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Using Wearable Technology in Improving Elderly Health Care

  • Wearable tech provides real-time data on the health of elderly individuals to aid in the early detection of potential health issues. 
  • Data generated from wearables can be analyzed to offer insights into the health status of patients, including sleep patterns, activity levels, and nutrition. 
  • Considerations before purchasing include size and wearability, battery life, user interface, and features.
  • Wearables also aid in medication adherence, fall prevention, and social support for elderly individuals. 

With the global population becoming increasingly aged, there is a growing concern over the health and well-being of elderly individuals. Managing complex health conditions is some of the biggest challenges faced by caregivers and healthcare professionals. However, recent advancements in wearable technology offer a compelling solution to improve the quality of elderly healthcare. Here’s how it can aid in elderly healthcare, revolutionizing the way the world approaches geriatric care.

Monitoring Health Parameters

Wearable technology such as smartwatches and health monitors provide real-time data on the health of elderly individuals. These sensors can track vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation. 

The data generated from these wearable techs can then be shared with healthcare providers to monitor the health status of elderly patients. The continuous monitoring of health parameters can help identify potential health issues before they escalate into more significant problems. Early detection can prompt timely medical attention, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

Wearable technology in elderly health care also provides an enormous amount of data. This data can be analyzed to offer insights into the health status of patients. Such insights can help healthcare providers understand the status of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

Wearables are also pivotal in providing data on sleep patterns, activity levels, and nutrition, which can factor into a patient’s overall well-being. With wearable technology equipped with host dashboards to track the performance of elderly individuals, healthcare professionals can personalize patient care with real-time data insights.

elderly woman smiling in bed while checking her blue wearable device

What To Consider Before Purchasing?

There’s no doubt that wearable technology can revolutionize elderly healthcare. However, before investing in any product, it’s essential to take into consideration the cost and features of each device. Here are the aspects of the device you should consider:

Size and Wearability

When it comes to wearables for elderly healthcare, size, and wearability are two of the most important aspects to consider. Devices should be comfortable to wear, lightweight, and should not interfere with daily activities. High-quality adhesives for skin contact should be used to ensure that the device is securely attached and will not cause any skin irritation.

Battery Life

The battery life of wearables should be considered, as the device needs to provide enough power for continuous monitoring. It is also essential to check if the device has an internet connection or not, as this will enable it to send data remotely to healthcare providers. The type of sensors used in wearable technology should also be taken into account, as this will determine the accuracy of the data collected.

User Interface

The user interface of the wearable should be easy to use and understand. It also needs to provide information in an accessible manner. Features such as reminders and alarms can also help elderly individuals to remember when they have taken their medication or need medical attention.

person's hand laid out with heart and health icons floating on top of it

Other Major Uses of Wearables

Wearables also play a huge role in assisting elderly individuals in their day-to-day activities. Sensors can track movement and location; therefore they can also be tailor-fitted to help in the following areas:

Medication Adherence

Skipping medication can be a common occurrence among the elderly, leading to serious health complications. Wearable technology can aid in managing medication adherence with continuous reminders for medicine intake. 

Additionally, some wearable devices come with built-in medication cabinets that allow for medication dispensation according to the required dosage and time. This technology helps elderly individuals manage their medication schedules independently, reducing the burden on caregivers.

Fall Prevention

The likelihood of elderly individuals falling and injuring themselves is a common occurrence, leading to multiple health complications. The risk of falls increases with age and underlying health conditions.

Wearable devices such as hip protectors can detect when a fall is happening and automatically deploy an airbag to reduce the impact of the fall. Additionally, smart mats placed in common areas, such as the living room, can alert caregivers through their wearable devices if a fall occurs.

Social Support

The use of technology in geriatric care can also provide social support and reduce social isolation for the elderly. Wearables such as smartwatches with video calling functionality can help connect elderly individuals with their friends, family, and healthcare professionals. The functionality can significantly reduce the feeling of isolation, leading to improved mental health and an overall sense of well-being.

Wearable technology is undoubtedly changing the healthcare industry, and the potential it holds in elderly healthcare is significant. The continuous real-time monitoring of vital signs, medication adherence, fall prevention, data insights, and social support provide all the necessary services needed to manage geriatric care. While there is skepticism surrounding the use of technology in healthcare, the benefits of wearable technology in elderly care far overcome any drawbacks. The adoption of wearable technology in elderly care can improve patient’s quality of life, reduce the burden on caregivers, and manage health more proactively.

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