January 24, 2018

Countries like Romania are currently struggling with offering palliative care to those who need it, with only 8% of those who need this type of care actually receiving it.

In response, Hospices of Hope make it a priority to explore new ways to bring palliative care to those in need, and alongside The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, the Ministry of Health and National Order for Registered Nurses, a Center of Excellence in palliative care has been developed at Hospice Casa Sperantei in Brasov.

Some of our most ground-breaking work sees Hospices of Hope working with Star Storage to explore and implement mobile tech in healthcare, demonstrating the many ways tech can be used in the home and hospital healthcare settings to great effect, as well as improving cost efficiency.

Rising healthcare costs

Healthcare costs are rising globally, and as we live in an aging population, palliative and home care is a huge expense. Projected net Medicare Spending in the USA is anticipated to grow by over $560 trillion in 10 years, with the estimated cost of homecare being the largest expense. In the context of an unlimited number of potential patients but fixed number of hospital beds, it is clear that new solutions are needed that decrease the costs per patient and make both home and hospital healthcare more efficient.

Cost saving healthcare technology

Developed countries like USA or Germany have already built high-quality support so that most palliative care is done at home. With the help of mobile technology, medical care for terminally ill patients can become even more efficient.

Technology has the potential to bring palliative care to more people that need it, saving costs whilst remaining effective. For example, HoloLens and other wearable technology, allows video calling with a difference, where the receiver can see the environment around you instead of just your face. It could allow healthcare professionals to connect to those needing care, offering help or advice to the patient whilst they remain at home. Using this type of communication and interactivity helps to avoid and anticipate crisis situations that usually end up with the patient being rushed to the ER or to the wrong hospital ward, and can lead to saving the state budget a lot of funds. Mobile technology provides a way to better and more efficiently use expensive and rare resources such as nurses and doctors, avoiding unnecessary hospital visits but still making sure patients are safe in their homes.

Long Term Investments for a Better Quality of Care

Various studies have shown how Virtual Reality (VR) technology can also significantly help with pain management and the emotional well-being of those receiving end of life care. The distraction from pain and an escape into another world that VR can offer patients, from the confines of their own home or hospital bed, can both enhance the lives of patients and also cut costs on painkillers and other medications, even helping to get patients out of the hospital sooner.

Technology has the potential to empower palliative care patients and their families, save on hospital stays and the expense of in-person nurse and doctor care, as well as providing effective relief and an alternative to expensive and potentially harmful medication.


Find out more about our work.

*Source of featured image here.