Technology Helping Seniors Live Longer and Healthier
Millennials may not truly understand how good they have it. They are the first generation in a long time to have both parents and living grandparents thanks to the advances in medicine, public health and technology. But how do we sustain such a triumph when we know older people become frailer over time or could suffer chronic conditions that could lead to expensive, possibily extensive hospital stays or therapy?
Technology can actually help people stay healthy, along with staying in their homes and out of nursing homes and hospitals. In 2013, an Arizona-based hospital system worked with Philips to create specially designed tablet computers and other devices so patients with chronic disorders could relay vital signs and other information to doctors. The information was analyzed by professionals and they would then provide recommended courses of treatment. A study found that in these patients, hospitalizations for the “telehealth” users dropped by 45 percent.
For the future, there could be more of these “telehealth” users, but also more development in wearable technology so motion and other sensors installed in the home could track and generate data about patients. The data collected from any of these devices that are or could be in use, allow for data to be mined for subtle changes that could be otherwise missed. It’s the early detection and adjustments in treatment that happen quickly that would allow patients to continue to enjoy life at home.