“Health and Well-Being in the Home” is a home healthcare study sponsored by Royal Phillips Electronics that looks at how advanced home healthcare solutions could mitigate the challenges and constraints facing healthcare worldwide.
Advances in home health care products and services are attractive, promising, and, perhaps, even necessary solutions to mitigate the current pressure on the health care system while improving the patients’ well-being beyond the physiological parameters of disease control. These innovations allow the shifting of care from institutional and professional settings to patients’ homes and enable patients to self-manage their conditions, assisted by formal or informal caregivers as needed.
Home health care and self-management devices and services span a broad spectrum. Depending on the interpretation of the terminology, they can include everything from mobility support tools to basic diagnostic and therapeutic tools, such as glucose meters, to telemedicine solutions and care delivered by home health care professionals. For our purposes here, we focus on home health care technologies and solutions and do not address durable medical equipment (e.g., walkers), supplies (e.g., wound care products), or professional services, such as in-person home care.
Technological advances have pushed the frontier of care management into the home setting, and today’s tools go well beyond mere monitoring and narrow functionalities; they allow the integration of monitoring and therapeutic systems, provide educational content, and enable communication and data flow between the patient and professional health care providers. Such solutions have the potential to not only support current care delivery but also fundamentally change the model to a more efficient and patient-centered one. They also make it easier for patients to age in place, if they prefer, and avoid institutionalization.