Direct Care and the Internet of Things (IoT)

May 31, 2017 11:10 am Published by

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the whole category of web-connected devices, from fitness trackers to toasters. Wearable devices in health care promise to change the industry. What does that mean for direct care workers?

More Long-Term In-Home Care

Wearable IoT devices can monitor patients with chronic diseases and conditions. That means it will be possible for some patients to live safely in their homes, instead of in a facility with medical staff. For example, a person living at home with diabetes might wear a glucose monitoring device. In this way, smart technologies can reduce the incidence of emergencies, hospital stays and doctor visits.

By collecting and sending data to medical staff, IoT devices already improve quality of care while reducing costs in hospitals and long-term care facilities. These same devices empower patients to live at home, monitoring their own conditions without guesswork. At the same time, telehealth technology allows patients to communicate directly with doctors, nurses and other medical professionals without having to leave the house. All of this could lead to more patients seeking in-home services.

Smart Technology Helping Caregivers

Wearables and other IoT devices improve quality of care even for non-medical care professionals:

  • Fall alerts immediately contact emergency responders and caregivers when the device detects a fall.
  • Medication reminders coupled with monitoring enable patients to take preventative medicine when needed and make it easier to remember regular doses.
  • Big data allows care professionals and patients to check interactions between medications, supplements, foods and drinks. Devices can alert patients and caregivers of potential issues.
  • GPS tracking and electronic visit verification keep agencies and workers in compliance while protecting the people in their care from fraud and abuse.

Direct Care Innovations

As health care IoT devices become more affordable and reliable, direct care workers can expect to see more of them. Agencies should plan to integrate technological training for caregivers and administrative staff.

DCI software caters to direct care administrators. Our modules save agencies and service providers time and money, which can then be better spent focusing on quality of care and giving back to our caregivers.

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