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November 1, 2017

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Social Support Encourages Better Health Habits

July 13, 2017

In healthcare, it’s easy to believe there are only two key stakeholders: doctors and patients.  However there is a third party who plays a significant role in the wellbeing of a patient - the patient’s social support network. Social support refers to a person’s network of family, friends, neighbors, and community members who can help an individual psychologically, physically, and financially during times of need. Studies show support from family and friends has a positive emotional impact on people as well as physical benefits.

 

 

Individuals who have strong social support are more likely to experience feelings of belonging, a responsibility to take care of themselves, and motivation to eat well and exercise regularly compared to people who do not have a strong support system. Additionally, patients who are emotionally supported by friends and family benefit by feeling less stressed than their unsupported counterparts. Connecting with friends and family is correlated to decreased levels of stress which can lead to lower blood pressure and reduced heart rates, both of which are benefit a person’s overall physical health.

 

On a practical level, a patient’s loved ones can play a significant role in ensuring the patient is well cared for. Social support systems can make sure patients attend all of their doctor’s appointments, adhere to their recovery plan, take all their prescribed medications. This type of practical assistance can help speed up the recovery process and encourage patients to take care of their health.

 

Fitango Health understands the importance of keeping patients connected to social support. That’s why our platform allows patients to invite “Motivators” to join their Care Team. Once a patient invites a Motivator (such as a friend or family member) to join his/her Care Team, then that Motivator is able to follow the patient’s progress by viewing the patient’s medical adherence, health trackers, and ActionPlans. A Motivator can also message the patient words of encouragement or make "Promises" to them, such as "If you lower your blood pressure, I promise to do your laundry next week!"

 

This is just another way Fitango Health is extending care beyond the point of care.

 

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