Photo credit: qwertyuiop on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: qwertyuiop on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Healthcare in traditional settings such as hospitals or care facilities can be expensive, inconvenient, and uncomfortable when utilized on a long-term basis. Patients are separated from their homes, communities, and support network while placed in an unfamiliar, often intimidating environment.

Home and community-based care models coupled with digital tools provide an opportunity to service patients where they feel most comfortable. For example, technology may be able to provide useful access to care management applications in one’s own home, community centers, libraries, schools, local pharmacies or urgent care centers. Home and community-based care encompasses a wide range of services for patients from those with chronic care needs to individuals who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Caregivers at home and in the community can be professionals such as doctors, nurses, and social workers or family members and friends.

Although receiving care at home or in the community has many benefits, providers, patients, and those they love face a unique set of difficulties outside of an institutional setting. For example, patients and caregivers can experience isolation, loneliness, and burnout if they don’t have an infrastructure in-place to allow for appropriate home-based care. It is also difficult for providers to monitor patients with chronic health concerns, an issue that may be solved with remote patient monitoring technology. Given the large number of communities - ranging from rural areas to major cities - that are in need of accessible, high-quality ongoing care, innovative technologies can alleviate these challenges, making it possible for more individuals to benefit from services within the home and community.