Home » Future of Healthcare » Technology that allows patient care to be managed at home

Sarah Jane O’Dwyer

CEO, HaloCare Group

The latest advanced sensor technology enables some patients to be cared for in their own homes. That’s better for them — and it frees up resources in the healthcare system.

It’s an interesting time to be working in healthcare technology — especially in Ireland, which has become a fertile ground for disruptive innovation in recent years. A great example of this is personalised care at home, says Sarah Jane O’Dwyer, CEO of HaloCare, a company which uses advanced contactless technology to enable people to live longer healthier lives in their own homes.

Meeting the needs of patients

HaloCare provide a holistic model of care supported through three pillars safety, social/wellness and clinical. They use state-of-the-art technology and clinical excellence to ensure they meet the needs of their clients or patients.

Before a client or patient is onboarded, a full assessment of their needs is performed by a multidisciplinary team. If a safety issue is identified, they can provide a network of digital sensors (such as fall, activity and door sensors), detectors (such as water and smoke detectors) and alarms can be unintrusive installed in their home. These are personalised to their requirements and connected to a state-of-the-art care hub.

The sensor technology is discreet, wireless and contactless so clients can just forget about it and go about their daily lives, in the knowledge that HaloCare is there in the background should there be an issue, this gives peace of mind to the client and their family,” explains O’Dwyer.

This technology will not replace a hospital setting, but it is a way to support hospitals and patients.

Personalised care based on respect and dignity

Patients are also able to connect with a member of the 24/7 care hub team via a voice-activated panel; and — depending on their dexterity — can be given an easy-to-use tablet with an age-friendly design to access video calls with the care specialists or with their clinicians. Meanwhile, family members or care givers can keep up to date with the patient’s progress — and be connected to them — via an app on their phone.

Now the technology is beginning to move into the clinical space to enable remote patient monitoring. “Depending on the medical procedure a patient would normally recover in a hospital until the clinical team deem it safe for them to be discharged— now these patients can be discharged early and return to the comfort of their home- safe in the knowledge they are still receiving the same level of care had they stayed in the hospital” says O’Dwyer.

This type of patient-centred care in the community means that people will spend less time in hospital,” says O’Dwyer. “The use of this type of service will reduce their risk of exposure to hospital-acquired infections and able to spend more time in their own surroundings, where they are more comfortable. It’s care that gives them independence and dignity.”

A new and advanced way of delivering care

This support is better for patients, but it’s also a boon for the healthcare system. “If more patients were treated at home, it would free up hospital beds for those who most desperately need acute treatment,” says O’Dwyer. “That would make the acute setting more efficient. This technology will not replace a hospital setting, but it is a way to support hospitals and patients.”

O’Dwyer believes that holistic virtual care using innovative disruptive technology and clinical excellence is the future. “People are more tech savvy and want to be in control of their health and to be able to receive the same level of care at home rather than in a hospital will create a measurable impact in the lives of people and improve outcomes for the better.”

Over the last two years COVID-19 has created delays in treating patients especially with chronic conditions, we now need a new way of treating people and a new way of delivering care.

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