Technologies for Living Independently: A Technology Case Study on Remote Patient Monitoring

The population age distribution is undergoing an “inversion” and the dependency ratio, i.e., the proportion of older adults who are not working over the number of adults who are working, is increasing. This has an effect on a society’s ability to deliver community-care services and the underlying national economic capacity to pay for their needs. Advances in ICT (information and communications technologies) promise to provide support for affordable systems of care that enable human resources to be used more effectively. The use of these technologies to support community-based care is complex and demands an approach fundamentally different from ICT in acute care. In acute care settings, highly trained clinical professionals deliver care in special-purpose clinical settings, and manage the related information in Electronic Health Records. Community-based care, however, is delivered by a mix of formal (clinically trained) and informal caregivers (mostly family members and neighbours) and frequently involves the collection of client related data through a variety of home-based technologies. This has motivated the development and deployment of new web-based Personal-Health Record (PHR) technologies, such as the TELUS Health Space (based on Microsoft’s HealthVault), to enable clients in the community to systematically manage their health (and the associated data) and to give access to selected information to health professionals responsible for their care. For example, a client may be supported by a medication management technology, a glucometer for managing diabetes II and a fall detection alarm system. The technologies may not be provided from a single supplier, and may be funded by multiple sources, including the client and family. An integrated approach ensuring individual choice in the selection of the technology, a coordinated response to adverse events that are customized to the circumstances of the client and their family are all necessary for an effective solution.

Intern: 
Antonio Miguel-Cruz, Amal Algammal,Peyman Azad Khaneghah & Zohreh Salimi
Faculty Supervisor: 
Drs. Lili Liu, Eleni Stroulia & Martin Ferguson-Pell
Province: 
Alberta
Partner: 
Program: