Today’s technological advances are transforming the health care system and improving the lives of patients everywhere. Through remote management applications, sensors and devices, patients with limited mobility, financial constraints or chronic conditions can now have their vital signs, symptoms, progress and treatment plans monitored from the comfort of their own homes. Seniors, in particular, can greatly benefit from the convenience and affordability provided by remote health care service including:
- Interconnectivity – Technology is improving communication and connectivity between health care professionals by relaying patient information across hospitals, clinics and medical practitioners. This type of free-flowing communication, often performed in real-time, can dramatically speed up diagnoses and treatments while reducing overall costs.
- Remote Medical Visits – Digital technology has moved from the waiting room to the living room. Physicians can now offer remote diagnoses, monitoring and provide e-prescriptions to a growing number of patients. The benefits of telehealth are becoming increasingly relevant in helping decrease the strain placed on medical institutions from the growing prevalence of lifestyle diseases and the ever-increasing world population.
- Health Monitoring – Smartphones and mobile technology are becoming more widely used in health care, vastly improving patient health and helping seniors manage their own health with the support of user-friendly devices and platforms. Chronic diseases can be easily managed from home where patients can not only track factors such as glucose levels, blood pressure and weight, but also share them with physicians without leaving the house.
- Sensors – Revolutionary technological advances are doing wonders for the senior population, helping them attain greater independence and longevity. Non-invasive, non-contact sensor technologies such as motion, force, pressure and sound sensors, are emerging onto the scene to help detect falls, provide insight on eating habits and sleep patterns, manage medication protocols and alert loved ones of any abnormal behavior patterns.
- Social Applications – Senior populations are at risk for experiencing loneliness and isolation, which often cause depression and anxiety. While technology cannot replace human contact, it can help increase the level of engagement between seniors and their family members, friends and community. There exist several user-friendly, technical platforms such as video conferencing and virtual interactive classes that can help seniors connect and socialize with others.
As technological advances and medical devices become more sophisticated, telehealth platforms will continue to evolve by offering personalized services that are catered to patients’ specific needs, thus widening the door to a future where health care is accessible to all
Mary Gorder is the founder and president of DrsOnCalls, a virtual telehealth company whose mission is to encourage senior safety and independence through compassionate, convenient and affordable health care services.