Patient monitoring technologies promise to deliver great results
Dr K V Krishnan
Practice Head, Life Sciences, Mindteck
The area of health care is no longer contained within the four walls of hospitals. Health and clinical issues as well as patient management are now more accessible even as persons are not physically present for treatment, monitoring and check-up. This has become possible with telehealth as well as telemedicine and home patient monitoring technologies that promise to deliver great results and more efficiency in terms of healthcare.
Most of the instruments such as BP monitors and Glucose monitors are quite user friendly. The accuracy of results depends on the users knowledge as well. If the instructions provided by the manufacturer are well followed, they are bound to give dependable results. Reproducibility can be checked for confirmation by repeating the measurements.
New technologies in remote patient monitoring bear the potential to combat soaring healthcare costs and personnel shortages, and reduce hospitalisation times. The applications can range from monitoring a persons heart rate while working out on a treadmill in a fitness club to transmitting a patients telemetry readings to a nurse over the Internet. In this model, the patient requiring care can be in a remote location, typically at home, from where he/she can be connected to the wide range of home care applications which send relevant data to a central server. This central server in turn is accessible to the referring physician who can monitor and diagnose the patient without the need for physical presence near the patient.
Lack of standardisation; lack of global regulatory policies governing technology usage; low awareness levels among patients and issues surrounding security of patient data also contribute to delay in adoption lifecycle.
According to medical and health experts, there will be a continuous growing demand for these technologies. This is mainly attributed to the aging population and the elderly people. Since the elderly population is more prone to chronic diseases and ailments they are in dire need of an effective home health monitoring system as compared to being admitted in institutions which can be very expensive.