Technology powers accessible, personalized care at home in Asia-Pacific

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The healthcare systems in the Asia-Pacific region are under the threat of an aging population and the growing demands for medical services. In response to these challenges, out-of-hospital care bolstered by digital medical technologies have been identified as a feasible solution.

In a recent review published in the KeAi journal Informatics and Health, a team of researchers in China provided a timely overview of the current situation of out-of-hospital care in China, Australia, Singapore, China and the United States.

The authors found that out-of-hospital care can circumvent the limitations of traditional in-hospital models, shifting healthcare scenarios from the confines of hospital walls to more readily accessible out-of-hospital settings. Notably, services like out-of-hospital dialysis, cardiovascular and glucose monitoring, and home-based rehabilitation systems can significantly benefit patients managing various chronic conditions. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, internet-based medical services, including teleconsultation and online prescribing, played a crucial role in delivering timely care to patients with asymptomatic and mild infections within the safety of their homes.

The authors suggested that the efforts are needed to remove barriers on both technical and non-technical challenges in areas like qualification of healthcare professionals, patient and technical equipment qualification, technology and device solutions, recognition of healthcare workers' labor value, reimbursement coverage, as well as homecare of supply chain.

Compared to conventional healthcare, out-of-hospital care services offer a more flexible, convenient, and personalized healthcare option with higher accessibility, stronger real-time responsiveness and better continuity. As the demand for medical services continues to rise, out-of-hospital care is gradually becoming an important direction in the delivery of healthcare."

You Wu, senior and co-corresponding author of the study

"Moving forward, we need to further integrate technologies and the health system and navigate multi-stakeholder collaboration in out-of-hospital care," adds Wu.

Source:
Journal reference:

Zhang, L., et al. (2024). Technological advances in out-of-hospital care: Digital solutions, Asia Pacific experiences, and inherent challenges. Informatics and Health. doi.org/10.1016/j.infoh.2023.10.002.

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