According to the UN, the population of people aged 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups — the world population of those aged 60+ is expected to double by 2050 and triple by 2100.
Healthcare for seniors continues to be a growing concern as the 60+ age group gets larger, but IoT (the Internet of Things) offers several innovations that can assist in senior care and help seniors maintain a more independent lifestyle.
Wearables that track vitals
A large number of seniors suffer from ailments that require regular monitoring — for example, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Devices that automatically track vitals and then upload that data to the cloud can provide peace of mind to caregivers, as well as alert to potential problems. Devices like InfoBionic’s MoMe Kardia and the Uber Diagnostic’s CardioTrack are designed to do just that.
Virtual home assistants
Seniors who live independently can require daily assistance and companionship. A virtual assistant, like the ElliQ robot by Intuition Robotics, can serve this purpose well. The virtual home assistant can not only interact with a senior via touchscreens and voice controls, but also enables seniors to contact their family or stay in touch via social media, can remind seniors to take their medication, and much more. Devices like the Amazon Echo can also fulfill some of these needs (like ordering groceries), allowing seniors to live more independently.
Smart implants powered by the Internet of Things also supply healthcare providers with essential data that’s helpful for continued care. Some examples include:
- Implants, like pacemakers, that can communicate information to a smartphone app to share with a healthcare provider
- Sensors that communicate post-surgery performance
- Glucose monitors that send glucose levels to an external receiver
It’s clear that Internet of Things (IoT) technology has the potential to revolutionize seniors’ lives by helping to keep individuals independent for longer and offering innovative care options.