The shift towards health technologies that are designed to improve patient care is happening in many fields of medicine. We have seen this happen with disease management, remote monitoring, and virtual consultations. The same trend has been happening in the area of care.
This month we introduce Pair My Care, our new service to alleviate struggles in the Care market. Aimed at both service providers and users, it is an online platform that puts the control around how care is given and received directly into the hands of users.
For service providers, recruiting and retaining skilled carers has long been a challenge. Quite often, care workers feel undervalued. They are offered little flexibility, unsustainably low rates of pay and are perceived as low or un-skilled workers.
Those seeking care often have difficulty in finding care that’s absolutely right for them. They have little or no choice in selecting a carer they can develop a good relationship with. This can make them feel invisible, and as though their voice isn't being heard. Having an unsuitable carer in their own home can make them very uncomfortable and even negate the benefit of having help. Poor quality of care can impact quality of life.
For people who have never needed care outside of their immediate circle of family and friends, the question ‘how to find a home carer’ might feel bewildering. There are so many factors to consider, and many will depend on the type of care that is wanted or needed. What is the job of a carer? It is not a mechanical or functional role. Quality of care is delivered at an emotional level and is an incredibly personal choice.
Pair My Care offers a scaleable, online marketplace that will overcome and revolutionise both current care challenges. It aims to allow both care workers and care receivers to be fully in control of the care they give and for care workers to be fairly remunerated.
Recent statistics have revealed the shocking truth about how poorly some adult carers are paid. For example, in the North West of England, the lowest rate of pay for care workers is £8.85 per hour, with 71% of care workers paid below the real living wage.*
Pair My Care is designed to redress the balance, by allowing care workers to set their own hourly rate. Care workers are given help with platform onboarding, end of year accounting, and they’re paid promptly and fairly on completing their work.
Health technology is defined by the World Health Organization as the "application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures, and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives". In other words, where there is tech solution to a process previously delivered solely ‘in person’.
We are proud to have the knowledge, skills and experience to introduce a solution to current challenges within health care via a simple-to-use app, that will provide a way for care workers to be matched with those who are looking for care, to the benefit of both parties.
Here we take a look at four existing health technologies that drastically improve patient care: mobile applications and data, wearable devices, care companionship and video conferencing systems.
Mobile technologies are being used in medical education to make it easier for learners to access important course materials, support skills training and assessment with simulation tools, and connect with their global peers.
Furthermore, technologies like mobile technologies and mHealth can improve medical care. This includes access to health information and records, monitoring of chronic disease, medication reminders, and more.
Wearable technologies are becoming more prominent within the healthcare industry. They monitor patient vital signs such as heart rate or blood pressure, track movements like sleep patterns or exercise, and perform many other important tasks.
The technologies that are used through wearable devices can provide valuable data to healthcare professionals which will allow them to improve the patient care they provide. This could help prevent hospital admission, lead to faster recovery times for patients, or avoid costly procedures down the road.
Technologies have been developed that allow an elderly person living alone at home with chronic conditions the ability to communicate with a medical professional in case of an emergency or injury. Other technologies like smart watches (Pebble Watch ) send out alerts in cases where the user does not push a button every 15 minutes.
Other technologies take a different approach and keep caregivers in the loop without invading their privacy. This allows them to continue with their daily routines while also making sure that care is being provided for their loved ones. The technologies range from wearable technologies like smart watches, wrist bands (Withings Watch ), bracelets (LIBR ) and even belts. These technologies help monitor vital signs, sleep patterns, steps taken and more using data collected through sensors within the technologies themselves or remotely through WiFi or Bluetooth signals. Care companionship technologies can be highly beneficial to patients and lead to better health outcomes in the long run due to increased patient compliance when it comes to following professional advice or taking prescribed medication regularly.
One of the technologies in healthcare that has been under-utilized is video conferencing technologies. These technologies are already being used within many different industries, but not within patient care just yet.
Video conferencing is an integral part of telemedicine, which allows patients to receive specialised clinical services from a doctor or other specialist without having to physically be there in person. This has significant potential for making health care more accessible and affordable to the general public. One such company looking to support with this is Kraydel, Easy two-way video-calling through your own TV, combined with one of the broadest health and well-being monitoring platforms.
Health Tech is experiencing a revolution like never before thanks to the demands of the global pandemic. Diverse audiences are becoming more comfortable with trusting medical professionals to deliver care facilitated by tech solutions. Equitable access to reliable devices and broadband is of paramount importance, as is education, to alleviate the digital divide. The future of care is definitely not robots, but there is no future of care without data - and people.