The medical field is ever-evolving to make caring for patients easier and more efficient. In most areas of medical work, the statement “meet the patient where they are” applies. But the old adage takes on a whole new meaning with in-home care.

In-home medical care is a special niche that requires a specific type of caregiver who brings compassion, patience, and a great deal of respect to the job. Going into someone’s home to provide medical services can be as difficult as it is rewarding.

Care providers use myriad equipment to care for their patients, and as technological advancements soar, innovations are constantly coming to the bedside. Today’s medical tools for caring for patients are miles ahead of previous generations, and new technologies are constantly emerging.

Evolution of medical tools and equipment in home care

As recently as 50 years ago, medical equipment looked completely different than it does today. New developments have made it easier to care for patients, and they’ve also made the process more comfortable and dignified for the patients themselves.

In the early 1970s, taking vital signs from a patient involved invasive procedures that have thankfully been retired. The advent of technologies like digital thermometers, which replaced older mercury models, made the process of taking a patient’s temperature much easier for everyone involved. Proper use of digital thermometers has become a cornerstone in patient care, allowing for non-invasive, quick, and precise temperature measurements..

As devices became more portable over the years, home care grew more accessible. In-home caregivers can now gather information like blood pressure readings, body temperature, blood glucose levels, blood oxygen levels, and more with equipment that nicely fits inside a small bag.

Cutting-edge equipment for in-home care providers

Since older generations make up a very significant portion of the population, in-home care is more widespread than ever. Gone are the days wherein a person had to spend their days wasting away in a hospital for something as simple as oxygen support or diabetes management.

Devices that have changed the lives of patients who wish to receive their medical care at home include:

  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Glucose monitors
  • Medication nebulizers
  • Portable dialysis machines
  • Wheelchairs and walkers
  • Portable oxygen tanks

The fact that medical providers can easily transport modern medical equipment to serve their patients is a modern marvel. No matter their ailment, many patients can now rest and recover comfortably in their homes due to these innovations.

Overcoming challenges in implementing new technologies

With new technology comes inevitable resistance, as not everyone wants to embrace major changes in the way they perform their job. But helping your employees work through their aversion to change benefits everyone.

Financial concerns also plague the home healthcare industry as it works to evolve. Many insurance companies fight against requests to cover in-home care, making it difficult for some demographics to access it.

Moving forward, technology is expected to play a major part in overcoming these challenges. With remote monitoring abilities and smaller, cheaper devices, home healthcare will become more affordable and accessible.

Home healthcare companies have a lot to look forward to with regard to emerging technologies and innovations. Telehealth, which covers everything from a simple phone call to more advanced remote monitoring and video conferencing practices, is expected to continue to expand in the industry.

Advancements in medical charting are also likely to impact home healthcare agencies, making it easier to share data between organizations when necessary.

Also, the more streamlined in-home patient care becomes, the easier it will be to get it covered by insurance. Modern and newly developed equipment and devices take much of the guesswork out of testing and information recording, making it easier for insurance companies to take the data they receive at face value.

Staying competitive

With the right tools, home healthcare agencies have the opportunity to be competitive with other healthcare facilities. When patients can receive the same high level of care at home that they can receive from a hospital or clinical setting, it’s not hard to predict what they’ll choose.

Home healthcare agencies can set themselves up for success by keeping up with technological advancements in the field, investing in high-tech medical devices for patient care, and properly training their teams on new equipment.

Steven John Cumper is the founder of Medshop, a global provider of medical supplies and services.