Shocking as it sounds, 50 million Americans will be 65 years old or older by 2020, representing 17% of the population. As the population ages, exponential demand is in the future of home healthcare.
At the same time, the number of physicians is already falling short to cater to the increasing demands of the aging American population. Relying on hospitals and healthcare facilities alone is neither a viable nor an economical solution, which is one reason the future of home healthcare is so important. Fortunately, the recent advances in the home care technology and services are efficiently mitigating the pressure on the hospitals and addressing patient needs beyond the physiological constraints of disease control.
These innovations are breathing new life into the quality of home health care services. Home healthcare companies that want to serve their clients better and stay competitive must adapt to these technology trends:
1. Electronic Health Records
Many home healthcare services often refuse new patients only due to lack of sufficient staff.
Home healthcare agencies can harness the power of artificial intelligence to automate manual tasks of observing, recording and reporting, freeing up the valuable time of their home care professionals allowing them to concentrate on deeper analysis of patient data, especially when handling high-risk cases.
2. Mobile-Assisted Health Devices
Over 30% of the patients requiring in-home care are either disabled or suffering from a chronic health condition that requires patient aid.
Smart health devices are now remotely monitoring patient vital signs in real-time and pinging updates based on the severity of their condition. When vital signs are communicated immediately and declines are diagnosed in time, care professionals can change medications if needed and improve the quality of treatment. These devices also integrate a panic button that alerts any number of people in case of emergency, facilitates immediate intervention and reduces hospital emergency visits and readmission rates.
3. Digital Therapy Machines
About 8 million elders suffer from some form of disability that needs some level of assistance.
This innovative healthcare product is available in different types to perform various functions including acupuncture, massage, pound shot, skin scraping, weight reduction, cupping and manipulation. This powerful machine uses small doses of current to relieve pain, alleviate headaches, cancer pain, post-operative pain, and to lessen the painful sensations experienced by the sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
4. Biofeedback Systems
Almost 70% of the patients using home healthcare services are at least 65 years old and the most common health conditions they suffer from include cerebral vascular diseases, arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.
The biofeedback system is designed to help patients exercise more control over involuntary body functions like temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, thereby preventing conditions like high blood pressure, migraine headaches, incontinence and chronic pain. With careful and consistent monitoring of vital body signs, movement, muscle strength, and chemistry, caregivers can intervene as and when needed. This type of holistic home care allows home care professionals to deliver exceptional levels of patient care and increase home care sales.
5. Alarm Integration Technology
The rise in home and vehicle accidents has increased the need for home care by ten times
Smart sensors can now be placed in the appliances used by elderly patients to monitor their movements and alert caregivers in case of risky behavior. These sensors can track every activity like an Alzheimer’s patient leaving the house or forgetting to eat or leaving the water tap running for too long. These sensors can also detect inactivity and falls and trigger an alarm for assistance. The device can also be used to set reminders so patients take their medicines on time and adhere to their treatment protocols.
Connecting patients to caregivers is a crucial step in creating a reliable and safe home care experience. These innovative technologies are enabling home healthcare companies to go the extra mile and deliver a caring, convenient and comprehensive home care solution that ensures better quality of life. They also bring home care services a competitive edge in the market and make an excellent home care marketing tool. So, any agency that is looking to cut costs, enhance productivity, boost their home care sales and generate a steady stream of new clients, must consider integrating these technological advancements in their home healthcare solutions.