We write a lot about technology and health care here, because I believe we have reached a watershed moment in our history where technology has finally gotten to a point that allows fundamental changes in how health care is provided, and how much it costs.
We write a lot about technology and health care here, because I believe we have reached a watershed moment in our history where technology has finally gotten to a point that allows fundamental changes in how health care is provided, and how much it costs. Perhaps the biggest area where this is evident is in home health care and our aging population. For companies marketing home health care products and services, or those who may be looking for the next major growth area in health care the demographics speak for themselves.
Consider these facts:
- Between 2008 and 2030, the number of people living in the United States over the age of 65 is expected to almost double
- The average daily rate for nursing home care is estimated to be $189
- At the same time that demand for health care services will increase due to an aging population, we have a nursing shortage in the United States that is projected continue
These statistics highlight the critically important role that home health care, and the technologies that enable people to remain in their homes for as long as possible, will play in helping the US manage an aging population and escalating health care costs.
Home health care, and remote health monitoring are two factors contributing to explosive growth in telemedicine. Wireless remote monitors, integration of cellular technologies, and smart appliances are all now entering people’s homes. And as the medical community struggles with the challenges of increased demand on on primary care and specialist physicians, and increasing pressure to reduce costs, remote patient care and home health monitoring could provide some of the answers.
The majority of elderly people want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Researchers, health care experts and the media call this “aging in place.” In fact, a 2005 survey by AARP found that 89 percent of people age 50 and older said they would prefer to remain in their home indefinitely as they age.
For companies marketing medical devices, diagnostics and health care services, these statistics represent a major opportunity. And hopefully, the major advances we are seeing in mobile health technologies, telemedicine, cloud-based products and services and cellular technology will all contribute to better, and more affordable health care for all Americans.