All posts by Margo

Future of Healthcare on the Road

Will Telehealth be the Answer for the RV Lifestyle?

What current research is unearthing indicates that healthcare delivery has to interface with consumer technology. The healthcare industry needs to be able to collect accurate data, and a lot of that is going to come from consumer devices. National reports can assist public health officials in making broad decisions, hopefully bringing common sense back into play.

Then there are concerns about data trust. Who collects the data, what can they do with the data, what happens to the data once it’s collected? These questions need answering before all parties are comfortable. Privacy is probably one of the biggest barriers we see developing, particularly since a federal comprehensive privacy statute is not in the works yet.

The Senate’s latest coronavirus rescue package calls for sustaining the pandemic-fueled boom in virtual care through the end of next year. However, leaving politicians in charge is certainly not the answer. We need science, organizational software, and someone with common sense in charge. Asking for help from technology companies to support the hardware can work, but where do we look for actual health support?

The Mayo Clinic pops into my head as a basis for creating a telehealth platform since they have outreach in a number of cities. There are numerous emerging entrepreneurs with background in the sciences and technology that may have the answers we need. This country has educated large numbers of students just in time for a major jump in real healthcare.

Also important is the training necessary to keep this idea afloat. In my experience, most doctors spend little time trying to find the cause of an affliction, they just want to stick you in a category and scribble on a little piece of paper. Next!

Telehealth could be a real innovation for us because testing must become quick, easy and moveable. As we know in the rush to find a solution to the current virus, testing has taken a turn to non-invasive, quick results, and patient contact. As the telehealth price comes down and technicians play a more important role, I speculate that science is elevated to meet the need of the patient rather than the doctor.

Just as an aside: when inexpensive ultrasound (maybe wearables) becomes available to the consumer, patient health will skyrocket. The ability to check your internal organs for size change, cysts, injury, and a multitude of other issues right in your own living space is life changing. Lifestyles, diet, exercise – all change as needed.

This trend is going to meet resistance from conventional medical equipment and services companies, not to mention insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Most of the bigger lab companies are already pushing the edge because, unlike the human element of doctors, etc., they see the future of medicine. They are not restrained by convention or institutional thinking, only dollar signs.

The Department of Health and Human Services continues to support expansive policies at least through the end of 2021. This includes a Medicare waiver to pay for more telehealth services and coverage of telephone-based consultations for those who don’t have access to video chat. How this is going to play out for travelers not covered under Medicare is anybody’s guess. Does your insurance company step up or does the cost become an out-of-pocket expense?

Wearables

Non-invasive blood sugar monitoring, AI and fertility were all big topics at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas. Increasingly at-home diagnostic testing and examination devices (like Tytocare and the MedWand) replace the need for a doctor to examine you IRL (In Real Life), at least for at-home acute care situations.

Think about it, fitness trackers for your cat, really?

Glutrac by Add Care

Glutrac promises to test your blood sugar levels without a finger prick, it uses an algorithm instead. Basically, the Glutrac is a smartwatch that will measure blood sugar. It watches your vital signs, including heart rate and uses AI to calculate glucose. The watch has sensors on the back that can record health data every 15 minutes, providing data on where your blood sugar interminably. And…there is a sensor that allows you to take on-demand readings. The process takes about one minute to measure and analyze in the “cloud” and deliver measurements.

TytoHome Kit

 

The kit includes an exam camera and basal thermometer, otoscope adaptor, stethoscope adaptor, tongue depressor adaptor, and the TytoApp. Examine yourself or someone you care for, and send that data to a doctor or healthcare provider to review via the TytoCare app.

MedWand™ Home Doc Digital Online Clinic

Complete System

Designed as a ready-to-use complete system for patients to use at home, the clinic contains:

  •  High-performance touchscreen laptop/tablet ready to use with all MedWand software and drivers pre-configured.
  • Includes MedWand accessory starter kit with antimicrobial storage case.
  • Provides safe and secure link to your doctor or telemedicine provider.

Smartphone and Tablets

 

This MedWand System for smartphones and Tablets provides:

  • Secure link to your doctor or telemedicine provider
  • Initial compatibility with late-model Android phones
  • Later compatibility with late-model Apple iPhones

MouthLab

New portable technology  about the size of an iPhone can measure multiple vital health parameters using breath analytics. It takes about 30 seconds while also sending the data to health-care professionals in realtime.

Patients can use this device to capture temperature, blood pressure, ECG, oxygen saturation, pulse rate, respiratory rate, and more in the comfort of their homes.

These are just a few of the products presented to visitors at CES. Take a look.


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