Technology is constantly changing our everyday lives and the area of patient care is no exception. By augmenting the existing healthcare delivery models with technology, healthcare providers and nursing staff can mitigate the burden on the existing healthcare system while bringing in efficiency into the process.
The growing aging population and shortage of qualified healthcare professionals can lead to a gap that novel, innovative, intelligent and connected patient care technologies have the potential to fill.
According to recent statistics, technology-driven innovation has the power to improve the understanding of patients, enable the delivery of more convenient, individualized care and create $350 billion–$410 billion in annual value by 2025.
Here are 7 patient care technologies with the potential to transform the healthcare delivery landscape in the years to come.
1. Smart beds
Hospital beds have evolved from being a formerly rudimentary piece of hospital infrastructure into technologically advanced pieces of hospital equipment specializing in patient care. This technology can help the nursing staff and patient care teams have real time insights about patient’s movements, weight and other vitals.
Smart medical beds are increasingly proving themselves to be integrated solutions for patient care, monitoring and assistance. Integrated with features such as bed exit alarms, smart beds alert the nurses when a patient moves to get out of the bed, reducing the risks of patient falls and increasing patient safety.
Smart beds also reduce the time and efforts nurses spend in order to manually reposition bedridden patients for preventing bedsores. With mobility options like elevation, front-back and lateral inclination, smart hospital beds can be programmed to periodically reposition patients, enhancing patient care and preventing bedsores.
State of the art medical beds with aesthetic and design customization options and intuitive controls are not only increasing the patient safety and comfort, by automating routine tasks, they are also proving to be instrumental in improving the efficiency of the hospital staff.
2. Automated check-ins
Waiting rooms and hospital reception are stressful areas for patients and their caregivers. Not only do they contribute towards negative patient experiences, time spent filling out forms manually can also delay the care delivery, impacting the overall health outcomes.
Self check-in kiosks can improve the patient experience by reducing wait times, improving data collection, and streamlining verification of ID and health insurance. Hospitals are also integrating novel innovations such as wayfinding apps within their workflow that allows the patients and attendants to navigate through the hospital premises effortlessly.
Use of technology in workflows to streamline admissions have proven to cut down on the wait times, contribute to positive hospital experiences and facilitate better patient care.
3. Patient information portals
Democratizing patient information and making it accessible to the patients themselves can ramp up the levels of patient engagement in their own treatment.
Higher patient participation levels directly result in better health outcomes and patient information portals can directly contribute to enhanced health outcomes.
The patient information portals that your hospital implements needs to be easy-to-use, enhance patient-care management, coordinate multidisciplinary patient care, and facilitate provision of timely patient-care status information and communication.
It also needs to give the patient and caregivers direct access to information regarding the facility, plan of care, diagnosis, illness, procedures, treatments, medications, diet, activity, and required interventions after discharge.
Virtual healthcare consultations empower patients to seek care from the comfort of their own homes. This adds an element of unparalleled flexibility and convenience for both, the patients as well as the healthcare providers. While telemedicine had been around for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed it to the forefront like never before.
As more and more private practitioners and hospitals move towards developing a telemedicine app, the pivotal role that virtual care technologies play in streamlining healthcare delivery has been brought into the spotlight.
Telemedicine consultations enhance the health care delivery process by offering the patient and family a variety of information resources like consultations with the multidisciplinary health care team and specialists, ongoing patient education efforts and streamlining care.
Telehealth isn’t just limited to routine consultations or follow-up visits. Combination of telemedicine with internet of things technology and remote patient monitoring is facilitating care of chronic conditions and helping healthcare providers and nursing staff to provide specialized care from the comfort of the patient’s home.
5. Wearable devices
Healthcare mobile apps and wearable devices are transforming the healthcare industry and giving patient’s health data into their own hands.
In addition to the personal health wearables that let individuals track their vitals, heart rate, respiration, pulse, sleep cycle and more, healthcare wearable devices are increasingly being used in the hospital care setup as well.
For example, Spire, a wearable health tag measures patients’ breath rate, heart rate, sleep, and movement, and transmits this data to a clinician-monitored dashboard or a smartphone. The software then employs artificial intelligence algorithms to detect the underlying data patterns that may act as early warning signs of potential illness.
Wearable devices can prove to be instrumental in management of chronic conditions like congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They can also help with virtual delivery of care through technology like remote patient monitoring.
This can not only reduce the burden on the existing healthcare facilities, but it can also augment the level of care that the patients receive by leveraging technology.
6. Bedside infotainment units
Use of virtual and augmented reality for creating a multisensory experience while in the hospital settings has shown to be effective in improving patient outcomes.
In addition to bedside infotainment units aimed at improving the patient experience, technology serves as a distraction from pain and discomfort.
Infotainment units can deliver educational resources to the patients in an easy to understand format. Customized patient education content can keep patients up-to-date in their own treatment regimen while creating more free time for the nurses and doctors to cater to the needs of other patients.
Virtual reality can also help transport patients to a digital experience that can help them destress from being in the hospital environment. This adds another dimension of care augmented through technology which also helps drive positive patient outcomes.
7. Electronic health records
EHRs eliminate the need of time consuming paper filing of documents. The shift from paper-based charting to use of electronic medical records makes it easier to access information in real time and helps to reduce potential errors.
It makes it easier for the patient information to be input in a centralized and secure data repository which can then be accessed by the care team.
Real-time health information updates can help the nurses and doctors to improve the accuracy and speed of medical care delivered. Making patient data accessible remotely through secure cloud servers can also streamline access to specialists and ensure best patient care is delivered.
Thinking of integrating innovative patient care technologies within your care delivery workflow? Talking to the experts in the field may be just what you need.
With more than 11 years of experience in the field of healthcare software development, the team at Arkenea are pioneers in healthcare innovation. Get in touch with our team of healthcare development consultant and start your tech innovation journey on the right foot.