For nearly eight years my mother has been on anticoagulants. Because of this, she has to drive down to her local hospital every two weeks or so and clinicians test her blood to see if she is in danger of developing a blood clot.
In theory it seems pretty simple, and pretty painless. But in reality it can be pretty taxing. Although the visits last 20 minutes or so, my mother has had to plan her life around these “events.” Vacations have been cut short and travel plans now almost always include looking for an institution that will be able to test her blood, and send the information back to her doctors in a timely fashion.
If only we had known that there’s a simpler solution to all this. There is technology out there now that could allow patients like my mother take these test from home and send the results to their doctors.
The question then becomes, why aren’t we seeing more doctors push technologies such as this? Quite frankly, I think it comes down to an aspect that med-tech companies sometimes gloss over – the education piece.
Companies need to have the sufficient capital to make education about their products, a stronger part of the post FDA approval piece. Now I’m just singling out this particular instance to make my point, but I wonder how many more patients out there are unaware of technology that could be beneficial to them. How many more patients are falling through the cracks because their doctors are unaware, or don’t have enough information to recommend a particular product.
Once I told my mother about the test, she was intrigued and she’s looking into the matter further. I suspect it will take some discussion with her doctors before she is equipped with this new technology, but at least now she’s headed in the right direction and is finally aware of this life changing option.