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Telehealth

Care service providers have had to drastically adapt to modern day technology over the past decade, as it is constantly evolving and impacting our lives, one way or another. Not only is it affecting businesses throughout the globe, it's also had a huge impact on a number of healthcare services.

You may not be aware of this, but the breakthroughs in digital healthcare are making a huge difference to everyone's life for the greater good. Healthcare experts are constantly coming up with new and innovative ideas to change and improve healthcare for future generations.

However simple or sophisticated, there has been a truly remarkable change in the way we look at digital health tools and how they are changing the ways in which you interact with your healthcare team and carers.

How have digital advancements improved global healthcare?


The impact of technology on healthcare is simply staggering, although you may be assuming that we are referring to the equipment used in health centres.

Highly accurate data consumption

Online access to personal health information, such as lab results, current medications and other vital data, has helped health professionals to provide safe and effective care, which in turn allows healthcare professionals to track your care, ease your anxiety, and facilitate discussions and secure sharing with your family and home care services providers.

Improved communication

This aspect of healthcare is something that has been improved significantly in recent years. With medical records now available online, the likes of electronic prescriptions and requests for renewals have been upgraded in order to reduce the amount of manual errors, which may occur in this particular sector of healthcare, thereby also making it easier for carers to verify. Indeed, too many have experienced misreading a piece of handwriting, which then resulted in the wrong medication and prescription being provided.

Telehealth, or the process of delivering health-related services via telecommunications technologies, is a prime example of improving communications between patients and their advisors. Telehealth is a huge breakthrough as it not only reduces the need for patients to travel (which can be a major factor, especially for someone who has restricted travel access or a severe disability), it is also fantastic for doctors, who may not be able to access some rural communities, giving them the ability to provide care services through video conferencing and online consultations.

The growing demand for doctors and GPs not always being met, we can't stress enough how important a healthcare professional becomes to a patient. This particular method reduces the need for in-person appointments, giving home care services' clients the option to potentially consult from their homes, with their carers alongside them. With ready access to test results - like blood work - duplication of testing can also be reduced, saving clients time and getting them treatment sooner.

Crucial remote monitoring for emergency situations

We fully appreciate that all clients' medical history is an entirely private matter, which - if accessible remotely and online - could be highly beneficial in the long term. All of your details would of course remain private and confidential, but could make all of the difference. If you were to suffer an accident and you were cared for by an emergency department staff who aren't familiar with your medical history and record, remote online access could then ensure that you our your loved ones receive appropriate and informed care in an emergency situation.

Management of complex or chronic conditions

With the ongoing advancements of digital platforms and smart device technologies, there are hundreds of fantastic applications that have been created to monitor and stimulate your health frequently. For those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, digital health can make day-to-day monitoring and tracking much easier, helping you to track what you eat, the exercise you do, your sleep cycles, etc. Electronic portals are enabling patients to be a more active part of their own care team by actively 'playing' games which help stimulate brain activity and - notably for Dementia and Alzheimer's care services clients - memory.

In 2014, the NHS announced their plans for technological advancements which they aim to have in place within the next 5 years:
  • NHS 'Kitemarks' for trusted smartphone apps, which will help patients access services and take more control of their health and wellbeing in 2015.

  • Patients are to be able to access their own GP record from spring 2015, and will have full access to care records by 2018. Patients will also be able to record their own comments.

  • Patients will only have to tell their story once. With consent, care records will be available electronically across the health system by 2018 for urgent care services, and 2020 for all services - dramatically improving co-ordination of care, particularly for those with complex conditions.

  • Introducing a digital 'red book' - helping parents to manage their child's early health records - in 2016.

  • Ensuring that the NHS remains a leader in the global race to fight disease and a hub for genomics research. Developing innovative personalised medicines will mean the right treatment, first time.
At Sova Healthcare, we are keeping up to date with al the current and future technological advancements within healthcare, always looking out for any advancement which could benefit our clients and the quality of our care services in order to ensure that you get the best care and attention possible, for yourself or for a loved one. If you have any questions regarding any of the home care services that we offer, or if you wish to discuss your needs and requiremetns, call us on 0800 688 8866 or simply get in touch with a member of our friendly team.
Elderly care

Elderly care can be very challenging, the line between adequate care, attentive support and independence being very thin and sometimes delicate. When caring for the elderly, we can all do our bit to ensure that independence is being promoted. A recent article in the Guardian suggested that few in the UK feel older people have a good quality of life. According to Age UK, nearly 900,000 older people now have unmet needs for social care. With the proportion of older people in the country due to rise from 23% to 28% and the number of those aged 85+ set to double by 2030, we have a joint responsibility as a population to promote quality of life for older people and ensure that we are avoiding negative stereotyping and casual ageism.

This is why our various home care services can be adapted to every single client's personal needs and requirements, ensuring that older clients receive the quality of care that they deserve. At Sova Healthcare, we also ensure that all staff are compliant with Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Disclosed Barring Service (DBS) procedures, and that all of our care services are defined by providing the best quality of life for everyone regardless of age, gender, disability or illness. Likewise, we all have an individual responsibility to look out, care for, support and assist elderly people as much as we can whilst respecting their independence.

In doing so, here are a few aspects to consider and take into account when engaging with older people:

Older people can be lonely

Loneliness is a key factor when considering quality of life. Now considered a serious public health issue, isolation has been proven to impact blood pressure and is closely linked to depression. Helping limit isolation can help improve an older person's quality of life, while enabling them to remain in the comfort of their own home. Community initiatives are helping to tackle loneliness for those who do not necessarily have any family nearby to see, but likewise, many of us are able to have a positive impact on an older person's life by spending valuable social time with them. Your spare time can be a source of vital companionship and emotional support. Alternatively, we can also provide companionship care services, helping older people to manage their everyday tasks whilst also keeping them company.

Allowing for independence

If you are caring for an older person, promotion of independence is key to not only quality of life but also to their morale. Often, losing your independence can lead to compensative voluntary isolation, and sometimes even depression. Being supportive and caring is key, and yet not being overpowering or overbearing can really help to promote independence. Considering when you don't necessarily need to assist can not only help mobility but also remind older people that they are still independent and respected. For example, an able older person can often complete simple household tasks, and allowing for this ensures that they are not being made to feel fully dependent and therefore maintain their regular physical activities and morale.

Respecting, nurturing and valuing relationships

Maintaining the promotion of independence as integral to your relationship will naturally raise an older person's quality of life. Some older people may be reluctant, but if you can make someone feel respected and let them know that you are still seeing them as individuals, they will often be instilled with a sense of pride and a heightened sense of identity.

Ensuring that care needs are met

Allowing for independence is crucial, but you also need to make sure that care needs are being met, notably with recent concerns. An older person might decide to opt for domiciliary care services rather than going to a care home, simply to as to remain in the comfort of their own home and preserve their independence. This is a great decision - if the quality of the care services is adequate.

This is why we at Sova Healthcare strive to offer a wide range of home care services, such as night care services for the most independent. Indeed, we assess each situation based purely on an older person's needs, and there are a variety of enhanced care options available, such as assisted living, home care, and Alzheimer's and dementia care services.

If you are looking for specialist elderly care services, or if you would simply like more information, get in touch with one of our branches, email us, or call a member of our friendly team on 0800 688 8866.