As the social restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing nations to live online, Zoom meetings have become the staple of 2020 and 2021. With the increased online presence, supporting technological advances goes hand-in-hand with improving quality-of-life and standards of living.
In the realm of healthcare, technological advances offer a way to leverage patient data to improve care. For example, an alert to a physician can be done about a potential adverse reaction to a drug. Technology also contributes to improved patient-centered care by fostering communication between providers and patients via online portals, text messaging, and email correspondence. In an article in Fierce Healthcare titled, “Policies to support data liquidity: improving medication access”
The importance of improved healthcare interoperability and transparency is noted by better enabling the sharing of patient data. This improved sharing allows providers to have access to all data for a patient being treated which results in a more effective management and treatment plan for patients.
As the pandemic enforces strict social distancing measures, real-time information at the point of care can be critical to patients in understanding their options to afford, access, and adhere to their medication while reducing provider burdeni. Thus, improved data liquidity allows for more ways and choices for patients to own their computable health data and ultimately get help and advice. Proficient data liquidity allows providers and pharmacists to surface patient-specific, relevant health datai.
While policies can focus on the socioeconomic aspects including improving equitable access to care, greater data enables patients to better manage their care. Pushing healthcare towards greater data is supported by an article in CIO (Chief Information Officer) as enabling patients with access to their own medical information as a giant step towards improved health outcomesi . While there will be associated challenges including data management on cloud, and ensuring veracity of parties involved, the value-add of better data liquidity goes without question.
With the growing ageing population, there is an increased demand for caregivers, yet technology companies have been stepping up to fill this caregiver gap . Technology aids old persons to ‘age in place’ and helps ease the transition to old age by avoiding unnecessary visits to the emergencyii. Applications for medication adherence, and voice command can be particularly helpful for older personsii facing cognitive impairments. Technologies tailored to older persons must remain user-friendly, cost-effective, and simple enough to be easily learnt.
To learn more about technological advances supporting older persons, contact Dr. Ad van Berlo, Research and Development Manager at Smart Homes from the IFA Expert Centre. For any questions or ideas to contribute to the conversation on technological advances improving patient care, connect with Ms. Jun Wang (firstname.lastname@example.org), Special Projects Officer at the IFA.
i CIO. (2019). The great conundrum of data liquidity in healthcare. Retrieved from: https://www.cio.com/article/3346022/the-great-conundrum-of-data-liquidity-in-healthcare.html
ii Health care dive. (2017). How technologies can help the elderly age at home. Retrieved from: https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/how-technologies-can-help-the-elderly-age-at-home/436386/
Dr. Ad van Berlo R&D Manager
Ad van Berlo is both mechanical engineer (1980) and psychogerontologist (1997)