Latest Technology in Home Health Care
There is probably no sector of the Health Care industry undergoing more change right now than Home Health. Much of the changes are being driven by technology but maybe not the technology that immediately comes to mind. Let’s take a look at how the Home Health Care industry is being impacted more and more by technology every year.
Digital Therapy – This advancement utilizes a combination of mobile technology and artificial intelligence to guide patients through therapy treatments in the home, rather than having to get to a hospital or office setting. The software platform acts as a “to-do” list for the patient and includes feedback provided from the patients’ healthcare provider to adjust the program accordingly based on the tracked information.
Virtual Assistance – Another technology that is currently being studied is a virtual assistant designed to detect when an Alzheimer’s patient is having difficulty with a daily living task and guiding them through it step by step. The artificial intelligence tool utilizes input from cameras and microphones in the home and reacts to the emotional cues from the patient. Small monitors placed throughout the home will then demonstrate how to complete the task that the patient is struggling with. These types of initiatives are being utilized to allow seniors stay in their home longer without having to go into a higher acuity setting until critically necessary.
Sensor-based Devices – Historically, as technology advances devices decrease in size as they become more powerful and accessible. New home health care monitoring devices are becoming more pervasive every day. An example of one such device is a tremor spoon that incorporates sensors to monitor how Parkinson’s symptoms are progressing over time. Asthma sufferers will soon have “smart” inhalers that sense air conditions around the patient and provide analytical data into why an attack is triggered.
Biofeedback Systems – Smartphones are getting smarter by the day, and one of the most rapidly expanding segments of the smartphone industry is the creation of healthcare related applications. Someday soon, patients with Parkinson’s disease will be able to rehab at home using a smartphone-based biofeedback system in combination with a wearable device. The patient will have a sensor driven belt connected to the application on the phone to guide them through a series of range of motion and balance exercises.
Virtual Reality – Another exciting form of technology that will soon be making its way into the home health care industry is virtual reality (VR). While there are still advancements that need to be made, for example, the size and relative discomfort attributed to wearing the headsets, overall technology leaders are finding more and more potential for development of health-related VR. Using VR to treat mood disorders, macular disorders, mental acuity treatments and more will all become part of this new approach.
As home healthcare services continue its rapid growth without the corresponding availability of home healthcare workers, technology will be forced to continue filling in the gaps. Advancements in technology are critical to sustaining the age in place trend while also achieving the necessary cost savings and quality of care.
What advancements in home health care are you the most excited about? Have you been exposed to any new technologies in home health care? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below or start a discussion on our Facebook page.