Could An App Improve Elderly Care?

A new app that aims to detect illness in elderly people earlier is being trialled in a number of care homes around the UK.

Carehome.co.uk reported on the pilot study, which is hoping to reduce the number of hospital admissions of elderly people by picking up on illnesses early and helping them get treatment before a condition becomes more serious.

The app monitors various indicators of health, including blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation and temperature. The data gathered by care home staff is then assessed by nurses at Sheffield Teaching NHS Hospitals Trust, where the trial is taking place.

Staff at the care homes monitor the residents and share their data via this app. The aim is that conditions can be treated in their early stages, helping residents to stay healthier and preventing the unnecessary stress of a hospital admission.

Emma Smith, a care home manager at Moorend Place in Sheffield, which specialises in dementia care, told the news provider that the technology has benefits for staff and patients.

“For our staff, the technology is very good, very quick and very easy to use. For our patients, the benefit is the potential to minimise admissions to hospital,” she explained. Ms Smith added that being treated at home can also mean a patient recovers more quickly.

Those behind the Digital Care Home trial hope that it can be rolled out around the UK and note that it helps develop closer relationships between NHS and care home staff.

It could also be incredibly important for the NHS. Research published by Age UK last month revealed that delayed discharges from hospital as a result of a lack of social care are costing the NHS £500 a minute. If fewer people were admitted to hospital in the first place, this could help reduce this cost.

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