High tech only works if high touch exists in the first place.
With mobile devices evolving rapidly, they have become a vital tool helping family caregivers provide care to a love one. For example, smartphones are now being used by professionals and family caregivers alike to help improve the monitoring of seniors to ensure they are safe. In this article, we highlight how mobile devices are and will continue to reshape the current e-care services and how it will help drive future of e-care services.
Mobile devices supported by the Government
In the United Kingdom mobile companies, network providers, and government agencies are working closely in providing eHealth assistance to professionals to improve patient care. An example of this is the campaign by the U.K. O2 and the National Health Services (NHS) wherein they offer health organizations a unified communication platform where they can simplify their processes. The platform also aids in improving internal and external communications of personnel and patients, and improves the cost of technological and electronic bills of the public and private sectors. In terms of long term care facilities, social workers, nurses, clinicians, and doctors will be equipped with mobile devices that allow them to connect with their patients in real-time, giving patients, even those residing in faraway places, immediate medical assistance from professionals via voice or video calls. This is a big improvement that is highly necessary to revolutionize the current health care sector.
In the U.S., even today among major medical organizations, patients are required to send medical records via FAX or U.S. mail. Email is not an option even though HIPPA guidelines specifically provide for it. FAX and the USPS is much more prone to data breach than email sent via servers with 128 SSL encryption technology (a standard).
What is needed from mobile devices?
Although there is a wide selection of mobile devices on the market, not all cellphones can be effective in this process. It requires powerful smartphones in order to competently run app, make and receive video calls clearly, and access files necessary to assist patients immediately. There are smartphones that can process requests faster, similar to a PC, such as the iPhone which sports a large screen and powerful 64-bit processing power that is energy-efficient, even when running multiple apps at the same time. With the handset, social workers and clinicians will be able to upload files without any lag. It also comes with Apple Pay, which allows a person to make purchases online or pay at many drug stores using their smartphones.
Benefits of smartphones in family caregiving
Many families are spread out and may not live near a loved one. That’s why certain apps and web portals can provide a central location for a caregiver (and other family members) to provide and view the care that a loved one is getting. There are also new services to audit the care a loved one is getting at home or in a facility. This data is presented via a secure web portal for family members. In this way, they know the status of care a loved one is receiving.
(This article by TechCares originally appeared on the Caregiving Partnership blog.)
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.