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Introduction to Supporting Independent Living
The average life of the people is increasing and the long term illness is becoming less day by day. Many measures have come to improve the effectiveness of disease prevention and also to improve access to healthcare, and to live healthy independent living. There has been an increase in the availability of new technologies which has improved health information technology infrastructure (Brent and Labuschagne, 2007). These technologies are not only increasing the quality of life but they are also helping the people to live independently who have disabilities, chronic diseases, etc without any support. Here in this report from leading assignment help provider in Australia, we have discussed how technology is helping in this field and we have also provided some barriers which prevent these technologies to flourish.
1.1 Technology to support users of health and social care services
Nobody has ever thought but Digital innovations have now made it possible for consumers to use portable technology to access their medical information, check and monitor their vital signs, take some medical test at home and help them in good and healthy living. Assistive technology is any service or product which is designed for disabled or old people to work independently (Delbreil and Zvobgo, 2013). It includes variety of supportive services like personal arms, monitors to check body, and many other sophisticated equipments. There are many people who get disabled due to some illness or accident and they cannot work properly and they have to rely on others for their work but with the advancement in health technology these people can easily live independent life without being any burden (Eikhof, 2012).
Assistive Technology is very cost-effective means of maintaining the independence, health and well being of this continuously population. These technologies are designed to take care of widest range of needs. The services ranges from physical needs such as inability to use mouse or key board, to sensory needs where the loss of vision and hearing makes person enable to see and hear, to reading and writing difficulties like Dyslexia (Fry, 2012). These Assistive technologies are not only helping people to do the task they may find difficult but they are also helping them in detection and reaction of risks. It has been found that who accepted care supported by AT were more likely to have positive attitudes toward their life and benefits of AT. It is helping people to attain their social and occupational goals (Griffiths, 2000). This technology is not only useful for the people with disabilities but it is also helpful for the people with back pain, limb disorders, stress disorders, etc.
1.2 barriers to the use of technology to support users of health and social care services
Some of the barriers are-
Awareness and Expertise- Assistive Technology is new in the world so there is not much awareness about the technology (Henwood and Hudson, 2007). Many people in the world don’t know that there is such kind of technology available which can help them to live their life independently. Also only few people know how to use and operate this technology so if any problem occur then it is very difficult to find the expert who can help to solve the problem.
Accessible Product Development and Deployment- This particular technology should be accessible to the people with disabilities (Hogg, 2005). Currently the government is paying more attention to educational technology, libraries and other public entities and they are spending millions of dollars on these things without thinking about AT. Due to this many people with disabilities finds it very difficult to install the technology and there is no such department where they can go and request for these machines.
Comprehensive and Coordinated Funding- Many agencies that fund these AT are having loopholes in their working and as a result they are unable to provide services to many needy people. The laws and policies which are made for this technology are often misinterpreted and used inappropriately and the people who are assigned to take care of these services, lack expertise and resources t implement the technology (Karban, Paley and Willcock, 2013). The policy of government that provides fund for these technology are also not using holistic approach to solve the problems, they are not consumer oriented, coordinated and not consistent.
Research, Development, and Technology Transfer- The devices that are made like music, television, etc do not have any option for assistive technology. Millions of dollars are spent on research and development of mainstream technology but no attention is given on installing something which these kinds of people can also use (Orton, 2010). Also when some of the products are developed with accessible options, then they are too costly and are not affordable.
Assistive technology is not personalized- Technology which is coming in form of assistance is not personalized, it is coming as a part of “set menu” or some package (Perry and Beyer, 2009). It is assumed that same technology setting will used by people with different disabilities and as a result many people find it unhelpful after using the equipment.
1.3 Benefits of these technologies to health and social care organizations
Some of the benefits are-
Passive Monitoring- Assistive Technology helps to monitor the patient regularly. It helps to reduce the unnecessary burden of going to doctors again and again. It has helped people to get better health, etc. Also for the organizations these technologies have resulted in better patient satisfaction and quick recovery from their illness (Puric, 2009).
Positive Attitude- People with disabilities are often seen very depressed and quite because they cannot do anything and they have to be dependent on others for their work but with the use of AT this problem has been solved to a greater extent. People using AT are found to have greater positive attitude towards life and people because they are not dependent on others, they can do all of their work and can achieve their desired goals (Borgmann, 2009).
