By Dr. David Green, MD. Pulmonary Medicine, Emerson Hospital
The promise and effectiveness of technology enhanced in-home care is tremendous. Through home monitoring, we are able to identify subtle changes in symptoms and behaviors that patients may not recognize themselves. This could be lower oxygen levels, a change in pulse, or even just signs of fatigue. In many cases the changes required are obvious and simple, such as taking an extra pill for a period of time, and do not need the attention of a physician. In other cases, these changes are critical to the patient’s well-being. By recognizing these critical changes promptly, treatment can be initiated to avoid major exacerbations that could lead to hospitalization. Whether minor or major, early intervention is crucial to helping the patient stay as healthy as possible, avoid the need to visit the doctor, or more importantly, the hospital emergency room.