There are currently about 46 million senior citizens in America. According to the Population Reference Bureau, that number is expected to double by the year 2060. These numbers are rising so quickly in part because of advances in medical technology that allow us to live longer and treat serious medical conditions. To give you an idea, the average life expectancy in 1950 was 68 years. By 2013, that number had increased to 79 – and it’s more common for people to live into their 80s or 90s in relatively good health.
Many senior citizens require assistance, whether in their homes or in a health care facility. Here at Santé, patients 65 and older have a variety of options from transitional rehab services following an injury or illness to longer in-home care. As the number of seniors needing help increases, technological advances are improving the way we care for the elderly. Today, we’re looking at how the technology that’s made banking and fitness easier is changing the landscape of senior care.
The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
This sounds like a crazy new website, but the Internet of Medical Things is a legitimate field. What is it? Basically, IoMT is a catch-all phrase for the tech infrastructure that connects medical devices to users. The FitBit is a prime example. Wearers of the device can track their steps and share the results with their doctor or family.
Now, imagine you are a senior with a heart condition. Having a small device that tracks your heart rate and other medical information would allow you to continue with your daily routine while the device sends information directly to your physician or care facility. Companies such as Nexeon MedSystems see the future of this technology as small, implantable devices that can monitor a patient’s health no matter where he or she is in the world.
Medication Made Easy
Complicated daily pill organizers will become a thing of the past as digital tech makes medication tracking easier. Software already exists to help seniors keep track of which medications they should be taking, and at what times. Products including AdhereTech, MyUBox, and MedMinder help seniors avoid missing doses of needed medications.
While many seniors need home health care for assistance with treatments and household tasks, some aspects of life can be arranged virtually. Robotic assistant programs such as Catalia Health’s Mabu and Intuition Robotics ElliQ interact with patients in the comfort of their own beds or a care facility. With the help of these virtual assistants on portable device such as a tablet or laptop, seniors can receive detailed information about medication and doctor’s suggestions, as well as connect with loved ones via social media.
Robotic assistants and implantable medical devices aren’t the first technologies to assist seniors in maintaining their health and quality of life. Remote “life alert” systems have been around for decades, and devices to test blood sugar or urine at home are used regularly. As technologies continue to advance, senior care is likely to become easier and more widely available. Contact us today for information on senior care options in your area or to schedule a tour of our properties.