In one of the latest post, we wrote about our belief, that IT solutions could help seniors to live a happy and comfortable life. We also promised to go over, what kind of solutions and technologies are ready to use for this purpose. So, let’s start right away!
Wearable fitness devices
As components are becoming smaller and cheaper, mainstream fitness bands and watches incorporate a dozen sensors, so can monitor sleep patterns, heart rate and yes even blood pressure more affordable. The simplest fitness devices are only watching essential activities, like walking, running, sleeping, so choose carefully which fitness band to buy. They are easy to use, relatively cheap to buy.
These devices measure blood pressure at the wrist. According to the American Heart Association, their measurement is usually higher and less accurate than those taken at your upper arm. However, having blood pressure and heart rate data for a more extended period can give reassurance that everything is OK, or in contrary, pinpoint to a hidden anomaly, which needs closer attention from a medical professional.
Shocking as it might be in today’s smartphone-centric world, not everyone needs a cell phone with the latest, multi-touch gestures, app stores or a constant stream of social media feeds. For seniors, sometimes a phone needs to be a device that can make and receive calls. The good news is that several mobiles exist today that are focused on the senior citizen community, I call them gramma phones. They have large buttons, emergency dialing, and easy-to-access speed dial functions. Also, there are a few devices designed primarily for seniors, always online and continually monitoring their users, de facto functioning as location trackers.
Companies also offer fall detectors: these devices can be worn like watches, they usually have a help call button and an automatic fall detector, which triggers the impact of a fall. An integrated panic button offers help in emergency situations – a 24/7 call center is on standby to receive these calls or alarms.
Devices enhancing sense organs
Older adults usually have difficulty hearing and seeing things; their senses deteriorate gradually. There are a bunch of hearing aids, a lot of them specialized: for instance, one helps people hear the television clearly without turning up the volume. In the field of vision, solutions are scarce, and the best ones are more than 700 years old: glasses. That’s a niche market, with lots of potentials.
Location tracking devices
People with Alzheimer’s and seniors with dementia tend to forget where their home is and sometimes they wander off from places they are supposed to be. A company developed smart shoes that help patients find the way home. With the help of a smart wearable device, a ‘safe zone,’ an area that is trusted enough for a senior person to travel comfortably, can be established. If the person moves outside the zone, caregivers are alerted.
Author: Zoltan Mathe