Thanks to the internet of things (IoT) and connected devices, telemedicine and telehealth have become increasingly popular. These technologies can come in handy when caring for seniors living at home, giving them and carers greater peace of mind.Thanks to the internet of things (IoT) and connected devices, telemedicine and telehealth have become increasingly popular. These technologies can come in handy when caring for seniors living at home, giving them and carers greater peace of mind.
U.N. figures predict the number people aged 60 or over worldwide will rise from 962 million globally in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100. As elderly care becomes critical for countries with aging demographics, technological advances in fields like telehealth have made providing high-quality care easier.
“Telehealth and telemedicine equipment, including video conferencing, two-way voice, visual monitoring and remote monitoring, are designed to assist seniors who live at home to manage their long-term health conditions. These devices can also monitor senior’s health readings and can send to health care professional or caregiver to check results and keep a watchful eye on senior’s healthcare needs,” said YK Chen, Director of New Business Development at Climax Technology. “Visual verification devices, inactivity monitoring devices and voice recognition emergency extender devices further increase personal interactions and safety. And they even offer the opportunity to detect problems before they become crises.”
Liber Liu, RoW GM at Miotta said: “The key development for elderly care at home is an integrated cloud platform and IoT devices to provide point-of-care and aging-in-place service. The system can be used to track and analyze the behavior of elderly residents at multiple time scales and to provide reports and alerts to the caregiving staff. Moreover, with a cloud platform, the system can further be integrated with call center service for comprehensive protection.”
According to Liu, these solutions are meant to address key challenges facing providers of care for the elderly. “The pain points for care service providers are manpower shortage, lack of multiple protection and not having a powerful management platform.
“The turnkey solution offered by Miotta enables the service provider to provide mobile and location-based service which can remotely monitor the elderly in their homes and provide a collaborative alarm to notify multitier group of users. Care service providers can better allocate their human resources to provide an in-time response. Family members can be always in the know and get the utmost peace of mind,” he said.
To allow for remote monitoring of seniors living at home, various sensors are needed. These sensors can be wearable or noncontact, detecting a senior’s vitals, such as heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as blood sugar levels. The data is then sent to the cloud for further analysis.
There are also sensors that detect motion or behavior for seniors living in their own homes. Liu said a home system “can include motion sensors and door/window sensors to assist elders living alone,” adding that “activity analysis is based on motion detection sensors capturing different types of information at a variety of locations in the home.”
Meanwhile, with the US Centers for Disease Control reporting that adverse drug events cause approximately 1.3 million emergency department visits and 350,000 hospitalizations each year, smart medication dispensers connected to a care provider’s system can come in handy by reminding seniors when to take their medication.
“With a medication dispenser, caregivers can restock the medicine for the elderly and preset alarms to remind them to take medications. The system allows caregivers to remotely get an accurate view of a resident's health so they know when attention is needed,” Liu said.