Over the last decade, there has been a significant rise in the cost of hospital care. As more of society ages and lives longer and technology increases, it also raises the cost of care. This has, in turn, led to a movement where medical facilities are looking for ways to reduce the amount of time spent on an average hospital stay. Here we will take a look at applications for medical wearable devices that are helping to reduce the length of stay the average patient has in a hospital.
Patients Now Require More Monitoring At Home Because They're Being Released Earlier From The Hospital
The newest trend with hospitals is to release patients while they're still relatively sick compared to when they were previously released. This means that they need to be more closely monitored while at home then they did before. More of society is living longer and yet much of that society is unable to pay for sustained medical care at a hospital or other facility. The burden on the government to cover these costs is exceeding what is available.
If an elderly person lives alone or spends a great deal of their time during the day alone then they will need constant monitoring for their own safety. Advancements in technology have allowed many devices to be miniaturized and their power reduced which has increased their availability for use at home. Even our own cell phones have become so powerful they have many different applications for monitoring certain vitals.
Implants can be used to monitor diseases and other health conditions and that data can be remotely transferred to a medical center. Information can then be relayed to the patient that allows them to know exactly what action they should take in any given situation. If the patient is experiencing high levels of blood sugar then they may be directed to take an insulin shot.
Patients With Heart Conditions Can Be Closely Monitored
Heart disease and various other heart conditions are one of the major issues of the elderly the new technology can monitor so the person's heart rate and blood pressure and other factors can be managed 24 hours a day. The use of an event recorder can record information intermittently or on a continuous loop to provide needed details. In some cases, however, these types of monitors can miss arrhythmias that are significant. New technology can more effectively monitor important events like arrhythmias and that information can be automatically transmitted to a center that can then relay that information to the patient's physician.
If someone is suffering from sudden or unexplained fainting then they can be more closely monitored over a longer period of time. A monitor can be implanted under the patient's skin that can be used over the long term and eliminates pads and wiring that are less effective. The implant will constantly monitor the heart and relay any important events while maintaining only a few minutes of recording at any one time. If the patient received an indication that some event has occurred they can use a handheld device to capture the event either during or after it has happened.
The use of different types of monitors often involves significant management and user compliance. The cost often makes it prohibitive and an elderly person may not consistently comply with the necessary requirements of those older types of monitors. It is now possible to embed a medical tattoo that has stretchable electronic sensors that can twist and bend and even wrinkle while maintaining its ability to monitor the patient. These tiny electronics are even thinner than a human hair and they are irritation free and they can be used to monitor muscles, the brain, and the heart.
These medical tattoos can detect sleep disorders, arrhythmias, and even activities related to premature babies. These devices can be powered with solar cells and a battery is currently in the works so that these devices always have a source of power. It is even believed that these devices will one day be able to monitor chemical changes in the skin.
Patients With Parkinson's Can Now Be Monitored For Changes Between Doses They Take
The symptoms that patients suffer from can vary greatly between the times they take their medication during the day. The neurologist will typically examine a patient while they're on their medication because the patient needed to take their meds so that they were able to go to the doctor's appointment. This means that the doctor is unable to examine the patient in between they're taking medicine and this can mean the doctor misses certain important factors.
Harvard is now leading the way in developing a medical monitor for these patients that helps doctors understand the severity of symptoms these patients have in between taking their medicine. This technology has already been able to successfully detect the level of trimmers suffered by these patients which better allowed the neurologist to make new assessments. It is believed that this same technology will eventually be able to play a major role in monitoring survivors of a stroke as well as those with seizures and epilepsy.
Depending on the medical condition the patient has, this technology will monitor and report differently. The data it collects will be specifically related to the condition of the patient and the information may be transmitted differently as well. Even so, it will likely all stem from the basic technology that is currently being developed.
It Is Believed The New Wearable Medical Devices Will Improve Patient Compliance
For many years one of the biggest problems with the technology available to monitor patients at home was the failure of those patients to comply. It often required the patient's to be connected to monitoring pads that had wires that ran to monitoring machines and this was either cumbersome or uncomfortable for the patient. This meant that the patient would often either forget or choose to not comply and use the equipment.
By having these Rd medical products wearable devices and implantable devices it greatly improves compliance. Because the patients have these medical devices on their bodies, the devices will work as they are designed to and compliance will be automatic. It is highly likely that that will greatly improve Emergency Services ability to get to a patient in a time of need and to reduce undue incidence.