Health monitoring technologies are a healthier and safer way for seniors, especially those who want to age in place. It improves older adults’ quality of life while making them more independent, boosting their self-esteem. Health monitoring technologies help enhance seniors’ safety, mainly those with dementia or cognitive impairment. They have simple-to-use features that senior citizens can quickly learn and adopt.
These technologies offer connections to assistance, ensuring peace of mind for the older adult’s loved ones and caregivers. This article outlines six crucial technologies to help seniors monitor their health.
1. Wearable technology
Wearable technology consists of smart electronic devices worn on the skin’s surface to detect and study information regarding different bodily functions. Wearable devices for the elderly can help monitor your health, letting you remain active while feeling safe. They have small sensors that record even the most minor body changes, including increased heart rates, with new details displaying every few minutes or seconds.
Wearable technologies that track your health enable you to share information with your doctor, including your mobile dentist, loved ones, and home support workers to ensure they’re always aware of your health condition and any unexpected medical emergency. Fitness trackers, GPS technology, smart watches, personal alarms, and heart rate monitors are wearable devices you can invest in to monitor your health.
2. Telemedicine technology
Attending regular doctor appointments can be challenging for the elderly, especially those with restrictions or who are homebound, which makes it hard to leave home. Telemedicine or telehealth leverages telecommunication and electronic technology to offer medical care remotely. It provides seniors with alternatives to manage complex health issues, access care whenever needed, and minimize the burden on their caregivers.
Telehealth technology promotes convenient access to clinical care. It also supports remote symptom monitoring where health data, including cardiac stats, blood pressure, respiratory rates, and oxygen levels, is reported, gathered, and assessed. Telemedicine technology features allow the storage and sharing of medical data, such as X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, and texts, videos, and photo-based patient data.
By Manish Mathuria, chief technology officer and co-founder, Infostretch.
The truism that “prevention is better than cure” is especially true in software, where a defect can have serious, sometimes life-threatening, consequences. Digital health presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities for those operating in this competitive and demanding market. The pressure to innovate and advance is immense, but so are concerns about safety, functionality, cost and privacy, to name a few.
When clinical insights combine with IT brilliance, the results can lead to fascinating health innovations. Radical new approaches, such as wearables and mobile devices which monitor, analyze and diagnose conditions, bring special meaning to the importance of error prevention versus recovery.
Lightning-fast technological innovation, fierce competition and stringent regulation combine to bring special challenges to a tester. The implications of software failure are severe. Another adage, “evolve or die,” springs to mind. The traditional testing function is what needs to evolve in this sector perhaps more than any other.
The quality assurance approach to testing must now make way for quality engineering, a new way of tackling quality control which focuses on improving the inherent design of the product throughout the software development life cycle. Why? Because traditional testing, performed at the end of the SDLC is out of its depth in the new era of digital transformation.
Today’s healthcare workforce is increasingly mobile. The industry has seen a dramatic increase in the use of mobile devices by both staff and patients, but often as single point solutions that do not solve for the fragmentation of clinical workflow at the point of care. Health system IT and clinical leadership are responding with a more strategic approach to clinical communication and collaboration to improve the care delivery experience at scale.
PatientSafe Solutions partnered with HIMSS Analytics to survey more than 300 healthcare leaders about the current state and future plans for mobile communication in their organizations. The vast majority of hospitals (77 percent) have invested in some form of mobile app to support communication amongst the care team, the most commonplace being secured messaging. However, clinical workflow suffers from the continued use of multiple, single-point device and applications. The average care team member — from physicians to nurses to allied health professionals – must use as many as five different devices or modalities to communicate and execute a defined plan of care.
The study also found that that nearly 50 percent of respondents plan on standardizing and consolidating onto a smartphone platform to streamline care collaboration. We all know by now that smartphones present the opportunity to deliver care at the bedside in a more effective, personalized and productive manner. However, despite investment in secured messaging and the desire to move towards smartphone-based platforms, the care team’s communication, care collaboration and documentation workflow still can be disorganized, incomplete and at worse, not secure. To address the clinical mobility challenge, PatientSafe developed the Mobile Maturity Model for Healthcare as common framework to assess the current state of mobile adoption in your health system and align the various people, technologies and processes to be successful with mobility at scale. Our goal? To get industry-wide participation in using and evolving the healthcare mobile maturity model – so clinicians and patients benefit from a streamlined, secure, context-rich mobile care experience.
