There has been much written about how technology is improving healthcare, but home healthcare doesn’t always have access to the same advances. Almost all of the advances in healthcare are focused on diagnostics, which wouldn’t really apply to home healthcare since most of them aren’t mobile. Could you imagine having a mobile MRI or CAT? Maybe one day, but not now. What are some of the ways in which technology is improving home healthcare without requiring the patient to go mobile?
An Overview of Active Technology
It is important to understand that many of the technology advancements that are improving home healthcare are active technologies. This means, in its most basic definition, that the technology is monitoring or measuring something, such as a fall or bodily function, and then sending the information to the recipient for analysis.
1. Timely response
Home healthcare workers such as RNs and CNAs appreciate being able to fit their patients with wearables that alert them if measurements exceed predefined boundaries.
The lifeline care at home devices used by Cooperative Healthcare are an example of how technology is helping to improve response times. Wearables like Lifeline care at home can send vitals to healthcare agencies. Wearables like Lifeline include fall detection, so if your patient should fall, the agency will be immediately alerted, and help will be on its way!
2. Social interaction through digital technology
Innovating in this type of technology serves two very real purposes at the same time. The cost of home healthcare may not be covered by a patient’s insurance, government or private, and the number of hours and treatment plans available for home healthcare may be limited. Digital technologies such as Zoom, or Facebook video conferencing allow healthcare workers to check in regularly with patients without charging for a home visit. On the interpersonal level, social interaction is also good for you.
3. Active technology that caters to patient needs.
As an home health care worker, you always wished you could do more for your patients. There were some things that would not have been possible to do, however. Consider further, a patient may be in the early stages of dementia and may be prone to forget administering medicine at the right time of the day or night. Full control of your caseload whenever you want in deathly times is unrealistic, regardless of whether they live in the universe you’re sharing with her. New technology permits you to program reminders so that the patient receives a sound or a prerecorded message and then takes medications as prescribed without delay.
Many of these developments have been around for years but are only just now being approved for use in the industry. Picture for a moment a patient using Amazon s Echo dot and Alexa. While home health care is not considered specifically authorized for homecare, this is a common practice for home nurses in order to execute. Can you picture what might be coming when it comes to homecare advancement?