Innovation in healthcare

The use of technology to support care delivery bears great potential for innovation in health care provision.

A call for change

Diagnostic, clinical and rehabilitation technologies are developing rapidly. This is due to great progress in materials research, mechatronics, ICT, and biological and biochemical sciences. At the same time, health care reports in western countries show that the sustainability of health care provision is under threat. Demographic factors and rising costs of health care services require a transition from a professional-driven to a user-oriented system. New technologies can facilitate such a system and may also support care delivery itself. They can reduce the physical strain on care workers and make their work more effective.

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"New technologies can facilitate a user-oriented health care system."

 

Self-management of disease     

A user-oriented system is characterized by self-management of disease by patients, including the elderly, in their home environment. It requires health care professionals to change their approach from ‘taking care of’ to supporting patient and carer self-management. Formal and informal care provision for people with special needs will shift from intramural treatment to extramural and ambulatory care. New and user-friendly technologies will drive these changes. They will facilitate the monitoring and diagnosis of health conditions, communications, and the execution of supported actions - even from remote locations.