‘We could soon be seeing the mainstreaming of care delivered remotely in the home more often than in the traditional four walls of the hospital’
PLANO, Tex. – As CEO of Vivify Health, a digital health company that offers a remote care platform through consumer mobile devices, Eric Rock has seen firsthand how advancements in technology are changing the way people manage their health. He believes remote care is the future face of health care.
HHTN: How has technology impacted the way home health care is delivered today?
ROCK: When technology becomes widely adopted by consumers, it is almost always a sign that it has reached the tipping point of convenience, where simplicity and benefits outweigh the financial and time costs. We are clearly experiencing this today in areas like remote patient monitoring, where technology is simple enough for patients of any age to use, much lower in cost and easy to deploy. These advancements are allowing for people with even advanced heart failure or other chronic illnesses to stay out of the hospital, or at least reduce the number of readmissions. Between wearable and connected devices and heart failure medications, care teams can spot signs of deterioration in time to intervene with a modest tweak in medications to prevent an adverse event or costly trip to the hospital. Talk about a disruption in health care—this one is pretty revolutionary.
HHTN: What are some of the most important technological advances you have seen in home health care?
ROCK: Definitely the continued ease of use in biometric devices and remote monitoring software, as well as the tracking of data and the ability to stream it to care team members. These technologies have become simple enough that patients 90 years and older can, and do, successfully participate in their own health care. You can see how a process like this for managing chronic illnesses and other conditions, if widely adopted, will significantly alter how health care is delivered.
HHTN: What should we expect to see in home health care technology in the next five years?
ROCK: Home health care is going to grow exponentially, aligning with the consumerism of health care. Hospitals will continue to focus on “heads in beds,” but these new beds will be in the home, where many new health care services are going to be delivered. This will also transform the role of the informal caregiver in the home and workplace, who will use many of the same remote monitoring and intervention technologies to simplify their task as a significant member of the care team. We could soon be seeing the mainstreaming of care delivered remotely in the home more often than in the traditional four walls of the hospital, and this shift will increase the demand for virtual nurses, specialists that are skilled at intervening remotely and other new avenues of care delivery and expertise.