The Mobile Maturity Model seeks to assess and categorize an organization’s proficiency in six key capabilities: infrastructure management, mobile device management, integration planning, application selection, workflow design and outcomes management.
Infrastructure management – To support mobility at scale, it is important to avoid underestimating infrastructure investments. Elements to consider when it comes to infrastructure include an organization’s wireless network, telephone systems and data center.
Mobile device management (MDM) – The choice of mobile device is a key consideration in mobile adoption, but equally important is the consideration of how to successfully manage and support an entire fleet of mobile devices. Jamf, the standard in Apple device management, recently surveyed 600 global healthcare IT professionals and found that 78 percent of healthcare organizations have an MDM in place, but over 50 percent lack satisfaction, 70 percent had concerns around security and compliance, and 90 percent think their MDM can be doing more. It’s important to invest in an MDM that aligns with overall mobility strategy and are experts in the device platform selected for an organization. An MDM should have an integrated partner ecosystem for devices, applications and infrastructure and training, services and support. Indicators like customer retention and CSAT are also helpful. Most importantly, the MDM should be nearly invisible to end users, as if an approach to deployment and management hinders usability of the device an organization wants to use to improve its patient care and clinical communications, it’s not the right fit.
Exactly how secure are the mobile health apps we use? Arxan Technologies set out to find that answer with its 5th Annual State of Application Security report. The new research assessed 71 popular mobile health apps from the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. It also examined the perception of app users and app executives in regards to the level of confidence they have in the security of their applications. Arxan discovered a huge discrepancy between consumer confidence in the level of security and the degree to which organizations address known application vulnerabilities.
Below are some of the report’s key findings:
Mobile health apps approved by regulatory/governing bodies are just as vulnerable as other mobile apps. Eighty-four percent of the US FDA-approved apps tested did not adequately address at least two of the OWASP Mobile Top 10 Risks. Similarly, 80 percent of the apps tested that were formerly approved by the UK NHS did not adequately address at least two of the OWASP Mobile Top 10 Risks.
Most of the mobile health apps were susceptible to application code tampering and reverse-engineering. Ninety-five percent of the FDA-approved apps, and 100 percent of the apps formerly approved by the NHS, lacked binary protection, which could result in privacy violations, theft of personal health information, and tampering.
HIMSS released the results of the 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey at the annual HIMSS conference. This year’s study, of more than 200 healthcare provider employees, found that nearly 90 percent of respondents are utilizing mobile devices within their organizations to engage patients in their healthcare. The report also showed that respondents believe that mHealth technologies are beginning to drive cost savings and improve the quality of care delivered.
The adoption of mobile technologies has been rapid in recent years with 90 percent of American adults owning a mobile device. The healthcare industry continues to keep up, as these technologies are critical to the industry’s shift to patient-centered and value-based care. Respondents of this year’s survey reported leveraging a variety of mobile tools including: app-enabled patient portals (73 percent), telehealth services (62 percent) and text communications (57 percent). Of these technologies, 36 percent of respondents believe the use of app-enabled patient portals is the most effective tool in patient engagement to date.
“mHealth continues to evolve as a tool to drive healthcare efficiencies. The proposed Meaningful Use Stage 3 rule realizes this with the concept of APIs and patient generated health data, and this year’s survey showed that the wide spread availability of mobile technology has had a positive impact on the coordination of patient care,” said David Collins, senior director of HIMSS mHealth Community.
According to a new report from InMedica, a subsidiary of IMS Research, American healthcare providers are turning to telehealth in large numbers to help cut costs and projects patients using telehealth services to grow by nearly a factor of six by 2017. While 51 percent of HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey respondents indicated budget tolls as a key barrier to further implementation of mobile technologies, 54 percent indicated they had achieved cost savings when asked if the deployment of mobile technology had a positive effect in this capacity. Specifically, areas of impact included preventative support care (24 percent), telehealth interventions (23 percent) and resource utilization (21 percent).
Guest post by Komal Papneja, IT research and marketing expert, Calance.
