Science and technology have improved every aspect of American life and continue to do so. Hospitals and medical treatments are no exception to this continuing improvement with advanced, life-saving technologies. These include MRI scanners and innovative new treatments like stem cell therapy that continue to push the boundaries on what were formally untreatable conditions. Now the hospital experience itself is changing.
Advances in data collection, transmission, and remote operations are looking to change the way people get hospital attention. The “virtual hospital” concept is a new way of letting people who need hospital treatment get the best of both worlds by receiving the monitoring and consultation they need at home.
A Return To House Calls
Virtual hospitals are for qualifying patients who are not admitted for a full stay at the hospital, but instead remain in the familiar surroundings of home. Medically Home Group is at the vanguard of this new style of treatment, with advanced telemonitoring systems that provide both communication and constant biometric data. This is reinforced with scheduled visits from qualified professional medical staff including a primary physician. Caregivers at home are also provided with guidelines for treatment, the dosage of medicine, or other relevant, day-to-day information.
A study that was conducted at the Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois in 2010, tested the theory of virtual hospitals. 50 patients took part to measure the safety and effectiveness of the virtual hospital concept that the Medically Home Program is based on. Over the course of 34 days, the patients, all with different conditions such as pneumonia, had their homes outfitted with virtual hospital equipment. Their home caregivers were given additional instruction and medicine/equipment if required, and regular visits were scheduled with healthcare professionals.
The results of this study showed that not only were patients happier with receiving treatment in familiar surroundings but there was a statistically significant decrease in the amount of serious hospitalization required. The constant monitoring of medical data at home, combined with regular treatments, and communication with medical professionals both through video consultations and actual visits, ensured a higher percentage of patients safely recovered without needing further intensive hospitalization.