Digital therapeutic applications help people with conditions such as diabetes, obesity, or heart disease monitor their everyday health. These apps use the latest technology to synchronise personal health data from smartphones or computers to a health system.
Studies have shown that self-monitoring and self-reporting apps used for type II diabetes increased patients’ amount of exercise. Others have consistently demonstrated positive behaviour changes for pain, sleep, and depression apps when used continuously. When these self-management apps complement professional health support, doctors can gain real-time healthcare insights and respond to them quickly.
Remote monitoring can play a large role in improving a patient’s health, but it can also help hospitals complement their usual care. Remote monitoring is not unique to smartphones; it can include SMS, automated phone calls, video conferencing, and other systems.
Although remote patient monitoring does not decrease the demand for health services, it can facilitate access and improve the quality of data and its flow. Healthcare professionals can then leverage this data to study specific patterns and potentially inform clinical research and disease prevention.
Virtual Consultations Take the Stage
Virtual consultations allow patients to use their phones, tablets, or PCs to hold real-time video conferences with their doctor. One of the main advantages of these telehealth consultations is their convenience. Instead of travelling to a clinic and taking time off work or school, patients can access healthcare from their current location. Doctors can also deliver sessions outside standard surgery hours to diagnose ailments that do not require a face-to-face meeting.
Due to their reduced cost and flexibility, remote consultation services are more accessible and encourage more frequent checkups than traditional ones. They are useful for patients with chronic health conditions because doctors can monitor someone’s progress at home.
Telehealth can help make an immediate diagnosis of minor illnesses that would otherwise crowd a waiting room and potentially expose patients. It can also reach those who live in rural areas or outside of care delivery systems, high-risk patients, or those self-isolating. Remote consultations have led to successful triage appointments (for example reviewing orthopaedic trauma), anaesthetics, physiotherapy, group rehabilitation sessions, and mental health services, among many others.
In addition to convenience, the costs of remote consultations are significantly lower than on-site visits. They have also shown to reduce the number of patients who fail to attend their scheduled appointments.
AI and Healthcare Robotics
The healthcare industry has long shown a keenness to automation. The ability to mass-produce medical supplies has proven key in providing a faster response to emerging diseases. However, hospitals and practices are only just beginning to implement automation and machine learning to their day-to-day activities.
AI programs have been applied to treatment protocol development, diagnosis processes, drug development, and patient monitoring and care. Among the developments that AI has to offer, robotics is among the most promising for healthcare. Robots can help hospitals with transportation, sanitation, and even surgery.
With sensor technology, robots can navigate autonomously to deliver medical supplies and samples between rooms. They also make for great alternatives for sanitation and disinfection of areas affected by highly contagious diseases. When used in medicine, robots can relieve medical personnel from routine tasks, making procedures safer and less costly. They can perform accurate surgery and transport dangerous substances and even act as telepresence assistants to examine and treat patients remotely. Some robotic personal assistants like the therapeutic Japanese robot Paro have a friendly design and respond to human speech.
Thanks to AI and machine learning algorithms, healthcare robotics are in continuous development. Robots cannot replace existing workforces, as their wider deployment requires dedicated systems. However, they can profoundly impact healthcare by making routine activities safer and easier to execute.
IoT and Remote Care
Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), patients can now access health care services more easily from the comfort of their home. Their use has gone beyond apps and tele-conference to include ecosystems of connected smart medical devices.
Several medical gadgets incorporate IoT technology in non-clinical settings. Many hospitals and medical facilities have adopted remote monitoring technology such as biosensors and disposable patches that patients can take home and keep connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
One example of such a device is the home intravenous (IV) infusion pump. Previously restricted to hospitals, patients can now take IV pumps to help with antibiotic delivery, hydration, nutrition, and pain management. All the information, such as dosage, supply levels, and different health metrics, is available to doctors throughout the treatment. Another case is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. These tools increase air pressure in a person’s throat while they sleep and treat obstructive apnea (sleep therapy is one of the fastest-growing IoT healthcare markets).
The IoT has opened several possibilities in medicine. The many available devices can collect data, provide more insight into symptoms and trends, and give patients more control over their treatment. Connected inhalers, automatic insulin delivery systems, ingestible sensors, and even smart contact lenses are just some of the many solutions available.
Establish remote patient monitoring with FST
Fluffy Spider Technologies is at the forefront of the Digitization of Health.
We create commercially viable software solutions to integrate telehealth systems and sensor feeds to the cloud and to EMR systems.
High quality commercial software requires a dedicated team that has the relevant experience. We can work with you through the entire process, from concept to commercialisation.
To learn more about how we can help you establish remote patient monitoring practices with our Integration Services, get in touch.