The terms “patient centric”, “personalised care” and “holistic health” seem to be the new focus area. Everyone wants to lay an emphasis on the patient and is squeezing these words onto every banner, slogan and marketing collateral. While I am personally encouraged by the intention I see around, I find myself often seeking for the action or implementation thereafter.
Might I add, when my mother was battling cancer, we didn’t even know what these terms meant. To me “holistic” was some strange dialect for alternative ways of therapy, to today, where I use it incessantly in dialogue. The difference is that the career path I chose was and is built on the fundamentals of holistic care, integrating the various elements of external and internal factors that will eventually lead to overall wellbeing.
Hence, it became the very foundation of my life and what I set out to build. While people assure me that I am in the right space at the right time, contrary to popular belief, I am starting to witness a major discrepancy in the way people view the term, to what is being fuelled behind the scenes. If we want to really talk holistic, personalised care, patient centricity and quality of life then let’s speak the language in depth. Let’s understand what a patient really needs and wants, the nuances that lie in between and offer care that will fulfil this and beyond. This requires attention to detail like no other.
I have lived with a cancer patient for over 6 years and worked up close and personal with hundreds more and what I have come to know more than anything else, is that personalised care lies in physical human interaction. As much as we would all like to make this an “app”, reach out to a larger market, build for “scale” (my favourite word!), we need to first recognise what really goes into personalised care. In my opinion, it’s focusing on the patient, being present and connecting on a physical human level, which as of now will not be replaced by a software. Many might disagree, especially at a time where everything and I mean everything is driven by technology. But not this. Not now.
And that is why, when I started out to help cancer patients, even though my work is tech enabled, technology is used to enhance the efficiency, efficacy and quality of care, but not replaces human interaction. Our patients need time, they need touch, feeling, energy and connection which encourages and enhances all aspects of life. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
And that’s what makes them heal, as much as the treatment itself. The human touch accelerates recovery, every time.
Founder & CEO of CARER
CARER works with cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, and specialists to prevent and help cancer patients. To know more about Carer (Cancer Prevention & Therapy Experts), please visit here.