Wireless Sensor Devices Poised to change Home Healthcare
Home Healthcare is destined to be greatly affected by the changes in Medicine brought about by digitalization. Home Healthcare is one area of medicine which is extremely costly, mostly because of the costs of monitoring, as well as the repeated re-admissions of many chronic home healthcare patients.
To put things in perspective, let’s go over the following quote, that shows why home healthcare is such an important part of the healthcare picture:
“Chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, arthritis, COPD, and congestive hearth faillure afflict 1 of every 2 adults in the U.S and comprise nearly 80% of our nation’s total health spending. Currently, Medicare recipients with 5 or more chronic illnesses account for76% of all Medicare Spending – or nearly $400 billion.” (SOURCE)
For organization purposes, we can break it down into 1) where Home Healthcare stands today, in regard to Internet Medicine, and 2) Future Home Healthcare, which appears very, very promising.
Home Healthcare Today
Today, there are a few technologies which improve the traditional home healthcare medical setting. First, there is the Airstrip Technology, which allows for wireless monitoring of patients from home to a doctors office, or to a hospital. This technology allows for the wireless monitoring of hearth rhythms in cardia patients from home, as well as monitoring fetal hearttones in pregnant females. In addition, there is Telemedicine, which, by and large, has not been a mainstream means of treating homebound patients, but seems destined for a much larger place in the Home Healthcare Medical Setting of the future. As was said from a good piece in MobiNewsToday, as well as the abpve quote, the costs of chronic healthcare accounts in America is staggering. Therefore, you can be sure that research into monitoring chronic disease will be well funded.
Home Healthcare in the Future
The main patients that will benefit from the inevitable change in Home Healthcare include
1) Cardiac Patients
-improvement of the Airstrip Technology
2) COPD Patients
-improvement of sensor devices to detect p02, wirelessly and in real time
-many companies, including Echo Technology, are in the race for the Holy Grail; a continous wireless glucose monitor. A solid system of being able to keep track of chronic diabetics from their home, wirelessly, and in real time, will be the equivalent of discovering antibiotics. Research is being done on noninvasive methods for measuring blood glucose, such as using infrared or near-infrared light, electric currents, and ultrasound.
4) CHF Patients
-companies are on the verge of having technologies and apps approved to monitor pO2’s (Basis Wristband)
Internet Medicine is bringing about many changes in the monitoring of patients, from both remotely, and onsite. Vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respirations, and temperature) will soon be able to be monitored through sensors, and medical devices such as the Scanadu, Basis Wristband, and numberous other sensor devices. Sotera, a wireless device that monitors vitals signs, as well as other variables, received FDA approval on August 23, 2012, to use their wireless monitoring device in the hospital only, but it only time before it will be used in a homecare setting. Technology, as has been shown in the past, inevitably improves, a la Moore’s Law, so it is a no-brainer that many more microsensor devices is on the horizon of medical discovery. The tools to discover the tools are improved, too, which will increase the discoveries ever norm.
All this devices, and sensors will be wireless to enable the signal to be transmitted everywhere, which will have not only an effect on Home Healthcare, but rural medicine, and medicine in undeveloped countries, and underserved areas of developed ones.
-The iHMED project is the first social media medical website of its kind developed by a physician in collaboration with physicians, home health agencies, home health nurses, physical therapists, and other medical providers.iHMED is a community, not a company.iHMED will provide a useful way for visitors, both medical and non-medical, a fast and easy way to search for home medical professionals and services.