Leingang says that there are a range of benefits to having his own monitoring device at home. Not only is it safer to avoid healthcare facilities during the pandemic, but it’s also much more convenient than traveling to and from a doctor’s office on a regular basis. Furthermore, having the ability to gather that information independently helps him feel more involved in his own care, and motivates him to maintain healthier habits.
“I can see the trend over time and how diet and exercise impact the fluctuation,” he says. “Having the data myself means I can feel a little more confident in my ability to change outcomes.”
Consumers are already comfortable with collecting data about themselves, with devices such as smartwatches, heart-rate monitors, and step counters in the mainstream. With advances in at-home health technology over the past few years, patients can now screen and test for a range of ailments, monitor their symptoms, and even improve their own health and well-being from the comfort of their own home.
Patients and physicians alike have grown more interested in home health tools during the pandemic, and the global home diagnostics market is expected to grow more than 30%, to $6.53 billion by 2025. At the same time concerns over consumer privacy are being raised, with lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups pushing for standards in how health data is stored, secured, and shared by consumer health tools.
“The advantage of home testing and diagnostics is the promise of immediate, accurate, and actionable results for you and your family,” says Dr. Trevor Hawkins, global head of HP 200A, a new initiative focused on healthcare applications at HP. “This shift will not go away post COVID, as society gets used to a faster and more personal approach to healthcare.” HP is the world leader in microfluidics – the ability to manipulate fluids at a microscopic level, smaller even than a human cell. This technology holds great promise for personalized health and wellness innovation.
Testing and screening without a trip to the doctor
As the pandemic made in-person doctor visits a potential health risk, many patients opted for at-home telehealth appointments instead. Physicians now believe remote healthcare is not only here to stay, but will continue to evolve and improve over time.
“We’re now going from just trying to provide that audio/video telehealth connection to actually providing diagnostics at home,” says Brian D’Anza, the medical director for digital health and telehealth for Ohio’s University Hospitals Health System.
Moving routine tests and diagnostics into the home could also dramatically reduce healthcare costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), preventative measures, like screening and detection, could dramatically reduce chronic diseases, which were responsible for $1 trillion in direct healthcare costs in 2016.