Remote Coaching and Aging at Home
The COVID-19 lens is distorting the conversation about aging in place. I agree, at home there is less risk of exposure to a pandemic. But what about everything else? Aging at home is far more complex than just isolating from a dangerous virus.
Aging at home requires supports. A circle of care. Some have a circle. Many need a circle. Caregivers, informal and professional, are becoming increasingly scarce. This is only going to accelerate the massive gap for the delivery of care to the home.
Technology can help fill this gap. Here are some questions I think about.
How private is it? Exactly what data is being collected? How is it used? Who has access to the data? How is it secured? What if there is a data breach? Can the data be attached to a person (video, voice, location)?
What can be measured? How are those measurement converted into useful information? Can a baseline be established to show improvement / regression over a period of time?
How easy is it to use? Is it clear what actions need to be taken? How is the information consumed? Can it be used on mobile and desktop?
Is the technology affordable? Are there limitations to where it can work? Does it need an internet connection?
Is it an open technology? Can it work with other services I already use? Can I connect the complete circle of care?
If the technology addresses these five areas, then it might play a roll in the most important piece of the puzzle, remote coaching ( aka... remote patient monitoring. I prefer to not think of those living at home as patients. )
The objective of remote coaching is to encourage the behaviours you want at home without being in the room. To do this successfully you need objective data. The data will tell you where to focus and measure the progress over time.
This will be a tectonic shift for the delivery of home health services. Clients can have a remote case worker that checks in for informed coaching sessions. Not having to rely on the subjective opinions of the client or their caregivers.
This shift also represents the change from reactive to proactive home health. By coaching and intervening early, acute issues will be reduced.