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1. Understand the use of technology to support independent living

2. Understand the implications of developments in technologies for use in health and social care

3. Be able to recommend technologies to support independent living for users of health and social care services?


Introduction - Task 1

This Essay would give information on how technology can help in living independently in terms of health care. The next section would give details on what could be the barriers of using these technologies in health care. The last section would provide information on how the technology can be used by social organizations.

Use of technology in health and social care in living independently

The definition of independence is different for every individual. It may include the consideration of a person to live in his own house. It can be for someone participation of an individual in the society or to have a kind of privacy in his own living. Independence does not mean the over-reliance on the friends or the family. Independence actually means the ability of a person to be able to care for himself and become independent for doing his work. Independent living with the assistance of technology is an episode which brings together people with extended term neurological circumstances, researchers, careers, voluntary association or group and a variety of professional involved in the health and other social care sectors (Bond R and Hurst J 2010). There is an increase in the social care for the individuals specially for disabled and senior citizens. The purpose of doing the special care is to provide independent living to the individual. This purpose of independent living can be achieved by providing them privacy and facilitating them with the technology that can help them to have independent living (Coughlin, J 2006). The facilities like special communities, health services and various other social needs are provided with the help of technology. The Telecare helps an individual to keep a watch on the fitness and well being.  This can be attained with the help of various systems that can be used to monitor the health of an individual specially for disabled and senior citizens with the help of technology (Carter B 2014). For the person in case study  technology can be used to monitor and plan the health care. As the person lives independently so the technology can provide the tool to support the requirement of this person.

Barrier while using technology in living independently

There is vast agreement in the writing with reference to the main barriers regarding the adoption and   efficient use of technology in various health services. There are different types of barriers and are discussed below:

Financial and business barriers

Financial and business barriers are the kind of barriers which generally exist where there is a lack of actual proof of the financial impact related to IT in healthcare (Grimmer K 2004). In this kind of barrier there is an absence of  clarity regarding the specified benefit of the practitioners and other staff involved in health services. This type of Barrier usually creates confusion on who should bear the cost of IT in health care set-up.

Structural barriers

These kind of barriers are chiefly a purpose of the composition of the health care system and these barriers do not remain same in other countries. It generally varies with the variation of the country (Honigman, B 2013) . IT requires proper condition and structural setup to support health care which might not be possible to every country.

Cultural barriers

One of the major barriers assumed in health care services is cultural barrier. This kind of barrier generally takes lots of time with the perspective of  a doctor. This kind of barrier includes the Electronic health reporting, which involves the clinical view point of health IT. In this type of barrier, there is panic that it may depersonalize the health care service. The other concern is the rapport with their patient. Their concern also  regarding  the confidentiality and privacy of the patient.

Technical and professional barriers

This type of barrier has one of the major drawbacks of lack of harmonization between the clinical workflow of the health care and the system. The doctors involved in the decision of purchasing various medicines are not properly trained. There is a lack of the qualified staff, which is involved with the consultants who are acting or working as system developers. These people have no information regarding the biomedical informatics. There is also a shortage of workforce involved in the process of implementation and also it lacks in the strategic managerial process for developing the commitment.


Benefits of technologies to health and social organizations

Appropriate use of technology can give lots of benefits to a person and even to the health care organization(Escoto C 2005). There are quite a few options available in modern technology which would be helpful  to the social organization in providing an individual with the required care. Some of these technologies are listed below. These technologies can also be used by the person mentioned in case study 1 which would help in the treatment.

Passive was of Monitoring

With the help of Telehealth monitoring there is actually decreasing in unnecessary visits to the practitioners. One can make use of these monitoring for emergency services and the readmissions in various hospitals. The purpose of Telehealth services is to provide the satisfaction of the patients and improve on quality service of life. The better health services can be achieved with the Telehealth service. The data collected at the patient's home  are reviewed by various practitioners on a daily basis with the help of which they can guide the patient. Even the case study has a person who lives independently so the mode of technology can be used to monitor the health of the person on a frequent basis. 

Usage of Internet

Every individual has the desire to interact with the other individual. If the individual is disabled then it becomes necessary for the individual to get connected with the help of technology as it performs the platform to the individual to share his ideas. This can be achieved if the individual has connected himself with the technology through the internet (Rogers R, Peres Y and Müller W 2010). An individual irrespective of his disability can make use of technology like Messaging, Community, Activity, Virtual reality, E-Commerce, Voice or Video Over IP. There are chances that the person mentioned in the case study might be required to interact with someone online and would not be in a position to travel, internet can help the person achieve this requirement.

