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Savvy seniors use tech to manage health

(NC) Just as technological tools are increasingly used to support health and fitness efforts, why wouldn’t seniors want in on the expanding variety of available tech supports?

In Ontario, Telehomecare combines remote patient monitoring with health coaching by phone to help people with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease manage their condition in the comfort of their own homes. A recent patient experience survey of 134 people, predominantly seniors ages 65 and over who participated in the Ontario Telemedicine Network program found that 96 per cent were satisfied with the approach.

Free of charge to patients, the program provides simple equipment connected to a tablet that securely sends off vital sign data for monitoring by a nurse. A total of 96 per cent of patients expressed that they felt the technological tools provided were easy to use. Overall satisfaction with the program also garnered very positive scores, with 92 per cent of patients stating that they would definitely or probably recommend the program to a friend. 

The survey results indicate that technology can be successfully integrated into health condition management for patients of any age.

“I am satisfied that I have the necessary tools with me now to save me a 911 trip to the emergency room. I understand my condition better now. I found that this program made me more sure of myself. I didn't panic the way I used to. I do not feel so alone with my health problems,” shares one anonymous patient.

Perhaps the greatest upside to leveraging a program like Telehomecare is reducing the need to visit the emergency room or a primary care provider, which 81 per cent and 76 per cent of patients reported respectively.

Virtual care programs like this one are a key part of the solution in overcoming the current challenges in Ontario’s healthcare system, making healthcare more convenient and easily accessible for people of all ages.

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