A review of useful devices and health technology to help patients
The health tech movement has gained serious momentum over the years and we’ve started to incorporate many digital health technologies in our daily lives. Most technology and devices have been developed to help improve our health, fitness and general wellbeing and can support you in both your personal life and professional career as a Doctor.
It’s helpful to have an idea of the health technology available that might benefit your health and wellbeing but also your patients’. Let’s take a look at some devices and technologies to consider in 2020. We’ll delve into what they do and how some could help patients provide more thorough health data in consultations, or simply help anyone tackle the needs of their busy day-to-day lives.
One of the key technologies that are going to take off in 2020 is the concept of virtual interactions between patients and Doctors. Medical care is increasingly becoming consumer-centric, and that highlights the need to provide a reliable and effective service that is simple to use for patients. We’ve found Telehealth is becoming an area of interest with a variety of Telehealth locum jobs regularly available. When patients can have consultations with a Doctor or Specialist via a video-enabled smart device it can remove any barriers to seeking medical care. This is especially helpful for patients with decreased mobility or no access to transportation, and for those living in rural or remote areas.
There is no doubt that medical alert and alarm systems will continue to provide benefits to patients throughout 2020 and make a significant difference to patients’ well-being. These devices can alert a medical professional or anyone nominated, should a vulnerable person suffer a fall or get into difficulties of some kind. Some of these devices even make use of GPS technology, which can be vital to patient safety. For example, a person suffering from dementia can choose to alert family members or friends when leaving their home without any prior warning. The person earing the device can be tracked and monitored, allowing time for family members to reach them or seek help.
The rise of the data-driven approach
We are in an era of digital transformation, and the medical industry is at the forefront of this progression. Data-driven devices and technologies are set to transform how people monitor their health and how they look after themselves. Devices that are intelligent enough to gather, store and analyse data can give personalised feedback to the patient. A patient can then make more informed decisions and take effective action based on the results. Patients can also take advantage of devices with the ability to track and relay data to their Doctor in a consultation. Rather than relying on memory, accurate historical health data can be shared for more informed action to be recommended by a Doctor. This could be something as simple as a smartwatch that monitors blood pressure, or a device that monitors glucose levels and alerts the patient when they need to take insulin.
Sleep monitors that can accurately track and monitor how we act while sleeping are going to play an increasingly important role in our overall healthcare toolkit. The power of a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated. A US study has shown that we are getting worse when it comes to laying our head down for an extended period of time. Sleep monitors will be able to show patients how well they are sleeping, whether they’re waking up in the night and information about their breathing patterns. All the data can be reviewed to enable them to make changes to their night-time routine. This information can then be provided to a Doctor in a consultation about sleep and overall health.
You’ve probably never heard of the ‘smart’ earplugs idea, but they could end up being an absolute godsend to a patient who does not get enough rest. The importance of a solid night of sleep is vital to ensuring long-term health benefits. Sometimes a lack of sleep is not down to the individual – it can be attributed to outside interference or the poor sleeping habits of a partner. Smart earplugs mean the wearer can listen to sounds that mask disruptive noise, such as a partner’s snoring or noisy neighbours, allowing the patient to more easily fall into a deep sleep. The earplugs can also act as headphones and be programmed to play alarm sounds that gently wake up the wearer in the morning.
Many other health technologies are being developed and introduced to the market regularly, and we’d love to hear about the health technologies you use or recommend to your patients.
Do you have any medical technology news you’d like to share with us? Let us know by contacting us: firstname.lastname@example.org