Dr. Zatrok's blog
Dr. Zatrok's blog

Dr. Zatrok's blog

What can home medical technology be used for?

by Dr. Zsolt Zatrok

Many people – either doctors or patients – are unaware of what home medical technology is for. The doctors think that it is against them/replacing them. And the patients believe that a single twenty-euro device purchased in the supermarket is enough to get rid of all of their complaints. Neither party is right. Let me explain it.

Home medical technology and the doctor

Home medical technology refers to a diagnostic or therapeutic device designed for safe use in the absence of a physician or physical therapist.

It represents a new treatment option for both the doctor and the patient. By the use of which such tasks can be accomplished that were not possible even 10-15 years ago, but only in hospitals. It can be used in addition to traditional (pharmacological, surgical, etc.) treatments, in some cases even instead of them.

It supports the medical work! For example:

  • data from blood glucose level or blood pressure measurements (regularly performed by the patient) help to fine-tune the treatment.
  • measurement of blood oxygen levels informs the patient about the severity of her/his condition and when to see a doctor.
  • it enhances the effect of drug therapy (e.g., salt therapy, mechanotherapy, microcurrent, soft laser and Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy).
  • it is side-effects-free, therefore, it may replace certain medications or reduce the dosage needed to be administered. (TENS, microcurrent).
  • it allows treatment for diseases that cannot be treated in an outpatient clinic or a hospital.
    For example, symptoms caused by lymphedema, ulcers, post-thrombotic conditions, atherosclerosis/vascular stenosis etc. require lifelong treatment. Usually require half an hour to one hour of treatment per day. Today, medical practices are not prepared to care for a patient who needs daily treatment for a lifetime.
  • home medical technology can improve conditions for which there was no solution before (incontinence, peroneal paresis, Bell’s palsy, facial nerve paralysis – functional stimulation)
  • it accelerates rehabilitation, i.e., recovery after long-term illnesses, or surgeries.

Home medical technology and the patient

In a significant proportion of diseases home medical technology simplifies treatment and helps your daily life! For example:

  • blood glucose level or blood pressure self-monitoring is an effective way to empower patients, by the use of which the serious complications can be prevented, i.e., stroke, paralysis, vascular stenosis, dementia.
  • In the case of COPD, pulmonary diseases, by measuring blood oxygen levels, the measured alterations warn in time of an exacerbation of the disease, and the need to see a doctor.
  • it provides a faster healing, recovery and return to work (this is important because if you don’t work, your income will also decline).
  • it is side-effects-free, no need to poison yourself (with plenty of drugs).
  • it allows home treatment for diseases, for the treatment of which you would have to go to an outpatient clinic even daily, for a lifetime.
    For example, symptoms caused by lymphedema, ulcers, post-thrombotic conditions, atherosclerosis/vascular stenosis, paresis etc. require regular, half an hour to one hour of treatment. If you have to travel to the outpatient clinic every day, wait your turn, get the treatment,
  • it makes your life completely impossible, and may even make your family member’s life miserable, too, who is helping you.
  • it accelerates regaining the strength, i.e., recovery etc., after long-term illnesses, or surgeries.

So the home medical technology is nothing more than a new treatment modality, provided by the modern age, in addition to and in part instead of medications, surgeries.

The role of an adequate instrument

Do not use your home medical device without a proper medical examination. In order to get the right device, and therapy, you need to know what area needs to be treated!

Example: You’re waiting for lunch while squeezing the fork. But Grandma cooked soup! You cannot do with a fork because you need a spoon!
Of course I hear…. that you can eat the soup with a fork too, because you are so skilful! Well, let’s face it. If you would eat with a spoon, you could be done in a shorter time, and eat in a more cultured way. Because a spoon was invented for eating soup (without making a mess!). While forks were not designed for that purpose.

Another example: even if you have a hammer, you will never drill a hole in the wall! Just like the saw is not driving a nail into the wood.

I hope this helps you understand how important the appropriate tool is! Ask for an advice on choosing the right device!

Home medical technology isn’t a miracle worker!

Miracle machines do not exist! Don’t fall for all the lies! There is no such device that could eliminate a persistent torturing condition that has developed over months and years, with only 1-2 treatments.

Only a treatment accomplished with the right treatment device adequate to the diagnosis, performed in the right way and with the right frequency will help. In most cases, its regular application for weeks will work.

The use and management of home medical techniques are simplified so that you can use them safely and effectively without the presence of a doctor. You should continue treatment until you recover under the guidance and periodic monitoring by your doctor/therapist.

home medical therapy treatment options

What happens in the hospital?

