Health monitoring has been part of patient care for many years, and it has evolved to keep pace with a wide variety of conditions, allowing clinicians to control medication and treatment programmers tailored to the patient’s needs. However, the drawback is that the patient needs to attend an appointment to have the results analyzed leading to disruptions in care and delays in adjusting medication. Healthcare technology is changing and the ability to monitor a patient from home is now a reality.
A variety of wearable monitoring devices are now available that allow data to be collected 24 hours a day from patients with conditions such as chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, congestive heart failure (CHF) and diabetes. They work on a system that takes measurements important to the patient’s condition and report the results back to a central point within the healthcare system.
The reporting mechanism is carried out wirelessly via a smart phone or wireless point, negating the need for the patient to be present at a clinic during the monitoring period. The technology also allows the patient to carry out question and answer sessions with qualified staff to supply further valuable information.
The main advantage to wearable monitoring technology is data. A patient that suffers from a condition that varies dependent upon a number of factors e.g. Exercise, stress or environmental conditions can be monitored and advised on how the condition is affected. The information can be used to make suggestions on lifestyle changes and advice with avoiding situations that can aggravate the condition.
The wearable device can also trigger an alert when a patient is suffering from a serious issue and allow healthcare professionals to intervene at an earlier point. The other main advantage is that the patient does not need to wait in queues at the health care establishment for a simple set of tests, as this information can be collected remotely.
The healthcare technology industry continues to grow, and this interesting video gives a sign of things to come. Wearable monitoring devices for use at home are a new arm of healthcare technology, and under constant development. At present, they are available to give very limited assistance regarding physical care or drug therapy, but ongoing advancement will give them a more proactive role in patient care.
There are systems in development that will be able to administer drugs which is of great advantage in scenarios where the patient may not be as capable. They will also be able to monitor environmental factors such as heat and humidity and make adjustments to heating and ventilation systems, ensuring that conditions are optimal for the patients needs.
In short, health care is changing rapidly and monitoring a patient within the home environment will become the norm, instead of the exception. The move away from constant hospital visits and the move towards 24 hour remote data collection can only be an advantage to everyone concerned.