Hints, Tips & Advice

Cloud-Bases Home Health Monitoring

Standing around the boatyard the other day with a bunch of saddened sailors who can only dream of late Spring and once again being on the water with our boats, I happen to notice that 3 out of 4 (I’m the 4th) sailors had in hand the new IPhone 4, and at one point or another, using this new toy for various reasons. Suddenly, two of the sailors bumped phones – I mean they actually touched their phones together.


What is that all about? Of course I needed to ask what I was missing … They softened my ignorance by telling me about “cloud technology,” and various other innovations that seem to come so readily to these tech-savvy sailors (I don’t even use electronic GPS/compass on my sailboat). Seems that in today’s world (and if you have Apple technology at hand) you can take a picture on your IPhone 4 and it will automatically send that photo to your other Apple based devices, for example your MacBook Pro computer!


The bumping and sharing data seemed to be focused on sharing music, but I’m sure it was more complicated than that. This all lead me to think about the progress in home health monitoring systems – and thus today’s Weekly Message (please be aware that I am far from a “techie” and as such the following information will only scratch the surface of what is now happening in this fascinating world).


We all know that telehealth has been developing in the last decade, with home monitoring being a primary focus. This is where a patient, whether recently discharged from a hospital or not, has his home connected, via special monitors, etc., so that doctors and other health professionals can monitor vital signs, as well as get some idea of the patient’s physical appearance.


Enter Independa, a company offering technology-enabled independent-living solutions (usually at more cost effective levels). They will be rolling out (sometime in early 2012) their “cloud-based” home health monitoring system. Of course, this system will allow for the recording of biometric information; such as “weight, blood pressure, glucose level, temperature, pulse, heart rate – using the basic and universally available phone.”


Even if you didn’t miss the important part here, it is worth repeating -- this will all be processed via a normal, everyday, ordinary telephone. For tech savvy folks out there, this may seem like no big deal at all, but for me, I was blown away. It means that those requiring some form of monitoring their medical needs can have that done over their everyday phone, with no special cell phone service necessary or special monitors in the house, etc. This opens up nearly the entire country to this type of home health based monitoring, and possibly without the level of home visits currently performed by home health agencies (e.g., Visiting Nurses Association).


The information you transmit over the regular landline phone is “converted into digital form and delivered to Independa’s cloud-based telecare solution, CloudCare.” This obviously will offer medical professionals much more up-to-the-minute information on a patient’s status; thus helping to prevent the often urgent return of that patient to the hospital within the first three days after discharge.


Of course, this does not replace the need for home-based monitors, actual personal home health visits, etc., but it does allow for nearly instantaneous connection to the patient’s health care providers. Such a connection is vital in providing the care essential in monitoring of a patient during the transition from hospital to home.


I’m happy to see technology doing more for us than merely an hourly Angry Bird distraction. It is pretty amazing if you think about it, especially when our brains turn to how it can help with patient care. Believe it or not, I may even consider using a GPS on my boat this season – or maybe not.


(Info in part from: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/rethinking-healthcare/cloud-based-home-health-monitoring-service-works-with-your-phone/7795?tag=search-river.)

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