It’s time for healthcare organization to conduct a routine checkup on their data management and storage capabilities. Wondering why? To put this into perspective, Kaiser Permanente, nation’s largest health plan based out of California alone manages 26 to 44 petabytes of data from its electronic health records only. And if you are wondering how much is that, it would take around 223,000 DVDs (4.7 GB each) to just hold 1 petabyte of data, according to a Delloittestudy. Now couple this issue of data explosion with the HIPAA/HITECH compliance regulations and you see healthcare industry struggling to keep pace with the emerging technologies. Gone are the days when you could manage data with pen and paper…or even in onsite data centers.
Data explosion has become a generic problem with US healthcare organizations, says Gaurav Garg, vice president – healthcare solutions at Calance Corporation. While working with a large US Healthcare provider, team Calanceobserved that their data was growing at the rate of 50TB per month and also that their onsite data centers will soon run out of capacity. Healthcare organizations in general need a secure, future-proof, and compliant solution that can help eliminate data explosion while remaining cost-effective. This is where hybrid cloud solution comes in.
Why hybrid? Because hybrid cloud model allows for tighter security than traditional public cloud while offering more flexibility than a private cloud. Here is a detailed overview of how a hybrid cloud solution can help healthcare industry overcome the biggest IT challenge which is – data explosion.
Get Storage Space Scaled for You
Critical patient data, confidential communications, and medical records, everything is stored digitally. There is always a need for more storage space. And hybrid cloud gives you that storage space without having to spend IT dollars on in-house data center expansion or to pay for under-utilized capacity. This enables maximum elasticity and efficiency. You only pay for the space you use! But that’s with every cloud model, whether private, public, or hybrid. What makes hybrid more suitable for healthcare industry then? Keep reading as we unfold a few reasons.
Guest post by Tom Giannulli, MS, MD, chief medical information officer, Kareo.
It seems like everywhere you look there is a new piece of wearable technology to help people monitor their health and lifestyle. The latest and greatest, of course, is the Apple Watch, which hit the newswire with a bang last month.
There is no doubt that mobile health apps and wearable technology and devices are big business. Both patients and clinicians are using mHealth apps on their smartphones and other devices. There are tens of thousands of these apps, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says this number will grow by 25 percent a year. Their research also shows that by 2018 1.7 billion people worldwide will download a health app.
Despite what the media may say, the fact is most people aren’t using these apps and devices yet according to a new study from Technology Advice. Their research found that nearly 75 percent of adults do not track their weight, diet, or exercise using a fitness tracking device or app and most cited reason was general lack of interest.
However, one interesting thing to note is that more than half said they would be more likely to use a health tracking app or device if there was a possibility of lowering their insurance premiums. Just over 40 percent said better advice from their healthcare provider would be a possible incentive to use a fitness tracker.
Guest post by Scott Parker, senior marketing analyst, CureMD.
Healthcare needs to be efficient in delivering care to the patient. What if iPad and iPhone apps provide the services healthcare professionals need? Wouldn’t that be a dream come true? The mobile healthcare market is talk of the town in healthcare circuits. The amazing thing is, mostly mobile EHRs are free. Soon to be launched CureMD’s app Avalon will be free too. It is free because you only pay for the services you use.
Medical history on fingertips: Healthcare professionals only dreamt about a day, when the ease of access in terms of patient data could take a step further, and somehow make them get off their boring computer screens. All of patient’s data is just a few taps away with mobile EHR. Providers can access an up-to-date list of current and past diagnoses of the patient; along with list of medications the patient has been formally prescribed.
Empowering patients: Mobile EHRs are not just for care providers. They are for patients as well. Patients can use mobile EHR to view their test results along with clinical summaries of their visit to the practice. They can keep track of their vaccinations, making it convenient for the providers and staff to arrange an appointment. If providers are able to empower patients through mobile EHR they are essentially empowering themselves.
Accurate sharing of patient information: Mobile EHRs provides a coordinated system of care through its function of interoperability. It allows for secure exchange of data among multiple providers, practices and healthcare facilities in real-time. This will provide a better support structure for informed clinical decisions. All in all, it reduces manual medical errors caused by humans trying to provide information through lethargic channels.