How effective is the Home Healthcare Service?

Posted in Healthcare Services by Adolf on Sep 14,2021 1547

The pandemic had kept everyone up in the family. During the initial days, it was a struggle to adjust to the work-from-home environment, as well as trying our level best to stay away from the fatal virus. If this was not enough, the imposed lockdown added more woes to the already difficult situation.

My mother’s hometown is located in central Madhya Pradesh and each year before the monsoons start, we make sure to have a short trip to visit our elderly uncle and aunt. With the sudden lockdown, the senior couple was left without proper aid. Despite of taking all preventive measures, my aunt fell ill. Although she recovered well, given her age the doctor advised for in-home care by professional support services, since there was no one to look after them. As suggested, the necessary arrangements were done through calls, which not only helped improve her health but also reduced our worry to an extent.  

These days many health specialists recommend home health care or social care services for their patients. Depending on the patient’s medical situation, home healthcare is medical supervision provided by a licensed professional and the services can range from nursing care, medical and pharmaceutical services, care from home health assistants, companionship, nutritional support, laboratory and x-ray imaging to transportation and home-delivered meals. Home health care generally costs less and the facilities are well equipped with the latest devices that are as effective as getting treated in a hospital or a nursing centre. 

Reasons favouring the Home Healthcare Market

Monitoring and diagnostic devices are available in almost every home, from basic health care equipment such as thermometers and weight scales to specialized devices such as blood pressure monitors, glucometers, INR meters, pulse oximeters, peak owmeters, EEGs, or portable EKG/pulse meters. Most of these monitoring and diagnostic devices are available at pharmacies and usually can be bought over the counter or even via the Internet.

Home Healthcare market includes products such as dialysis equipment, ventilators, ECG, canes, wheelchairs, activity monitors, nebulizers, BP monitors. It also comprises of healthcare services such as infusion therapy, skilled nursing and hospice. The global home healthcare market size is projected to reach US$ 297.5 billion by 2030 from US$ 171.9 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 7.6% during the forecast period. Rapid growth in the elderly population and the rising incidence of chronic diseases, growing need for cost-effective healthcare delivery due to the increasing healthcare costs, and technological advancements of home care devices.

The COVID-19 pandemic has a mixed impact on the home healthcare market. As the home healthcare market consists of products and services, both have different effects. COVID-19 would positively impact few home healthcare monitoring products such as blood glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, and temperature monitors.

In home care, the nurse-physician association involves lesser face-to-face contact, and the nurse is responsible for making assessments and communicating findings. This factor affects the degree of patient safety and outcomes. Another distinguishing characteristic of home healthcare is that clinicians offer medical care to each patient in a unique setting.

Home healthcare is an established trend in the developed regions of North America and Europe. Due to favourable regulations and policies in these regions, homecare is rapidly being adopted. As the market in developed countries is nearly saturated, market players have shifted their focus toward the developing regions, especially the emerging economies of Asia Pacific.

Home healthcare is a booming market, with increasing demand for home care providers/workers. According to the employment projections of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics during 2014-2024, home healthcare occupations such as personal care aides and home health aides ranked among the top 10 in the list. Based on services, the global home healthcare market is segmented into rehabilitation services, infusion therapy services, unskilled care services, respiratory therapy services, pregnancy care services, skilled nursing services, and hospice and palliative care services. Skilled nursing services accounted for the largest share of the home healthcare services market in 2019. Skilled medical care in home settings can provide a comforting solution over residing in a hospital, nursing home, or an assisted living community. The favourable insurance coverage for skilled nursing services is expected to support the growth of this market during the forecast period.

In 2019, North America was the largest regional segment of the overall market, followed by Europe. The large share of North America in the global market is attributed to the rising prevalence of chronic conditions, high healthcare expenditure, the increasing overall geriatric population and superior healthcare infrastructure. The prominent players operating in this market include Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA (Germany), GE Healthcare (US), Linde plc (Ireland), F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (Switzerland), Amedisys (US), Kindred at Home (US), and LHC Group, Inc. (US).

The growth of the aging population segment will boost the demand for healthcare and significantly increase the burden on governments and health systems as the aging population is more prone to chronic diseases. This will prove favourable to the market for home healthcare, which can enhance the overall reach of and access to healthcare while reducing unnecessary visits, hospital admissions & readmissions, and the time and costs involved in traveling to meet healthcare professionals.

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