The Medically Home Program is a virtual hospital model that brings the hospital to the patient, in the comfort of their own home, when they need it. This virtual hospital allows eligible patients to recover or receive treatment in the familiar surroundings of home, rather than suffering through an expensive, extended stay at the hospital.
However, digital health and a more focused, patient-centric approach don’t have to limit themselves only to when people require hospital treatment. There is plenty of opportunity for digital health to improve people’s lives and even prevent a hospitalization. The continuing innovations in the “Smart Home” sector are an example of this.
What Is A Smart Home?
The smart home refers to items and appliances in the home that are built with added technology and connectivity. This allows for extra functionality, including internet connected smart refrigerators with cameras that allow homeowners to see if they need more milk. Or thermostats that can detect the presence of people in a room, and adjust climate control accordingly.
Today many people believe smart homes will play an important role in helping senior citizens to remain in their homes longer. It’s a new paradigm in the perception of homeownership now referred to as “Homes As A Service.”
Virtual Hospital – Taking On The Burden
By incorporating new smart home with telemedicine and digital health, many experts are optimistic that HaaS can alleviate some of the tasks that seniors may have difficulties with as they grow older, allowing them to stay in their own home. While robot lawn mowers are an obvious example, there are more subtle ways that HaaS can help extend a senior’s stay in the home.
Monitoring health, through smart home/digital health devices, can provide medical professionals with the data they need without requiring a senior to leave home. Safety precautions such as movement/fall monitors in the home can track senior mobility so that once changes in gait/walking arise, a notification can be sent out.
Of course, this kind of home improvement is very new and opens up major questions about finance and economic necessity. HaaS will bring additional expenses to bear, like subscriptions to these monitoring services and there are other questions that will need to be answered before large scale integration becomes the norm. Done properly, however, this can greatly extend the time a senior can live in a chosen home, improving health, and saving money.