About the SeniorAdvisor.com 2014 In-Home Innovation Scholarship: We started the scholarship program to bring awareness of the unique benefits and challenges of in-home caregiving for seniors to younger generations. The questions posed by the scholarship encouraged our nation’s future caregivers to present solutions for improving home care in the United States. College-aged students were required to answer one of the three essay topics below and provide a short bio as part of their scholarship application. Read the winning essays here.
How can the healthcare industry use technology to improve in-home care for American seniors?
Essay response by Kerry Albright
While attending a previous school I heard about a robot that is able to assist in surgeries. As people age it becomes harder for the body to heal. This robot could help tremendously with that. For one, smaller and less incisions can be made to correct a problem that previously needed a large incision to correct. This in turn promotes faster healing and also makes less of a chance that an infection could get into the incision site. Infections are also less likely with the advancement of wound care techniques. Small cameras can also be used for exploratory surgery to find a problem using only a small incision. These cameras may also increase the likelihood that health problems are found earlier than symptoms start to appear.
In the lab turn around time for results is becoming a lot quicker with the advancement of machines and tools that can perform a large number of tests in a small amount of time. Previously things such as white blood cell counts were all performed manually and it took a generous amount of time for laboratory professionals to come up with the results of a individual’s test. If infections, blood counts and other diagnostics can be found earlier than treatment could be started earlier. This increases the likelihood that older adults are treated faster and able to recover quicker. It also means that health care problems that could create further health issues are treated before these secondary reactions occur.
Technology advancements in healthcare also make reaching out to healthcare professionals a lot quicker. Since material doesn’t need to be printed, electronic media can be used to educate a large number of professionals at a much faster rate. This is very important in home health care because usually there is only one health care professional with a person at one time so the healthcare professionals need to be up to date on issues that may arise when a person is in their care. It also creates a more advanced pace for in home health care professionals to be up to date on their continuing education courses. This is extremely important in my area because facilities have a very hard time employing and maintaining employment of trained health care professionals in home health care. I also live in an area where there is a large population of seniors and it is hard to keep up with the demand of caring for them.
I think being able to stay in one’s home environment while they age and start having health related issues is extremely important. I believe people recover a lot quicker when they are in a comfortable environment around people they love. New technologies are making hospital stays shorter and getting people home faster than ever before. This leads to a quicker recovery and allows seniors to enjoy daily activities that they have been use to doing and allows them to live out their days with pride and enjoyment.
Kerry is pursuing a degree to become a medical laboratory technician.