The Changes in Healthcare
Aging Matters

The health and aging care face new changes and today, providers live by the mantra, the "four R's" to innovation: The right care at the right place at the right time at the right cost.

Due to longevity and the growing costs of medical care, the two industries need disruption more than any other--health and aging care. According to the Senior Housing News, "significant changes are announced almost daily, from policy proposals and technology breakthroughs to new drugs and innovative treatments."

Experts in the industry agree that in order to transform care, decision-makers must shift away from traditional modes. The past norm was to build bigger hospitals, adding more infrastructure and traditional responses. But what it needs most is innovation that focuses on improving outcomes and overall health. We cannot count on out of date solutions, but instead, rely on new ways to drive transformation.

Like the technology I wear to measure activities, sleep patterns, calories burned, heart rate, the more advanced wearable devices may enable seniors to live at home longer. With high hopes to shift more power to the consumer and away from the facilities. What we need, especially for older patients, is to provide care in a more desirable setting, like home.

For example, more physicians are making home visits (again.) By transforming the traditional of medical delivery, they will meet the changing wants and needs of the patient. And that is the result all care providers want to see, a happier, healthier patient.

Plus, new breakthroughs in technology evolves. What we'll experience soon are wearable devices that transmit important information to healthcare providers. Doctors increasingly communicate with patients online using Skype or Zoom. So, a senior living at home will wear a digital watch that monitors the heart rate and other vital signs to detect problems before it happens.

Then there are Smart Stethoscopes and Thermometers that lets doctors check vitals from the Cloud. The digital device to tracks the body's temperature and heart rate and sends a history of the recordings to an on-demand physician.

"These kinds of digital tech products will improve patient outcomes and change the entire healthcare value chain. With better monitoring, at-risk patients may be able to live at home longer. With faster intervention when an episode occurs, they may be able to avoid an intensive care unit admission and instead receive treatment in a skilled-nursing facility, assisted-living facility instead, or even at home. Breakthroughs such as this will transform healthcare infrastructure as we know it," says Senior Housing News.

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Carol Marak, aging advocate, She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.

Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

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