Case Study: Remote Patient Care Applied to Home Health Care.
We recently visited a 81 year old Home Health Care patient who had previously lost her husband. She was receiving 3 x 4 hour blocks of home health care each day, but was still feeling anxious.
During the late afternoon, and sometimes in the middle of the night, "Mary" would become disoriented, anxious, and quite distressed. This is quite common for folks on the lighter end of the Dementia spectrum.
She was still able to function, and would call relatives, when these panic attacks occurred. But everyone was becoming more concerned, and stressed by the situation. Both Mary and her relatives were considering her move into assisted care; even though this was not desired by Mary or her relatives.
Of course, there was the option of moving to 24 hour home health care, but Mary still liked to have some time to herself, so that option was not really viable.
Mary was able to use the phone, and other household appliances, like her smart TV, without too much trouble, so the idea of providing Remote Patient Monitoring was considered.
Mary was provided with a Tablet phone that allowed her to connect with a caregiver with the touch of an icon. With two way video connection Mary was able to receive the personal connection, and reassurance she needed whenever she became anxious. The caregiver was able to assess the situation, and if needed, connect Mary to a relative, also by video, if the situation required it.
In essence Mary was receiving 24 hour care, but had control over when she wanted the extra contact. Mary agreed that the caregiver could instigate a video call once a day, just to say Hi, and see if Mary needed anything.
Within a few days Mary had settled into her new routine and looked forward to catching up with her new 'friend' via video each day. The next step is to move to complete Remote Patient Monitoring, where blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep monitoring readings are automatically taken and passed on to the caregivers.
With this data it will be easier and quicker to assess needed changes to medication, and to monitor the health changes that Mary will undergo as she ages.