The NHS – the UK’s public National Health Service – is finding new ways to help make healthcare for the elderly more efficient. As well, devices used for this purpose are much more cost effective. The issue is, to create these devices and put them in homes, requires funding. Apparently there is a gap in the money needed of £485m (almost $750m) that was lacking from the NHS’s first quarter of 2015/6 budget.
Since many seniors fall into the category of individuals with chronic illnesses which necessitate long term medication and frequent medical check ups, what would be more efficient, is home-owned devices to take over this role. Indeed, according to Andrew Carle, executive-in-residence at the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University more than half of all 85+ year olds fall each year.
A lot already has been done in a similar area, whereby the elderly can be monitored or get immediate help. These include: the Medical Guardian Medical Alert Systems, the LifeFone Personal Response Service, the Bay Alarm Medical Alert System and more.
One possible solution is being proposed by the Healthcare Informatics, Solutions and Services (HISS) division which seems to “equip patients with the tools and technologies they need to self-manage and monitor their healthcare at home,” as this will come a long way in reducing the amount of visits patients make to hospitals and medical centers and thus decrease the burden on these institutions.
Right now the aim is to find a way to monitor people in their homes not just intensive care units, but with chronic diseases. Some devices for example can track changes in an individual’s gait which could indicate individuals at risk of a fall or a stroke. But again, the funds are lacking.
For now there are monitoring devices for the home but it seems that there is still a long way to go.