Future of Payments
March 27, 2024

The Future of Home Healthcare: How Technology is Shaping the Industry

Driven by an aging population and the increasing desire for personalized care, it’s no surprise that the home healthcare industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Roles such as at-home nurses, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and personal care aids will be even more crucial to fill in the years to come. In fact, the U.S. home healthcare market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.48% to reach $253.4 billion in revenue by 2030.

Home healthcare organizations will need to focus on new technological advancements that benefit both patients and caregivers in order to accommodate this growth. After all, if you can’t keep your team of caregivers happy, your home healthcare organization won’t be able to meet the rising demand for care. 

This article will explore new innovations in tech shaping the future of home healthcare—and how adopting them can benefit the caregiver and patient experience.

1. Expansion of telehealth services

Virtual appointments already became more popular during the pandemic, but it’s a trend that’s only expected to expand as home healthcare needs skyrocket. While in-person care can never be replaced, it can be supplemented with virtual appointments for certain conditions. Offering a telehealth option to patients at home allows for continuity of care in between in-person visits from a caregiver or other provider. 

Telehealth appointments may also reduce unnecessary trips to emergency departments or other urgent care facilities, which, as seen during the pandemic, can help keep vulnerable patients healthier and manage patient volumes at facilities. Plus, caregivers and other clinicians who are given the option to provide virtual check-ins with patients between visits may also gain added flexibility to their work schedules. 

Home healthcare organizations can consider offering more telehealth services to their patients, including medication reviews, mental health appointments, and specialist consultations, in order to improve the care experience for all. 

2. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) 

Another innovation that can assist in continuity of care for both patients and caregivers is remote patient monitoring, or RPM. 

RPM involves wearable devices or sensors. Using these devices, caregivers can collect real-time information on their patients’ health, including data on:

  • Blood pressure
  • Glucose levels
  • Heart rate
  • Apnea
  • Oxygen 

Caregivers can feel more empowered by this added layer of real-time data, making timelier interventions and detecting complications sooner. This, in turn, may improve patient outcomes.

Smart watches and other wearable devices can also be used to track physical activity, sleep patterns, and even location; these wearables may be helpful in treating patients with conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

3. Mobile-first patient documentation

Home health caregivers have a lot of documentation to keep track of throughout their day, from managing medication schedules to tracking patient progress. These tasks can be time consuming when a caregiver is forced to deal with stacks of paperwork and outdated tech. 

Because of this, caregivers are increasingly demanding—and receiving—mobile-first solutions that have the potential to streamline patient documentation.

Investing in tech that allows caregivers to pull up patient charts and seamlessly communicate with their team of doctors from one app or platform can streamline workflows and free up valuable time for patient interaction. When patients receive more one-on-one interaction, they receive better care and potentially greater outcomes.

4. Same-day pay for caregivers

The advancements in home healthcare tech promise a future where care isn’t just convenient but also personalized, proactive, and data-driven. Yet it will take strong recruiting and retention tactics paired with these advancements to meet the rising demand for home healthcare. 

How you pay your caregivers is a key component in this; the traditional two-week pay cycle has become outdated in today’s healthcare industry, where clinicians and caregivers have more options than ever for where to pick up shifts. Switching to instant or same-day digital payments can help caregivers achieve greater peace of mind with increased cash flow, motivating them to pick up more shifts and reducing no-show rates at your organization.

Read how leading per diem staffing agency StaffHealth saw these results firsthand by implementing Branch, reducing the level of no-call, no-shows from 30% to 5% with same-day pay.

5. AI & VR

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) can benefit both patients and caregivers alike. Increasingly, healthcare organizations are experimenting with AI to analyze patient data in order to create more fine-tuned treatment plans. AI algorithms can be used for everything from determining a patient’s fall risk to detecting tuberculosis in x-rays, for example. 

AI-powered chatbots or apps can also be used to set medication reminders or complement hands-on care in between visits. These can provide peace of mind for both caregivers and patients in delivering greater continuity of care.

VR also has enormous potential to revolutionize rehab programs such as physical therapy, allowing patients to learn and practice exercises in the comfort of their own home. This technology can enhance the work of at-home physical therapists, allowing for remote supervision in between visits. 

Adopting the right tech to benefit all

As you look to the future of home health care, it will be crucial to adopt technology that benefits both patients and caregivers on a daily basis. Ensuring you’re equipped with both the medical and payments technology needed to provide a better experience for all will keep you competitive and ready to tackle the industry’s growth head on.

Continue reading