Keeping patients at home has never been more critical as it maintains patient safety and satisfaction and lowers the cost of healthcare. Newer technologies exist with the goal of maintaining patient health and safety in the comfort of their own homes. Families frequently struggle with ensuring aging or frail loved ones are safe. In turn, as a part of the continuum of health care, home health agencies are in the perfect position to implement these technologies for their patients.
Remote patient monitoring is emerging as a viable tool to keep loved ones in their homes. Wearable biosensors are devices that acquire, transmit, process, store and retrieve health related data. These allow care providers to monitor patients remotely and intervene when there are concerning trends. These devices include continuous glucose monitors, wireless EKG devices, pulse oximeters, digital blood pressure cuffs, scales, accelerometers, pedometers and sleep monitors.
Continuous glucose monitors.
Continuous glucose monitors provide real time feedback for patients on the status of their blood glucose levels. These devices help patients with diabetes regulate their blood glucose levels by identifying levels that are out of normal range. These devices also help physicians and care providers know when it is time to change medication regimens.
Wireless EKG devices.
Wireless electrocardiogram devices help detect irregular heart beats and can even detect risk for heart attack. AliveCor has an FDA cleared EKG monitor that records your EKG with your fingertips.
Pulse oximeters were invaluable during the COVID pandemic as a way for patients to know when it was time to seek medical attention. Pulse oximeters are commonly used to help manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Massimo SET pulse oximeter provides hospital grade oxygen monitoring in the home.
Digital blood pressure cuffs.
Remote digital blood pressure cuffs can transmit blood pressure readings from the patient’s home to the physician. Both high blood pressure and low blood pressure cause symptoms that can result in hospitalization. As such, these devices also help avoid overtreatment of hypertension for patients with white coat hypertension.
Weight monitoring systems.
Scales help monitor both obesity and heart failure. Monitoring weight is a key aspect of many weight loss programs as a means to prevent heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Sudden increases in weight can be a sign of heart failure progression. As such, these changes can lead to a telemedicine visit or prescribing of diuretic for heart failure management.
Accelerometers track physical activity. Falls are serious health problems among elderly individuals. Trunk accelerometers have been studied to help monitor risk for and prevent falls in patients with dementia, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
Pedometers effectively measure the activity level of patients. This data can upload into medical records for physicians to monitor fitness level and changes in activity that could indicate illness. Pedometers also serve as “prehabilitation” tools for surgical patients. Pedometers have also been used in post knee and hip replacement operations to ensure patient recovery.
Quality sleep is an integral part of weight management, sleep apnea monitoring and mental health. Sleep monitors provide valuable information to physicians on the overall health of the patient.
Implementing remote patient monitoring as part of a full spectrum home health service can prove valuable for the patients. Omnis Medical Group helps home health agencies implement these cutting edge technologies that add value and satisfaction to their patient base. Contact us for additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org.