Home healthcare technology is due for some exciting changes in 2020. Technology that has already made inroads into other industries will influence the home healthcare market in different ways. These are the trends for 2020, the technology that will shape how the home healthcare industry balances between the competing needs of patients, providers, insurers, and more.
Home Healthcare Trends
In 2019, the major concepts and trends in home healthcare were patient communications, access to care, and satisfaction. In 2020, we’ll see a shift from these concepts to the overall patient experience. Technology will play an essential role in the overall patient experience. The emerging trends for 2020 support this idea.
Home Healthcare Technology Trends: 5 Trends for 2020
The five top trends in home healthcare technology for 2020 are:
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Remote monitoring tools
#1. Artificial intelligence (AI) in the healthcare field – predictive scheduling
Artificial intelligence is the “next big thing” in the realm of technology. It’s taken almost all industries by storm, and home healthcare is the latest to embrace AI. The newest technology trends find AI embedded in scheduling software. The result? Predictive scheduling that can help home healthcare agencies juggle the complex scheduling requirements the business demands.
AI-based systems are good at processing large amounts of data quickly and discovering trends and patterns in them. They can then conclude and make inferences about behavior based on such patterns. Predictive scheduling technology uses data from past visits to predict future needs.
Is it perfect? No, but it can enhance a home healthcare business’ efficiency so that less time is spent manually reviewing scheduling preferences and figuring out who to send where on a daily basis. Instead, the system reviews patient scheduling requirements as well as available staff and their skills and matches staff to patients. The result shaves a great deal of time off of the usual management chores.
#2 Telehealth services
Telehealth is another technology trend sweeping the healthcare world by storm, and home healthcare agencies will find that adding telehealth services to the suite of services they offer provides patients with added support. Most patients needing home healthcare services have a computer with an internet connection, the minimum required for a telehealth visit. Medicare also reimburses for telehealth visits.
For patients with chronic illness, a telehealth visit with a nurse practitioner or registered nurse may be all they need to check-in and ensure that all is well. Adding telehealth can save the cost of a home visit, the mileage charges, and more, providing your agency with another helpful and lucrative service.
Combined with other technologies in our list, such as sensors in diagnostic and medical devices, telehealth promises to save on the cost of home care visits while providing patients with expert guidance and help.
#3 Remote monitoring tools linked to home health agencies
Remote monitoring tools use technology to monitor vital signs and other important health information. They can then send the data back to the home health agency, the doctor’s office, or another designated recipient. Monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, glucose, and more can help the home healthcare agency provide better service while improving patient satisfaction. Patients don’t have to do much to comply with remote monitoring tools, and healthcare agencies can step in and send an aide, nurse, or other professional to the home if the monitoring devices show an anomaly. Remote monitoring devices enhance patient satisfaction by providing a less intrusive form of ensuring vital signs are taken.
#4 GPS tracking for patients
GPS tracking is common in vehicles, but it’s moving to the realm of home healthcare through the use of GPS devices worn by patients. These are especially useful for patients with dementia who may wander away from their homes. The GPS signal can alert caregivers, home health agencies, and family members when a patient leaves home. They can then be easily found through the GPS signal and returned home.
Another use for GPS tracking is through call buttons similar to emergency calling systems that provide a signal when a button is pushed on a pendant, bracelet, or wall unit. These units can call emergency personnel, fire, or rescue services to the home if a patient falls, for example, or has a medical emergency. What the newer GPS devices can do is call for help, even if a patient is away from home. The device can help emergency services pinpoint the closest rescue service and dispatch it promptly to the patient.
Such devices and connection to global positioning satellites can mean life or death in the event of a major medical incident such as a heart attack. GPS devices can be suggested by home healthcare agencies to help patients receive quick services in the event of an emergency.
#5 Sensors: recommended by home healthcare agencies
Many home healthcare agencies use or recommend the use of sensors. These devices are placed around a patient’s home to alert to any unusual activity. Sensors on doors and windows can alert the agency if a patient strays too far from home; sensors on major appliances such as stoves can prevent fires by signaling the agency of an impending problem.
The use of sensors as part of a comprehensive home healthcare technology approach to patient treatment and care is expected to grow. Sensors that connect to remote devices and apps or as part of an overall smart home may also be part of the growing wave of technology in home healthcare.
As the concept of “aging in place” continues to grow, we’ll see higher demand for home sensors and connecting them to home healthcare agencies. The combination of sensors and skilled home healthcare professionals monitoring an aging person’s home will give both the residents and their families greater peace of mind.
Home Healthcare Accounting and Operations Software
As your agency grows, you’ll need home healthcare accounting and operations software. Such software also incorporates the technology trends we’ve seen for 2020, including the use of predictive software, AI, and data and analytics.
In accounting home healthcare technology, for example, AI-powered predictive programs can predict when you’ll want to run schedules or when bills should be sent out. They may use past data to schedule reminders or prompt you to review tasks.
Cloud-based systems will reign supreme in 2020 and beyond. Greater security, enhanced connectivity through 5G networks, and improved reception throughout the country will ensure that home healthcare agencies can connect easily and quickly to the cloud. Cloud software enables all the technology trends discussed here—sensors, GPS, AI, telemedicine, remote monitoring, and more—to combine in new ways to improve the ability of caregivers and home healthcare agencies to receive a comprehensive picture of their patients and address their needs promptly.
The right accounting and operations software for home healthcare agencies can provide instant clarity on the agency’s financial situation. Real-time data flowing from all points of the agency into a central cloud-based system ensures that management has accurate and timely information for making better decisions.
The Future in Home Healthcare Technology – From Mindover Software
The future of home healthcare technology continues to evolve. But, the more things change, the more one thing remains the same: the need for a partner to guide you through technology selection, implementation, and support.
Mindover Software provides all that and more. We’re experts on home healthcare technology and can help you find the right system to meet your needs. For more information, contact us or call 512-990-3994.