Digital healthcare is set to revolutionize the way we receive medical treatment in the coming years and decades.  Patients are already able to use video-calls to consult with physicians, use their phones to book appointments and receive care that’s informed by research conducted through artificial intelligence. Even Amazon is getting in on the act.

As we progress further into the digital age, research on digital care will only reveal more methods and practices to adopt.

The aging population is a significant factor in many developed nations. The US, UK, and most notably Japan all have populations that are getting older, not younger, as opposed to many developing countries in Africa and across the Middle East.

College essay writers need to be able to parse the noise and the hype surrounding many of these innovative buzzwords and catchphrases. They are very sweet in a TEDtalk, but do they make significant differences to caregivers and care-receivers?

Online research: do’s and don’ts

Wikipedia is a huge resource maintained by dedicated editors and contributors who battle against tides of misinformation and shoddy writing. As valuable as it is in our personal lives, Wikipedia cannot be trusted as an academic source. It’s highly useful when skimming a topic, but it cannot be used as a proper reference. Online essay writer style research needs to be conducted using reliable information stores.

One trick is to follow the sources cited on Wikipedia, these can take you to reliable information like that provided by the WHO or national health and statistics agencies. Don’t fall for a cheap essay writer trick and copy Wikipedia, the information gets recycled by students every year and will be spotted easily by the examiner or plagiarism software.

Digital care versus digital health

Looking for sources on digital care often throws up sources related more to digital health. This umbrella term covers things from digital health records – which a 2019 study suggests is not yet complete – to wellness mobile applications and clinical interventions like therapy.

With all these terms flying around, it’s vital to keep focused on the aspects relating to digital social care, as that’s the sector we’re referring to specifically in this article.

Measuring digital care outcomes

With social care, we want to know if the interventions are working. To do this, there must be goals, targets, and then the quantification of these concepts in indexes and measures. Medical journals cover these kinds of statistics, and there are also valuable sources of data on government websites.

In countries like the UK where healthcare is free at the point-of-use, there are guidelines that dictate which treatments will receive funding. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines are evidence-based recommendations that layout the care and services for people with certain conditions or needs, whether that’s cancer, dementia, or assisted living.

It’s harder to find similar measures in the US as there is less federal involvement in medicine. What can be found is datasets from the FDA which approve pharmaceuticals, but not so much with regard to social interventions or care procedures.

Working with businesses and care providers

Social care is frequently conducted by businesses and charities. When trying to access information from these sources, you may struggle to get an accurate picture due to the commercial need for privacy. This applies more to businesses than it does to charities, but still, charities may not have the time or resources to maintain detailed information in the first place.

Conducting your own interviews

Depending on the format of your research paper, you may find it useful to conduct interviews yourself. These could be in-depth, person-to-person interviews, or questionnaires. Both methods allow you to control the quality of the sources and gain valuable experience in performing research.

When conducting your own interviews, it’s vital to gain informed consent from all participants and to provide them with a means of withdrawing their data should they wish to do so; in Europe, this is governed more strongly than in the US through GDPR. However, privacy concerns can be respected without a national or supranational framework in place, either through an ethics committee at your institution or through the collaboration of your interviewees and their respective institutions.

All in all, conducting good research on digital care is much like conducting good research on any topic. Avoid the obvious pitfalls such as Wikipedia, make sure to look for proper journals and databases like JSTOR, and if you’re going to conduct your own research make sure to gain consent and treat the matter with a good dose of seriousness.

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