Home Telecare, Medical Implant, and Mobile Technology: Evolutions in Geriatric Care

Home Telecare, Medical Implant, and Mobile Technology: Evolutions in Geriatric Care

Vishaya Naidoo (York University, Canada) and Yedishtra Naidoo (Wayne State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4321-5.ch013
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Abstract

With a rapidly expanding global aging population, alternatives must be developed to minimize the inevitable increase in acute and long-term care admissions to the health care system. This chapter explores the use of home telecare as an alternative medical approach to managing this growing trend, while also providing superior care to geriatric patients. To address some of the emergent disadvantages of home telecare concerning usability, self-management, and confinement to the home, the use of a cardiac implant in conjunction with a mobile device—to assist in the management of chronic heart failure in seniors—is proposed as a promising technological solution to overcoming these limitations. Ultimately, it seems that the growth of home telecare, as well as the great potential to enhance its services with the use of mobile wireless technology, stands to drastically improve clinical decision-making and management of health services in the future.
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Background

Telemedicine refers to the delivery of medical care—and the sharing of health knowledge—from a distance with the use of telecommunication devices, the Internet, and various monitoring technologies (Allen & March, 2002; Hersh et al., 2002). Home telecare operates on the same premise, allowing health care practitioners to manage and treat patients in their homes from a remote location (Celler et al., 2003; Coughlin et al., 2006). Services encompass a wide array of technologies, including “virtual visiting, reminder systems, home security, and social alarm systems,” all of which support the larger goal of home telecare: to manage the care of geriatric patients where they live, and avoid lengthy stays in hospitals or nursing homes (Magnusson, 2004, pp. 224-225). It is a method of health care delivery that addresses many of the existing gaps and weaknesses in the current primary health care system, by providing a higher level of monitoring and medical consultation for patients in their everyday lives. The services provided by this branch of telemedicine are meant to increase convenience for patients, their families, and practitioners, where a higher level of patient autonomy and independence is supported, while also enhancing clinical management and decision-making.

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