17 Nov The virtual doctor visit
New technology is helping elderly patients and those with chronic diseases monitor their condition from the comfort of home.
Every morning at 10 a.m. sharp, Juanita Wood, 87, taps “okay” on a screen to start up a device that takes her blood pressure and transmits the information to her medical clinic. At 10:30 a.m., her husband, Arthur, 91, touch-starts his own device, neatly lined up next to hers. The machine calculates his blood pressure and weight and sends them off, along with a blood sugar count that he enters by hand.
The Woods, of Catonsville, Md., are participants in one of several pilot projects that home health-care providers, retirement communities and others are conducting to see if high-tech but simple devices can help doctors closely monitor aging patients at home in a way that will help control problems before they escalate and cut back on the need for costly long-term care and hospital admissions — especially repeat hospital visits for chronic conditions.
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