Leisure and Entertainment- AT has opened new hope and opportunities for the people with disabilities. There are many accessible devices which these people can use to get entertainment. Also the people who want to work on keybord or mouse, many alternatives are available which they can easily use and work (Hacker, 2007).
Participate fully in community life- With the use of AT, people with inability can easily participate in community life by interacting with many people. They can easily increase their social network and can enjoy with friends and family (Howard, 2005).
Learn in institutes and schools- People can easily learn in educational institutions and schools if they want to become something and do job. Many healthcare organizations are also encouraging people to continue with their studies like normal people. This has helped to increase the morale of many patients and especially children (Light and Strong, 2010).
2.1 Health and safety considerations in the use of technologies in health and social care
Like any new idea or invention, technology has the potential to be benefit but it also has the potential to be misused (Mishra, 2010). It is very important to understand that technology can do both things at once because a device which is useful to someone might harm the other person.
Accessibility- Many equipments are very complex and if there are not used properly it can affect the person instead of curing him. Also it is very necessary to make sure that service delivery professional are always accessible in emergency situations so that any harm can be avoided quickly (Morton, 2006).
Information- If the person or any organization is installing any new equipment for health care then it very important to have the clear information and solutions about the application or the equipment which the company has provided otherwise the equipment can malfunction without proper knowledge (Nissenbaum, 2009).
Know-how- The person who is installing should have proper know-how of the equipment so that he can explain the proper use of devise otherwise half knowledge person can give wrong advice which can lead to any bad situation (Post, 2007).
Participation- It is very important to know the opinion and wishes of the person for whom the application or equipment is being installed because he has to live with that and if he is not ready than there will be no benefit.
Complicated- The devise should not be complicated for the person who is going to use it, he should understand all the functions and applications of the device otherwise he will not be able to use that properly.
Recommended- The device that has been installed should be recommended by any doctor or institution because there are many devices which do not come under the legal regulations of the country (Singh, 2009). So person should make sure that he has all proof and document before using such equipment.
2.2 Ethical considerations in the use of assistive technologies
Some of the ethical issues are-
Completely relying on technology- Technology is used in healthcare so that person can do the work easily but could also develop strength so that this technology can be removed after sometime but with assistive technology person may completely rely on the technology and not develop strength to recover from that disability (Vannini, 2009).
Damage- AT equipments are very costly and also they are very complex so there is always a worry that what will happen if it will get damage or break. Device should be fully protected or it should be strong enough to handle small damages.
Non-malfeasance- It means “do no harm”. There are some equipment which cause more damage rather than curing so person should make sure that there are no side effects of using AT equipments in the regular life.
Benefit- The AT technology that is installed should benefit the person it should not be just for support. It should help the person to develop his own strength with little bit of support.
Original- Before installing the AT person should make sure that the device is original with good parts and not fake, it should also have the option of up gradation because the technology is changing very fast, there might be some additional feature in next version so it is very essential (Volti, 2006).
Privacy- There are some AT devices which monitors the movement of the person regularly this might lead to the privacy issue of the person. A device should not affect the personal space of the person.
Limited use- Some AT devices may be used to do things which a person still can do so too much use of this device may lead to loss of those skills too. So person should make sure that device should do the limited work and can help only with the help which is needed.
2.3 the impact of recent and emerging technological developments
Technological innovation is transforming the prevalence and functional impact of people disability. Technical improvements that are happening in the physical environment like better housing, safer roads, and poison preventions have reduced the injuries and disabilities up to great extent (Beech and Roberts, 2012). The development of new vaccines is helping to prevent variety of dangerous diseases like meningitis, etc. Technology is also playing very important role in early diagnosing of the many disabilities or diseases such as phenylketonuria and other genetic disorders. Rapid transformation of many technologies like Assistive Technology is also helping people with disabilities to live normal life.
This technological change has also made impact on many organizations. Many biotech and health equipment companies are growing day by day. Due to competition, the prices of the healthcare technology is also increasing because if any company develops a new machine which is not in the market, then it will cost millions to purchase it.
These technological changes have also affected the jobs in the healthcare workforce. People with great knowledge in health sciences who are relying on their personal memory and experience has also been made inadequate for effective twenty first century health care delivery. The growth of internet accessible sources of health related information has completely modified the traditional roles of provider and patient and side by side it has also increased the opportunities for new kind of employment in health related profession.
