Health care technologies, and apps in particular, have come a long way in just the past few years. Not only can mobile apps provide fun and stimulating games, but they can also help in-home caregivers provide care for seniors. Below is a list of seven apps that are changing in-home care for the better.
1. Pain Care
Many seniors receive in-home care because of issues with chronic pain. The Pain Care app allows users to track their pain — how often pain occurs and how bad the pain is. This data can be emailed to a caregiver or doctor to see if changes in exercise or medication are needed.
The Personal Caregiver app makes keeping track of medications much easier. It not only sets medication reminders and missed medication alerts, but also maintains a detailed history of the patient’s medication use and has a drug database with information on over 17,000 drugs. This allows caregivers to know if patients are maintaining their proper medication usage and provides a quick reference for medication side effects.
3. Tell My Geo
Tell My Geo tracks the movements of users via GPS, which is especially helpful with dementia patients. It also stores patient medical information for quick reference in an emergency.
Medscape gives caregivers and doctors quick access to a number of medical references. It has information of more than 4,400 diseases and conditions, a drug reference library that has dosing and drug interation information, and a medical newsfeed that can be filtered by specialty.
Epic Canto and Epic Haiku are apps for different devices that provide the same service of allowing caregivers and doctors to access a patient’s medical information on a mobile device. The app security is in HIPPA compliance and access to this app must be authorized. Users can access health histories and summaries, as well as patient test results.
Lively is a patient tracking system that uses sensors to collect data. A sensor is placed in a watch, which tracks patient movements. Sensors can also be placed on anything in the home, from pill bottles to doors, to tracks the usage of those objects — how many times pills are taken or how many times the patient leaves the house. Caregivers can use this information to monitor patients’ activities and set up alerts for anything unusual.
Online video chat application Skype continues to find more practical uses. Skype provides a connection between seniors and their in-home caregivers, allowing caregivers to see their patients and assess any visible symptoms that the patient can’t explain over the phone. This is not a replacement for regular visits, but it can cut down on the amount of time caregivers have to devote to these tasks.
While some apps are targeted toward caregivers, some to seniors, and others just happen to have use in the in-home care market, all of these apps benefit both health care workers and their patients. They allow caregivers to spend less time on the smaller details and more time on providing quality in-home care.