Technology is ever-changing, and transforming the healthcare industry in a remarkable way. The latest technologies, when used effectively, show huge potential to accelerate healthcare growth. Technology helps the healthcare industry to meet growing demand and successfully deliver top-notch patient care with desirable outcomes.
Now different sectors of healthcare are rapidly shifting towards engaging, patient-centric treatment. In rehabilitative care, patient non-compliance is a common issue. Now therapists are embracing on-demand, connected, and data-driven patient-engagement technologies to deliver high-quality treatment and increase compliance.
As a therapist, either you are already using the latest technologies or want to know more about them to upgrade your practice. In this piece, we’ll define “Patient engagement technology” and then will mention trending patient-engagement technologies that are really doing well nowadays to enhance patient-compliance rates in the rehab care industry.
What is patient-engagement technology?
Patient engagement is a “BUZZWORD” in the healthcare industry. Therapists understand that the recommended therapy may not be optimally effective if a patient doesn’t engage with it wholeheartedly. Thus, patient engagement is the key strategy to increase patient participation in the outlined healthcare plans. A patient-engagement technology is made up of advanced tools & technologies, such as Robot-assisted technology, Gamification, AI & Machine learning, Wearable devices, Virtual reality & Augmentation reality, Telehealth & Remote Monitoring Process (RMP), and Mobile health applications. All these technologies motivate patients to complete their regular rehabilitative exercise targets and assist therapists in more informed decision-making, which in turn improves therapeutic outcomes.
Therapists noticed that patients show more interest in a therapy plan when it is appealing, provide real-time feedback by showing even subtle signs of progress, and guide them to follow the treatment plan step-wise. Now patients expect more information, reminders, monitoring, guidance, and therapists’ involvement in their rehabilitative care journey. When they receive these things, they automatically loop into the treatment procedure and cooperate with therapists to make their treatment successful.
In the next part of this article, we’ll talk about five patient-engagement technologies that are transforming the approaches of rehab care worldwide.
AI & Machine learning:
Artificial intelligence & machine learning have become an inevitable part of the healthcare industry. Doctors are using AI-driven solutions to cope with the most difficult challenges in the medical field.
In the rehab care field, intensity, repetition, consistency, speed, and accuracy matter a lot. AI and machine learning promise all of these. When technology and therapists come together, they complement each other’s capabilities and deliver an outstanding patient experience.
AI & machine learning help in a lot of ways to make therapists’ jobs easy:
- Rapid image recognition
- Symptom tracking
- Risk measurement to personalize upper-limb therapy
- Evaluate, track, & measure hand strength
- Patient-progress monitoring
- Virtual support in exercising
- Provide real-time feedback
Wearable devices are trending nowadays. With wearable devices, patients remain more conscious about their fitness, and they get to know how their lifestyle directly affects their health in real time. Wearable devices come with detailed data insights that can help therapists to diagnose complications in the early stage and intervene faster.
Wearable devices are used to track personalized data like number of steps the user covers, heart rate, blood pressure, stress level, body oxygen level, etc. All these components help users to understand the state of their body and mind better. Patients can share these data analytics with the expert through mobile phones, which is beneficial for both therapists and patients as it mitigates travel and passively increases the patient-compliance rate.
Expansion of “extended reality”:
Extended reality means the combination of virtual reality(VR) and augmented reality (AR) that increases patient-engagement. The mixed reality maximizes the medical outcome of patients undergoing hand therapy. Gamified virtual reality keeps rehab care therapy engaging, and motivates patients to complete therapeutic hand exercises. Virtual reality or mixed reality monitors adherence to treatment which increases the long-term efficiency of the recommended therapy.
Finally, Virtual reality or extended reality keeps the therapy more effective by increasing mindfulness, providing real-time insights, & implementing bio-feedback that help users to better understand which exercises are working well for them.
Remote monitoring process (RMP)/ Tele-health:
Monitoring and improvement tracking are essential for rehabilitative care. But previously it was not possible when a patient got discharged from the hospital. But now it is possible. Therapists can track patient progress through a remote monitoring process ( RMP), and instruct their patients remotely. Through tele-health, and remote monitoring processes patients feel more connected with their therapists and adhere to the treatment till the end.
When talking about patient engagement technologies, we can’t miss the contribution of Gamification. In rehab care, it plays a significant role. Generally, patients prefer to avoid continuing a mundane exercise for the long term and get distracted easily causing noncompliance issues. To increase the consistency and intensity of the high-repetition training, therapists use gamified tools and devices in their rehab care program.
Squegg is a digital grip strengthener (A gamified tool); it comes with in-app games and exciting exercises to keep users engaged throughout the session. The app-based Squegg device makes the grip strength evaluation process super-convenient. As it comprises in-built games, it provides users an engaging experience.
Finally we can conclude that these cutting-edge technologies are for mankind, boon for therapists to make their therapeutic program successful by engaging patients at a higher rate.