and as often as you like for little or no cost. However, learning to run is not easy at all, you cannot expect to run for half an hour without first teaching your body how to do this. This may be accomplished through the use of a good training schedule (step by step as it were).

Testing

When I began running approximately half a year ago, I used the training schedule on www.runinfo.nl. This schedule has enabled me to run for half an hour without collapsing! Recently, however, a close friend of mine was talking enthusiastically about the app “Running with Evy”. Me being a tester of all forms of eHealth I just had to try it out.

running equipment

How does it work?

A runner named Evy plays the part of your personal trainer, coaching you and giving advice. Moreover, it explains what you actually have to do, such as telling you when you need to start running and when you need to take a breather and walk for a few minutes. While running there is a timer that counts down the minutes, you still need to keep going. I found this to be very stimulating and it really helps you to work through the schedule. Of course, this app is only one example of the many running apps.

Active role

For myself, however, I prefer the information from www.runninginfo.nl. I realised that I enjoy running as it is, without gadgets and just enjoy the landscape (lucky me living in a rural area). I always have my small activity tracker named Fitbit One with me which provides all the details I need.

Apps are an integral part of ensuring that the benefits of eHealth, which were typically confined to healthcare providers, put the power in the hands of the citizen. In this way, eHealth plays an active role in so many lives without them even realising it.

Cindy Oudshoorn
Author: 
Cindy Oudshoorn, eHealth expert blogger, The Netherlands. @dzg_cindy @eHealthWeekEU