I welcome the trend for more home health care devices. However, one very big concern that needs to be addressed is incorporating proper human factors design into these home healthcare devices. As home healtcare products become more and more feature-rich, the opportunity for a newly-trained user to mis-use the device at home becomes even greater (especially when the user-patient may be older and may become easily confused). Thorough human factors and user failure mode analysis will especially be needed as these medical devices become more available in the home.
So true--so true Rob. Excellent post. My wife and I are caring for our parents, 94 and 91 years of age and there are many times we wish we could "log in" to see their condition while we are away. The connectivity that could be and possibly will be afforded a care-giver certainly would be a great convenience. Hopefully work to develop these systems will continue and improve as the need becomes greater. I also can certainly agree that depending upon the problem, a hospital is the worst place for recovery. Both of our parents contracted colds and viruses during hospital visits after falling. Again, great post. Very informative.
I definitely agree, tekochip. Hospitals are not a great place to get rest, and they can sometimes make you sicker. In the past five years, I've had two close, aging relatives die of "hospital pneumonia," which is apparently a well-known phenomenon. Both went into the hospital with an illness, contracted bacterial pneumonia during their stays, and passed away from the bacterial pneumonia. Don't get me wrong -- hospital care is vitally important, but it has its dangers.
Thanks GTOlover. These developments could reduce health costs while improving care. As an example, a friend of mine contracted MRSA while in the hospital during a stay for an operation. Getting MRSA in the hospital is a common development. So they admitted him in his home, using home health devices to monitor him. They sent a nurse daily and a doctor every other day. He had the comfort (and infection free) benefit of being home. The healthcare staff was able to monitor him just as if he were in a room down the hall. Needless to say, the cost of his care was far lower than a hospital stay.
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