If you’ve had an accident or surgery before, you may have experienced that hospital treatment takes only a few days. Everything is done to eliminate the “serious” symptoms, in order to discharge you from hospital as soon as possible. These days, it’s rare to stay in the hospital for more than 5-10 days.

But that doesn’t mean that you’re completely healed!

Your arm is still paralyzed by the stroke. Your long illness has weakened you, your muscles are atrophied and you can barely get up from bed to stagger to the armchair. Your operated knee is stiff, does not move properly, every step hurts, and so on.

If you’re not okay, why do they send you home?

Because the hospital’s job is to “get you out” of the serious condition. If your life is no longer in danger, they are “no longer competent”.

Medical treatments form a process in which the elements build on each other. The life-threatening condition was averted at the hospital and you were discharged home. From then on, you need the help of other professionals.

The next step is rehabilitation

Head to the specialist clinic, visit the physical therapist, physiotherapist, and dietitian.

They teach you the gymnastic movements you need to repeat at home every day. If you do the exercises persistently for a few months, you won’t miss the impact either. (If not…)

You will also be advised on a diet that is appropriate for your illness – but no one can keep that for you either. Getting rid of a few pounds… it doesn’t work in a week or two either.

They prescribe 10-10 physical therapy sessions, from this and that. That’s what insurance “covers”. Treatments expire when you are just beginning to feel their benefits, but you are not “ready” yet.

These consultations and physical therapy treatment sessions “expire” (after a certain amount of time from activation date). These consultations and treatments “expire”.

You should also continue your diet, the exercises and treatments until you recover.

How long does it take to rehabilitate?

Now, let’s look at two simple examples!

After a knee injury, you wait for a few weeks for surgery. You can’t move, your lower limb muscles weaken, and atrophy quickly. The surgery will be performed and the physiotherapist will show up the very next day to teach you what exercises you need to do. You will also be sent for physical therapy and will also receive some selective stimulus current (muscle stimulation) treatments.

But you’ll definitely be sent home in a few days. And you are horrified to notice that your thigh muscles are thinned, they’re barely “holding” you. You feel that your knee joint is unstable or weak, and you can hardly walk, much less exercise. If you exercise for at least 30-40 minutes twice a day, you can regain lost muscle strength in 6-7 months. With the help of a muscle stimulator, this time period can be halved or thirded.

The situation is even more serious if you get a stroke and one of your arms or legs get paralyzed. The danger to life is eliminated in a few days, and your general condition will also be resolved in a week to 10 days. You will be treated daily by a physiotherapist at the hospital and you will also receive electrotherapy. You’ll be home after two or three weeks… but your hands (and feet) still won’t move. You will need to repeat the stimulus current therapy and physiotherapy at home for months to maintain any hope of recovery at all.

You’re on your own.

In some countries, the home rehabilitation (HOME Rehabilitation, HOMER) system is well designed and developed, and the necessary equipment is covered by the health insurance. It is conducted under the guidance of medical specialists, but not in the outpatient clinics, but in the patient’s home.

However, the most modern, most recent devices are often included in the range of assets supported by health insurance with a delay. Therefore, if you want an effective home treatment, you are obliged to buy a device on your own.

Who controls the home treatments?

As physical therapy at home is intended to continue the treatment started in the hospital/outpatient department in your own home, until recovery, thus treatment should be controlled by a doctor or a physical therapist.

She/he has to specify what program to use, with what settings, how, and how many times to treat the body part(s) affected by the disease(s).

And you will have to perform the treatment. Only then is it effective!

Medical technology designed for home use is extremely easy to apply. Anyone can learn how to use these devices properly, and really master their safe use.

Bonus: freedom and independence

softlaser, LLLT treatment

Why do I need this?

Many argue that if these treatments can be obtained in a specialist clinic as well, then why should you buy such medical device(s) for home use?

Lost muscle strength, joint stability, etc. cannot be regained in a few days!

It often takes weeks, sometimes months to heal. Moreover, there are conditions such as paralysis due to nerve injury, where it can take years to regain function.

It’s not realistic, and it’s fatiguing as well to be obliged to travel to the clinic every day for the 10-30 minute treatments. It is a real hassle even if you live next door.

Lymphedema is also a good example. This condition requires daily care and treatment.

There is an army of chronic diseases, in which, at times, the complaints get worse, and at other times they get better. If your knee or hip osteoarthritis or rheumatism “flares up” every now and then for the umpteenth time, it is completely unnecessary to go to the hospital or a specialist clinic. Proven treatments can also be performed with the help of a home medical device, when it hurts and you need it and not when you can get an appointment at the outpatient clinic.

Home medical technology helps with these! In your home, comfortably, safely. Because that’s what they were invented for!

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