Introduction - Task 2

The Essay would look at different concerns around using technology in the health care. The next section of this essay would provide details about the importance of ethics while using technology  in health care. The last part of the essay would look at different recent developments in technology which can be used in health care.

Health and Safety concerns while using technology

Even though the technology might be very much useful in health care while living independently, it also possesses some serious concerns. Some of these require a deeper look before implementing technology in health care. One of the major aspect is that technology based systems are sometimes very complex, which in turn result in hiding the actual cause of the problem related to health. Complicated system is usually consumes to understand and can result in bigger problems to patients (Willems C, Spreeuwenberg M and Claassen R 2010). The problem might not be just related to the technology it might also be related to a human being who is handling these devices, so usually there is a possibility of 2 types of error which are programmatic or human (Shang F, Guihen E and Glennon J 2011). The concern is that the program is not only with the tools it can also be related to how much knowledge a person have of using the tool. The Human factor is a major safety concern while using technology in health care.

There are examples of issue caused by use of technology in a wrong way. In one of the cases a pop-up message blocked the actual blood reading of a patient, which in turn resulted in wrong diagnostics based on the pop-up message which was interpreted wrongly. The devices have to be made smart to support the doctor's decision rather that making doctor remember things to operate the device. Major safety issues can occur if the device stops functioning at a critical point in time, So too much dependency on technology can be harmful and there has to be a human involvement required for decision making and technology should just assist in these decision points.


Importance of ethics while using technology

To maintain ethics while using technology can be extremely challenging in some cases. As there are already lots of complications around ethical relationships between patient and physician. The health information should be kept protected, there are different types of health information which could be Oral, electronic, physical (Binka, F & I. D. Norman F 2011). Health information can be related to patients present or past, it becomes ethically very important for a health care center to keep privacy of this information. This information is sometime available to not just the physician but other parties involved and it becomes very important to be ethically right in the way this information is shared and used. If this information is used in a wrong way than the patient can have some serious impact on his life. The person can loss employment due to the medical condition (Li S 2006). The person can suffer on medical insurance due to the information being shared across by the health care organization. It becomes implicit that the health care institutes follow the ethics and inform the patient about sharing of any such information with third parties.

Recent developments in technology and its effects on health Care

There have been multiple technological developments in the field of health. There are enormous researches being conducted to make sure that technology plays its part in the near future. Some of these developments are listed below.

Clinical Trials - Microchips Modeling

The capability to streamline, transform, and improve the health care system is quite big. The Microchips Modeling Clinical Trial came into existence as there is vast scope of the opportunities and there is required for the innovative ways of clinical trials. The basic aim of this kind of trials is to conduct various experiments on the animals successfully and implement the correct results on the human beings (Bridges J and Jones C 2007). In this way the successful treatment of human beings would be possible and ultimately the life of innocent animals can be saved. The microchips used in this type of trials are smaller in size as compared to the thumb of the human being. These microchips can be used for constructing the complex interface between capillaries and the organs.

Google Glass which is a Wearable Technology

The originator of this technology is Dr. Rafael Grossmann. This kind of technology is used in the surgical processes. The believe of this technology is to improve the experience of patient, practitioner and With the help of this technology doctor can simultaneously interact with the patient and search the patient’s medical history with the help of Google Glass (A. Kalinauckas 2015). Doctors can treat their patient’s with the help of this technology while sitting a distance apart. This can be done either on the phone or with the use of electronic mails. The data collected by Dr. Rafael suggest that every year patient dies only due to the reason of their not ability to reach at proper time with the accurate practitioner. But this fact does not hold true in the country like the United States as almost 30 % of the people do not live near the trauma centers still in case of emergency their lives can be saved with the help of this kind of technology.


Operating Rooms which are Hybrid

The Hybrid operating room is the new version of OR. This is a new technology in the medical field with the aim to improve the best care being delivered to the patients and improving various skills of the practitioners while administrating treatment to their patients (Hix A and Beck R 1971). One of the examples of this kind of technology is center of Lakeland regional Media. In this operating room instead of traditional methods of treatment there is a need to find and use innovative methods for the treatment of the patient.With the use of the operating room technology, there is a reduction in the cases of trauma, rehabilitation and scarring (Atkins D and Cullen T 2013). Also the stay of the patient has reduced.

