Most promising tech for senior care in 2018
Health records of seniors are stored digitally and made available to their next of kin for updates.This article is authored by Sunny Kapoor ,CEO GladAge
Photo Credit : gigaom.com,
Seniors don’t exactly see eye to eye with the younger generation when it comes to technology- the sole reason being a feeling of alienation. Over the past decade, various advances in technology have transformed not only the society but also created benefits and potential for the older population. The result: technology has grown on seniors, and they are still getting used to the fact that it can actually be a boon rather than a bane.
Many older citizens are still frightened of new technology, and a lack of confidence prevents them from acquiring tech-related information. It is necessary to implement technology in an age-sensitive manner so that it overcomes the constraints which may hinder wide-scale adoption. Poor design, personal apprehension, logistics, high costs are some of the more common barriers which may prevent them from embracing technology. Once this is looked after, technology can pave the way for better senior care worldwide.
Now that we have established what technology means for the ageing part of our population, it is time to take a look at some of the most promising tech for senior care-
Digital Hearing Aids
Latest hearing aids contain a microchip that can be used to have a personalized hearing experience and largely improve seniors’ hearing capabilities. These aids are light in weight and even allow users to adjust volume or other such settings directly from their smartphone. This improvement in hearing aids results in a rich hearing experience for seniors even if there’s a lot of background disturbance.
Smart Care Homes
Traditional care homes are highly unorganized and lack behind when it comes to providing the necessary support system. In the age of smartphones and smart cities, we are obligated to use technology to create smart homes for seniors to spend their lives in. A care home built with the purpose of providing every necessary service at the click of a finger and more importantly, a senior-friendly environment. Innovative design with anti-skid tiles, emergency-care switches, automated system for hiring personal caretakers, an e-commerce platform for shopping are some of the essential features for smart care homes.
Various healthcare organizations are using cloud-based platforms to monitor the health of a patient remotely. Such systems offer precise, reliable data that in turn helps in analyzing the effectiveness of an ongoing health plan. Doctors find this data particularly useful in cases of seniors that require frequent attention and often asks for collaboration between various specialists.
Emergency Response Monitoring
Emergency response monitoring systems find their roots in the 1970s, but latest innovations have made these systems wearable as bracelets or necklaces. The addition of features like Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking, pulse detection and smartphone notifications have made such systems a life-saving tech. In situations like a stroke or asthma attack when seniors are incapable of calling for help, such a bracelet or necklace automatically requests for assistance based on the wearer’s pulse rate. Some low-end wearables may require the push of a button to call for help.
Digital Pill Dispensers
Seniors either forget taking pills on time or take extra pills which can result in a trip to the emergency room. To eliminate human error due to ailments like dementia, various pharmaceuticals have introduced digital pill dispensers which administer correct pills only at the required time and not earlier or later. Such dispensers come in locked as well as an unlocked model. The locked model comes in handy in case of patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s.
This is where Blockchain comes in
Blockchain is ushering the next era of the Internet, and the technology has the potential to bring all the tech mentioned above on same the table. Blockchain implementation can prove revolutionary for senior care by creating an ecosystem dedicated entirely to their well-being. The technology decentralizes entire systems to hand power back to ordinary people, in this case, seniors or their family members and give them the freedom to choose the type of services needed. They get hassle-free accessibility to vetted homes with the provision of medical and non-medical personalized care at their service.
Health records of seniors are stored digitally and made available to their next of kin for updates. Caretakers are trained to handle any situation, and senior get to rate them based on the service provided. An emergency response system is placed well within reach of a senior in case of any mishappenings. The entire process is based on a tokenized system, and all payments are done by a token, which encourages an incentivising mechanism within the system.
With Blockchain organizing the entire sector, it can allow care homes to focus on an active lifestyle with social engagement to help maintain the perfect physical as well as mental status of seniors. Not only this, but Blockchain also makes senior care secure, affordable, manageable and reliable.
Technology alleviates isolation, disadvantages, and marginalization faced by senior citizens in various walks of life. It ensures greater access to information, facilitates health care and keeps them entertained without having to leave the safety of homes. Many regard technology as an obstacle in social interaction but they fail to realize that this technology can also act as a catalyst for social cohesion amongst older adults.