The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions (DCHS), the research division of Deloitte LLP’s Life Sciences and Health Care practice, conducted six focus groups late last year to gauge the acceptance of technology in home health. They tested two main home health scenarios among 42 younger (<44) and older (45-64) adults, both drawn from healthy and chronic condition patients and with a mix of demographics.
In this qualitative study, the two scenarios tested were: technology that would help manage chronic conditions and tech to promote healthy living. The first scenario gives a very advanced vision of chronic care management that involves telehealth, telemedicine and residential monitoring in the management of chronic conditions (diabetes and CHF). The second involves lifestyle factors including eating, activity and exercise management and managing travel.
Some findings in the report summarized and linked for download here, including implications for companies:
- Overall they were open to and optimistic about using technology to enable better home care of older adults who require it–including embedded sensors.
- ‘Smart home’ has appeal, but there is a preference for the less intrusive (stove burner/cooking range sensors, fall detectors) and resistance to perceived invasions of privacy (sleep, bathroom and activity monitoring).
- They understood the balance of reward and risk in consideration of broad categories of nutrition, physical activity, prevention, and dealing with an acute episode (see quadrant below, click to enlarge)
Center Director Harry Greenspun, MD’s in his Health Care Current blog notes that TECS has the capability of providing services formerly provided only in a doctor’s office or hospital in the home, but “One question remains, “How quickly will consumers adapt and accept new technologies that bring care into their home?”–then answers his own question.
All of these innovations have given us a level of insight and capability we could not have imagined even a few years ago. At the same time, each raises privacy concerns.
So why do we do it? Because we get something out of it.