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If you have been paying any attention at all, you know that the health care landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years, and that is likely to continue. What this means for average consumers is that they will have to take more responsibility for their own care and managing their costs.
The change started in 2010 with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. While people may disagree on whether this was a good step or a negative one, everyone can agree that is has changed the way we buy health care in the United States, maybe forever.
The change continues today, as health care costs continue to rise. Employers and insurance providers are shifting more of the cost to consumers, as consumer-based plans like health savings accounts become more prevalent. Insurers are also increasing co-pays and limiting doctor visits.
As a result, consumers are becoming more and more responsible for managing their own health, as well as the costs associated with them.
Of course, one of the best ways people can manage their health is to do their best to stay well. This includes making lifestyle changes in diet and exercise, and finding ways to reduce stress, to keep the doctor away.
But for many others who live with conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease high blood pressure, and other conditions, the simple reality is they need closer monitoring and treatment. And since doctor visits are less frequent and more costly, they have to do more themselves.
Fortunately, there are options available. Medical device manufacturers are making residential versions of the equipment found in doctors offices and hospitals. These affordable, easy-to-use devices allow consumers to do more at home to monitor their vital signs and administer medications.
The most recognizable are blood pressure monitors. Blood pressure is one of the most basic measures of a person’s overall health. There are a variety of blood pressure monitors available for home use, and they start at about $35.
A little more advanced than a blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeters measure the oxygen in a person’s blood. Simple to use, they fit on a person’s fingertip and provide a reading within seconds. Pulse oximeters for home use start at about $30.
Finally, nebulizers allow people who need to take medication into their lungs, especially those with asthma. Nebulizers are available in adult and pediatric versions, and start at about $30.
By using these home medical devices, consumers can keep closer tabs on their health. And in today’s healthcare market, that means a healthier pocketbook, as well as a healthier patient.