April 2, 2018

Home-based palliative care technology can help empower patients, improve self-care, and allow medical professionals to better address and treat symptoms. This can help prevent unnecessary trips to hospitals or hospices.

Also known as ’Telehealth’— a range of information and communications technology like video conferencing, websites, mobile applications and remote monitors— home-based palliative care technology is one of the ways in which accessibility to palliative care in some of the most vulnerable communities is currently being transformed.

Home-based technology can empower and support patients

A recent report into end-of-life care in the European Union argued that palliative care is one of the most rapidly growing areas of healthcare across the world.

As healthcare systems struggle with adapting to an ageing population, it’s important that new ways of delivering vital end-of-life care are developed to provide the vital care that patients with a terminal or long-term illness need whilst reducing strain on existing medical systems at the same time. Home-based palliative care technology, like telehealth devices, is one way of doing this.

From mobile phone applications that monitor the health of patients at home in real time and alert medical staff to possible concerns to Skype video-conference sessions with specialists, technology provides patients with independence when it comes to managing symptoms— reducing the need for hospice or hospital visits and allowing people to live with dignity.

Innovative, home-based, end-of-life technology isn’t just limited to mobile phones and webcam communications. Using the power of the internet, virtual ‘E-hospices’ have been set up, like this one in Canada, that provide vital information, support and FAQs to home-based patients.

If developed and widely applied, telehealth has the potential to make access to important palliative care easier than ever for vulnerable communities across the world who currently have little access to healthcare, like the communities we work with in Eastern Europe. It could help provide symptom relief, and dignity to thousands of people.

Find out more about how Hospices of Hope are pioneering new palliative care technology here.

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