At-home health monitoring devices are being used by medical professionals across the globe to provide patients with remote health monitoring options. Telehealth technology reduces medical costs and answers the demand for remote care options as a result of the in-person restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the focus shifts from hospital care to at-home care and monitoring, several Medtech companies are offering gadgets and services that allow patients and carers to measure their health at home, and have the results in minutes. Freeing up medical staff who are dealing with huge patient backlogs and overwhelmed healthcare systems.
Remote health monitoring is used in several instances:
To Monitor Chronic Health Conditions
In an effort to keep patients out of hospitals due to the risk of COVID-19, doctors and medical staff increased their usage of at-home monitors for patients with chronic conditions such as heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, or respiratory conditions like COPD.
In particular, the following at-home medical gadgets have become commonplace in homes across the globe:
These small devices clip onto your finger to measure the levels of oxygen in your blood. Regular monitoring of blood oxygen levels is crucial for patients suffering from respiratory conditions or heart conditions. Pulse oximeters allow patients or caregivers to detect sudden drops in oxygen levels before symptoms start to show, potentially saving their lives or a more aggressive treatment plan.
Digital Blood Pressure Monitors
For those suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, or who are at greater risk of strokes, regular blood pressure monitoring is essential. Digital blood pressure monitors can often connect to your smartphone, making it easy to keep an eye on blood pressure levels and act fast if you notice any changes. Spotting these changes early gives you and your doctor the best chance of reacting quickly and avoiding more serious issues.
At-home ECG Monitors
An ECG monitor measures the rate and rhythm of your heart. If you suffer from an existing heart condition, keeping track of your heart rhythm is important. Equally, if you’re pregnant or have other health conditions, an ECG monitor is a good way to keep an eye on your heart health.
At-home ECG monitors use in-built sensors to record your heart’s activity. You simply hold your fingers against the sensors or wear them on your wrist. As they’re a portable option, they typically don’t come with ECG trunk cables like those used in hospitals.
To Reduce Hospital Readmissions
Hospital readmissions are costly. Research shows that a large number of readmissions could be prevented, saving both hospitals and patients money and time. New programs are being rolled out worldwide that require patients to use at-home monitoring to detect potential issues early.
Patients suffering from chronic diseases now have the peace of mind to know that their condition is being monitored more regularly and the data is being fed to their doctors. This keeps more people out of emergency rooms and reduces the stress on the healthcare system.
To Change Behaviour Patterns & Establish Healthier Habits
The more involved we are in our health, the more likely we are to notice early signs of health issues. By regularly monitoring your health vitals, you are becoming more in tune with your body. Health apps that measure your steps, diet, and heart rate have already proven to be instrumental in breaking bad habits and establishing newer, healthier ones.
Just as your Fitbit reminds you to get up and move your body, daily monitoring of your heart health might just think twice about having that cheeseburger. At-home monitoring plays a crucial role in encouraging patients to take more accountability for their health and the health decisions they make every day.
Telehealth technology has been evolving quickly for years now. The effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an even faster evolution of at-home health devices that can measure your vital statistic and alert you to early signs of health issues.
Not only does remote medical care reduce costs and the pressure on the healthcare system, but it also gets patients more involved in managing their health and making healthier lifestyle choices. With such promising results so far, telehealth technology looks set to continue its rise for years to come.