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By Debbie le Quesne

Technology and the magic formula of caring

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Technology is a powerful thing – and sometimes scary. Who would have thought that telecare, telemedicine and other clever monitoring would ever become part of our care sector culture?

But its here. Assistive technology solutions abound. It’s the ultimate in helping independent living without being there. Remote care ‘hubs’ check everything from wandering behavior to medication.

In a can’t sleep, can’t get comfortable night I started to think where this is all leading. Emerging technology is already looking at phone apps to check for dementia. So what else could you buy for your Blackberry, iPhone or android handset?

This small pocket-sized appliance has radically transformed our lives already. The jangling intruder is ever present and has become an office and medical tool.

Perhaps this digital, pocket-sized force could redeem the health and care services as we know them with a raft of self-diagnosis apps. The effect would be seismic. Can you imagine if on e of your clients had an erratic heartbeat; the app could transmit an electrocardiogram direct to the hospital, or maybe eyes could be tested with the ultimate clever camera. Sounds ridiculous? Maybe not.

The WMCA social network programme is still in its infancy though we are gathering friends and followers weekly, but growth in the health apps sector, I’m assured, is forging ahead at a must speedier pace. Up for development is the suspicious skin lesion app, ear scope attachment app to check for infections and the digital pulse analyser . . .

I am the first to confess my infatuation with technology really starts and finishes with my laptop. But dare I imagine that such devices could actually bring patient empowerment?

Transforming care is expected, but it needs to take the care to a better place.

Our care industry is struggling for one reason: It does not have enough money.  

Perhaps patient empowerment could spark a change, with huge savings in digital diagnosis and response. Apps could save huge sums of cash set aside for diagnostic data gathering technology. The idea of an auto response prescription based on a better flow of information to doctors and other practitioners has its economic advantages, I’m sure.  

But we all know the essence of good care is often indefinable – and its magic is people-based.

It must be time to sleep now, but I need to resolve this blog somehow.

Successful technology must interrelate with life and society just the same a good care. The appliance of science needs to be accessible; it must be reliable too and do the job ‘described on the packet’.

Would I really fancy a virtual hot chocolate nightcap as a comfort on a bad day? Not really. Or would I like an app golf tutorial? I’d sooner have the real thing, thank you.

For sure, I’d be lost without the computer, ‘mob’ phone or digital camera for my holiday snaps.

Truth is we need the science of cutting-edge development and the creative genius of technology to help improve the dignity, efficiency and delivery of patient-focused care.

However, we can never substitute the more noble attributes of human nature which daily help make life worth living for those vulnerable souls we seek to serve. It’s that carers’ magic that can transform simple acts of kindness into monumental, life-changing moments and that glorious indefinable quality can never be replicated by the techno geeks. 

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Written by debbielq

July 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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