We try to keep apprised of the rapidly expanding market of home health products and health technology. Our home health products posts cover some of the latest home healthcare solutions and “aging in place technology”. Recently, we came across some cutting edge technology that shows just how rapidly health technology is developing. We were amazed! Something that seems like science fiction has been given FDA clearance this year.
Proteus Digital Health offers a number of health care technologies–most amazingly, an ingestible health monitoring sensor. The idea behind the solutions Proteus is offering is to use digital technology to get real-time feedback from our bodies which can then be used to improve health. Their solutions include ingestible and wearable products that create a digital feedback system, powered by your own body.
One category of products Proteus is working on is digital medicines. These are pharmaceuticals that include a feedback sensor. The goal is to get better benefits from medications. Proteus is specifically working in three major areas: diabetes care, central nervous system care (mental health, Parkinson’s, dementia), and transplant care. At EasyLiving, where we work with many individuals dealing especially with the first two categories, we can see the potential of being able to improve compliance, dosage and monitoring in these conditions.
Another category (that especially sparked our interest) is the caregiver technologies. Their Helius system provides feedback on this going on with the care recipient, to keep caregivers informed and able to spot concerns. Such technologies, combined properly with face-to-face caregiving, can enable care teams to improve connectedness and quality of care. The caregiver technology products are not yet on the market, but keep an eye out at Proteus’ website for updates.
The final category, lifestyle tools, has great potential for preventative care and proactive good health. The technology can help you keep track of lifestyle goals and can be a fun, motivating way to challenge yourself to better health. There is something about challenges and “games” that makes reaching goals (and all the work to get there) more fun.
Proteus seems to be addressing some of the critical issues in home health products and health monitoring. Their products not only fill a need, but seem to have a thoughtful approach to use and barriers. They are integrating the technologies with mobile devices that are obviously quickly becoming a part of day-to-day life for many of us. They are considering barriers and ease of use in their sensor technology (by integrating them in to current things we ingest like our medications or making the wearable sensors small and affordable, dealing with issues like battery life, different adhesive levels and more). Privacy is always a concern and potential barrier as well and you can read Proteus’ FAQs regarding privacy and other usage questions.
In order for home health products to be successful, we think these are the important factors that any company/technology must consider. First, no one is going to use a technology if it does not address a need or problem that is real to them. Proteus seems to have focused on some of those key areas and has prioritized some of the more difficult conditions to properly manage and where more personalized solutions are needed. Second, even if technology or a home health product addresses a real need, the barriers to usage cannot feel greater than the problem itself.
The next aspect of bringing home health products to the consumer when these two issues have been properly addressed, is education and awareness. This is part of the reason we do our EasyLiving Home Health Products blog series, to help spread information on products you might want to investigate and share latest news, developments, and reviews. And, the delivery method and outreach for most products will need to be two-fold: the direct to consumer route and the healthcare-system approach (getting health care providers and insurance companies buy-in and use). In order to get this buy-in (as well as for the informed consumer), companies must be research-focused and provide outcomes data.
Have a home health product you’d like to suggest we check out/review? Something that has helped you as a caregiver or to more successfully age-in-place or manage a health condition? Contact us to let us know or share your comments below!
Need help managing chronic health conditions, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s at home? Need assistance in caregiving and want to build a quality care team for your aging loved one? We’re only a phone call away at 727-448-0900!