Technology is Perceived as Useful to Caregivers, but Must be Simple to Use and Relevant to Their Challenges
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
A number of technology solutions have been developed and designed with the aim of simplifying the role of a caregiver. However, common barriers to adoption of these technologies include cost, complexity, no time to research what technology is the best, lack of awareness of the available solutions, lack of interoperability between many of the programs and a lack of technologies that address caregivers’ specific challenges.1-3 Rather than focusing on the technology per se, we need to determine the RIGHT technology. This gains importance when we consider that engaging caregivers with the patient’s care can reduce hospital readmissions in both the short and long term.4
So, what are caregivers looking for in technology that is meant to assist with their responsibilities? More than 75% are interested in a technology that provides them peace of mind – one that helps them check on or monitor the care recipient.1 A similar proportion reported that they are interested in technology to assist with medication refills, delivery and adherence.1 More than half stated they were most interested in tools to communicate directly with doctors and caregivers.3
We designed spencer®, our advanced, connected in-home medication dispenser, to be integrated, connected and easy to use. It provides single-packet medication dispensing and the ability for the patient to teleconference through the device with a spencer-certified pharmacist, who is notified when refills are needed. The entire care team, including the caregiver, stays connected through the spencerAssist™ app for caregivers and spencerCare™ clinical portal for health care professionals. Other data used for monitoring such as blood pressure, can also be integrated for the entire care team to review.
For more information, check out:
- Project Catalyst. Caregivers & technology: what they want and need. April 2016.
- AARP, National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC). Caregiving in the U.S. June 2015.
- Massachusetts eHealth Institute. Caregivers and digital health: a survey of trends and attitudes of Massachusetts family caregivers. June 2017.
- Rege A. Involving patient’s family in discharge process linked to 25% reduction in hospital admissions. April 4, 2017. Available at http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/patient-flow/involving-patient-s-family-in-discharge-process-linked-to-25-reduction-in-hospital-readmissions.html