It makes no sense for senior housing operators and front-line caregivers simply to wait on the sidelines until something goes wrong. Heart attacks, strokes and a host of other potential negative health events can be anticipated and even prevented with the judicious use of technology, especially remote monitoring.
Take for instance the issue of chronic disease. Eighty percent of America’s seniors live with at least one such condition, which left unchecked can result in serious medical situations. Passive remote monitoring can play a vital role in the management of chronic disease by keeping automated watch over a range of health and wellness indicators related to things such as heart disease. Preventive alerts notify staff to ensure residents receive appropriate attention, even before a serious episode occurs.
Remote monitoring means more than just deploying sensors to track vital signs, although that is a big part of the technology. Passive remote monitoring also incorporates artificial intelligence – smart software that learns population health patterns over time, as well as an individual resident’s. When these patterns begin to deviate, the system alerts caregivers, creating an opportunity to take preventative action.
Value of Preventative Care
The value of this preventative care becomes especially clear when one looks at the potential for reducing the risk of falls among the senior population. Falls are among the greatest risks to senior wellness, so the ability to take action to prevent such events can have significant positive impact.
Passive remote monitoring plays a key role in this equation. Sensors deployed in a resident’s space gather data quietly and constantly, measuring elements of functional mobility such as gait, stride length, walk speed and more.. Smart software then recognizes whenever someone begins to show signs of an elevated risk for a fall, alerting caregivers in time to take preventative action, and doing so with far superior accuracy to traditional fall risk assessments such as TUG tests..
The key here truly does come down to prevention. Traditionally, fall alert systems have served a valuable purpose in bringing caregivers to the scene in case of an incident. But remediation cannot hold a candle to prevention; care after the fact never has the value of an injury prevented. Any time an incident can be prevented through the use of passive remote monitoring, population health and wellness, as well as overall quality of life improves.
As senior housing executives and property-level directors become more familiar with the concept of passive health monitoring it is important to take a step back and understand the bigger picture. With the continuing shift to value-based healthcare that places a heavy emphasis on outcomes driving reimbursement and compensation, it is clear that “preventative care” will finally claim its rightful place as a more prominent notion in senior living. The ability for a senior living provider to demonstrate their ability to outperform their competitors in population health and minimizing hospital admits and re-admits will be crucial to their sustainability.
Passive monitoring plays a vital role in meeting this emerging demand. The ability to observe, record and interpret wellness data on an ongoing basis gives caregivers an unprecedented preventative capability. This ability in turn helps them to anticipate and ultimately prevent potentially negative health events, playing an even more prominent role in the healthcare continuum for seniors.
Can passive remote monitoring help with your efforts at preventive care while helping to ensure sustainability in a changing landscape? It’s a notion worth exploring.