2023 brings a unique trend, a model of healthcare that was once fundamental during the 19th Century. The trend towards at-home care is becoming increasingly popular as technology improves, and people become more accustomed to managing their own health and wellness. Technology has allowed health institutions to remotely provide healthcare assistance, not just through videoconferencing, but with self-managed equipment and consumables. This trend is truly revolutionising the way we look at self-care and will allow people to become more independent and more self-aware.
Drivers of change
One of the main drivers of the trend towards at-home healthcare is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With the virus becoming endemic, restrictions have meant many people are hesitant to go to a doctor’s office or hospital, and this has become a way of life where daily occupations are increasingly managed in a remote way. This has the effect of reducing the burden on hospital facilities and clinics, which are already stretched thin due to the pandemic. The most important aspect to this comes from a hygiene and convenience perspective. Distance here overcomes healthcare risks and allows both staff and patients to operate in the environment most conducive to success.
Another driver for this change is the economic undertow that has caused significant labour market pressures. This is forcing innovation in healthcare employment models, resulting in the trend towards at-home care. A full model of this nature would negate the need for multiple consulting rooms and clinics and reduce overhead costs for facilities development also. This trend means that public funds will pour into home-based healthcare, especially considering the risks of healthcare consultancy during the current pandemic.
Another key factor in the growth of at-home healthcare is the increasing availability of remote monitoring devices. These devices, such as wearables and smart home devices, allow patients to track their vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure, and share the data with their healthcare providers. This can help to identify potential health issues early on and prevent them from becoming more serious.
At-home healthcare is also beneficial for those who live in rural or remote areas, as it allows them to receive medical care without having to travel long distances. This is particularly important for older adults and people with mobility issues.
This doesn’t come without its challenges, however. Despite the advance in technology, there are many human factors that could contribute to its downfall. One of the main challenges towards true home based care has been the ability to physically monitor the patient, and especially to take samples. This is being overcome with the ability for people to take their own samples with innovative collection kits that aim to eliminate user error. This means that diagnoses can be taken in comfort and privacy.
In conclusion, the trend towards at-home healthcare is expected to continue growing in 2023 as technology improves and people become more comfortable with managing their own health. At-home healthcare provides a safer alternative to traditional in-person medical care, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and remote monitoring devices can help identify potential health issues early on. Additionally, it offers a solution for people who live in rural or remote areas, making healthcare accessible to all.