As a result of increasing mobile technology, home health care no longer revolves around a nurse making home visits to their patient on a daily basis, but now allows seniors to check their own vitals and maintain a higher level of independence, said a Financial Post article last week.
This self management of health empowers patients to become more informed of their conditions and take more responsibility for management of their health, says a Financial Post article published last week. The article stresses virtual visits are not replacements for home visits, but serve as complementary efforts.
Financial Post reports:
Now, cardiac patients are able to use blood pressure monitors, scales, and home-use EKG machines that are connected through Bluetooth to their own cell phones. When their healthcare provider needs more information, they can send a prompt to the patient, initiate contact by phone, or arrange a face to face meeting as soon as needed.
In a study of Ontario patients with chronic cardiac disease, daily weight and blood pressure checks, combined with weekly EKGs carried out at home, and an interactive tool on their phones prompting them to report other symptoms and activities regularly resulted in the risk of a heart attack or other serious crisis being reduced by 20% in the first six months.
Currently, tele-homecare is best suited to chronic disease management, rather than care of acute conditions. Candidates have to be committed to learning more about their condition and to making informed decisions, as well as learning how to take the necessary readings of their vital signs. In return, they become more empowered in managing their own health.
“Our clients have to be cognitively intact for tele-homecare to suit their needs,” explains Cheryl Reid-Haughian, director of professional practice for ParaMed Home Health Care. “But we’ve found that age by itself is not an issue, and have had very good outcomes with clients in many different age groups.”
Read the full Financial Post article.
Written by Erin Hegarty