Physicians and other doctors have adopted technology like iPad as part of their medical practice which has enabled them to securely search for lab values and x rays and to communicate with their staff and patients. RFID tracking is being installed in many health systems to manage staff and assets and also now patients can read their medical records electronically.
So we can say that technology has made its impact on each and every health sector with many benefits but it is said that with each benefit there is some bad effect. Due to rise of this technology many new diseases have been arrived and they are affecting the people in one or the other way.
3.1 Identify Maggie’s specific needs and recommend appropriate assistive devices
Dementia is a kind of brain disease which cause long term loss of ability to think and reason clearly which affects the daily functioning of the person. Maggie is suffering from this particular disease which can raise the problem of madness slowly. This disease is affecting Maggie as she cannot do her regular work properly and cannot even concentrate on her needs. This disease can destroy her mental ability to handle situations. As per the case she is also very busy woman who go out every day and due to dementia she cannot differentiate between day or night and her memory loss is affecting her in a bad way.
Assistive technology instruments will be beneficial to her because with help of those instruments she can complete some of her regular tasks. It will help her to work independently and will also help in handling her business or office work. Some assistive technologies recommended for Maggie are-
Reminder Assistance- This technology will help her to remind place or time whenever and wherever she is. This technology has a timer which beeps after regular interval of time and a place reminder which automatically beeps whenever the person enter into new territory or place with its name to patient.
Sensors and alarms- This technology is very helpful in completing daily routine tasks. It has a technology which keeps reminding the person about his daily routine tasks. Sensor helps in sensing the unwanted or harmful event and the alarm provides solution to the response of that sensor. It keeps on reminding the patient that he can handle the unwanted or harmful event.
Smart Toilet- It helps the patient to get regular checkups for blood pressure, heart rate , sugar level in urine, etc and transfer all those details to doctor. This technology also helps the patient from many viral diseases.
Intelligent wiring and switches- This helps the patient when he forget daily routines works. Using intelligent wiring and switches all the lights and electronic equipments are controlled automatically. All the lights and equipments will automatically gets switched off if the patient forgets to switch off them.
Computer- This is the most common technology which everyone uses in daily life. For the patient Maggie this can her to connect to her family, friends and doctor. She can also get some additional help in her daily work by using computer and she can do her office work from home also.
3.2 Assistive technologies might influence the role of workers
Assistive Technology has many advantages to the patients and even to the workers of health and social care. Workers of social care face many problems while handling more people at a time if they are disabled in some manner. They can use some assistive technology equipment to serve those disabled people efficiently at same time. But if we widen the area then we will find that they are not the only people getting benefits from the use of such devices, there are health care organizations which can also get benefits with the invention of such devices. It is not necessary that every disabled person needs assistive technology to support him or there might be some person who cannot afford this technology and the social organizations cannot help such person without the use of assistive technology equipment.
There are many benefits of Assistive Technology to health and social care organizations. These technologies can help them to build a new environment to reduce and overcome the disabilities of many people quickly and in a very efficient manner. If there are people with walking disabilities than organizations can give them walkers instead of hand support of nurses or staff. This will help the organization to run cost effectively as there will be less manpower requirement. Organization can also take care of many people at a time and they can also make them self sufficient with the help of these technologies.
Despite all this benefits Assistive Technology has some side effects too. People are losing their jobs because there are machines now, to do their work. This technology is also making these organizations fully dependent as they do not use any traditional method to motivate or strengthen the patients; they just advise them to use these equipments and work. Some of the institutions are also involved with people who provide these devices so that they can get some commission. So at the end this technology has many advantages and it can transform the complete heath care but it is very much necessary to monitor the role of healthcare organizations.
In this report we have seen how the technology has transformed and changed the traditional way of treatment. People with disabilities can now lead the life of normal people which was impossible some years ago. The life expectancy of people are also increasing. Assistive Technology has proved to be a boon in the health care sector by serving so many people with different disabilities. It has also made its impact on health organizations by making them more advanced and effective. But due to this technology many people are losing their jobs because everyone is getting dependent. So we can say that this technology is surely making the people to live independent life but on the other hand it is also affection a particular section of society.
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