3.0 Task3

Special requirements for the person in case study 2 to help with independent living

The case study clearly distinguishes Maggie as a person who has an independent living lifestyle. There is a clear need to monitor Maggie’s day to day activities based on the fact that there are high chances that medication might be missed. As Maggie would be classified in the category of a senior citizen, there is a special need that food habit be kept under a watch. Maggie is staying alone, there are bright chances that she would prefer to go for food with high calories which would cause problems in future. There is a special need for this person to do some basic exercise to avoid weight and other related problems. The other major problem which Maggie has is related to her disease of Dementia which is basically a reduction in mental ability this can lead to problems in daily life.  There are high chances that Maggie might forget to take her medication for days as Dementia patients usually suffer from memory loss problems. As there is no other person living with Maggie it is extremely important that she makes use of technology. Maggie also needs help with technology to reduce the confusion around day and time. There is a special requirement for Maggie to keep on reminding her of the pending tasks for the day and to indicate when is a better time to go out and stay at home.


Devices which can be used by person in case study 2 which would help with independent living

Technology can play a big part in providing adequate support to make sure that Maggie is able to live independently. It would help Maggie to have something from technology, which would act as a reminder and keep on reminding Maggie about when is the time to take medication. The other technology, which can help Maggie is the something which can keep track on the calorie intake and calories burned for the day. This technology can help in making sure that Maggie maintains her health. It would be better if the technology is used to keep a surveillance is kept on Maggie by her daughter to make sure that Maggie is not leaving home at an inappropriate time of the day. As due to the medical condition sometime it would become difficult for Maggie to do even day to day task, so technology can help in supporting these activities (Alzheimer’s Association Green-Field Library 2013). The most helpful technology would be to keep track of where Maggie is about to go and in how much time should Maggie return. By this technology Maggie would be able to manage the day and time activities which have been mismanaged. There should be some technology by using which Maggie should be able to trigger if some urgent or emergency help is required.

Use of technology for users of health and social care services.

Technology can be used by health and social care service to provide support to the patients. Health care center can have a 24/7 helpline number or even online support using the internet. Patients can check some basic symptoms which would help them give some First Aid options till emergency care arrives. There is rapid growth in devices which would help health and social care services to monitor the patient every time. Based on these monitoring various reports can be generated which would assist the physician to take care and diagnose the patients. Technology can also be used to share the past patient health information related data in a secured way to other physicians. Some of the rare cases can be discussed by experts online even surgeries can be performed under the guidance of expert physicians in that area. Some of these technologies are already being used and have shown that it can provide enormous support. There are technologies such can lenses which can be used to monitor blood sugar level, which can be used by the health and social care services can be help cure the patients (Rogers R, Peres Y and Müller W 2010). Health and Social care service can use technology to develop high performance operating theatre where patients can be provided with extra care which would help the patient take care of them. The equipment in the operating theatre should be designed in such a way that it would help the patient manage themselves in health care even if they are independent.



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( Binka, F & I. D. Norman, 2011)

Bond, R and Hurst, J (2010) How adults with learning disabilities view living independently. British Journal of Learning Disabilities. 38 (4), 286-292.

Bridges, J and Jones, C (2007) Patient-based health technology assessment: A vision of the future.International Journal of Technology Assessment in HEALTH CARE. 23 (01).

Carter B (2014) Technology adoption in health care: International barriers and opportunities to telemedicine.Journal ofCHILD HEALTH CARE. 18 (4), 299-301.

Coughlin, J (2006) Old Age, New Technology, and Future Innovations in Disease Management and HOME Health Care. Home Health Care Management & Practice. 18 (3), 196-207.

Escoto C (2005) Beyond the INTERNET: Technology and the Future of Health Care. PsycCRITIQUES. 50 (42).

Grimmer K (2004) Experiences of elderly patients regarding independent community living after discharge from hospital: a longitudinal study. International Journal for Quality in Health Care. 16 (6), 465-472.

Hix A and Beck R (1971) FUTURE OPERATING ROOMS. Anesthesiology. 34 (3), 300.

Hodgson J and Quinn J (1980) The Impact of the Triage Health Care Delivery System Upon Client Morale,INDEPENDENT LIVING and the Cost of Care. The Gerontologist. 20 (3 Part 1), 364-371.

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