New health technology helps homebound patients

AdTaxi-PharmAdv-Homebound1Technology has changed health care both inside and outside the doctor’s office. Thanks to Internet-connected devices, sensors, apps and software, homebound patients can access many of the same services as patients who are able to see their physicians in a medical facility.

Apps and devices
Patients can wear different types of devices containing motion-sensor technology that measures blood pressure, weight, glucose levels and more. One company making these products is iHealth, which sells devices that collect and store sharable data.

For example, there’s the iHealth Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor that records data which can then be shared with a health care professional or doctor. The device works best when utilized in conjunction with the app, which is where health data and graphs are stored. The company also makes wireless body analysis scales and wireless glucose meters.

Sensors can also show when homebound patients are in need of help. A device worn on the body has the power to show when patients fall. One such product, marketed by Medical Alert Advice, is available for a monthly fee. When people fall, the device sets off an alarm that notifies emergency services that help is needed. No telephone line is required. The device is waterproof, so it can be taken into the shower where many falls occur.

With the Doctor on Demand app that patients can download to their cell phone, patients can contact a health care professional at any time of day to report an illness or discuss a medical concern.

There’s also an app called pingmd, which patients can use if their doctors are listed on it. Patients with chronic conditions can send their doctors photos, videos or texts and explain symptoms they are currently experiencing. Doctors can either offer advice or direction to the patient through the app, or they can send the question to a colleague. All the communications are stored within the app, so doctors and patients can keep track of the patient’s medical history.

House calls
These new types of health care technology make life for homebound patients less isolating while saving them trouble, time and money. They can still be confident in the care they are receiving while staying where they’re most comfortable.