December 5, 2017 – Electronic Assessment


Anchor lead: What’s the best role for electronic assessment tools in patient care? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Electronic devices are increasing being used to monitor hospitalized patients, and their capabilities are constantly expanding, a recent study showed. Alicia Arbaje, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, says their role should be scrutinized carefully.

Arbaje: Certainly there’s a role for telemedicine or wearable technology or motion sensors or those kinds of things, but I do not think that the role of technology is to substitute for human care. It’s really to complement care from a human being. There is a potential for cost savings but it cannot be at the substitution of human touch. I think there we are going in the wrong direction.  :21

Arbaje says she has seen some clever applications of technology for hospitalized older patients.

Arbaje: Have family members record their voices, and then you play it back to the person when they’re in the middle of an episode of delirium, it helps to calm the person down. I thought now there’s an interesting use of technology where you’re creating some humanity, you’re putting some humanity back.  :14

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.