How Wearable Wellness Is Improving Care For Seniors
From connected wristbands to electronic skin, sensing technology is improving the lives of seniors and caregivers alike
As populations around the world experience longer lifespans and larger elderly demographics, care for seniors becomes an increasingly important issue. This is why companies are creating remote healthcare systems and innovative technologies that support elderly people, caregivers and their families, making day-to-day life easier, safer and more enjoyable.
In particular, technology like connected sensors and wearables can provide real-time data to facilitate care and assistance. Here’s how three creative brands are implementing wearable artificial intelligence and IoT to provide responsive care for the aging population.
Japanese research group Takao Someya, part of the University of Tokyo’s School of Engineering, has invented a super-stretchable electronic skin that adheres to a patient’s body. With Advances in semiconductor technology, wearable devices can monitor health by first measuring vital signs or taking an electrocardiogram, and then transmitting the data wirelessly to a smartphone. The readings or electrocardiogram waveforms can be displayed on the screen in real time, or sent to either the cloud or a memory device where the information is stored. The idea behind the device is to facilitate caretaking in societies with large elderly populations, offering at-home, non-invasive healthcare monitoring.
A Loughborough University graduate created the first automated tracking and cooling device for women experiencing menopausal hot flashes called Grace. The underside of the wristband’s face is equipped with sensors capable of detecting the onset of a hot flash up to one minute before it strikes. If one is detected, a cooling apparatus on the other end of the device is immediately activated to help regulate the user’s thermo-receptors, giving them a total sense of cooling in order to counter the hot flash.
CarePredict, a health care monitoring technology company, created Tempo, a wrist-worn wearable that houses a sophisticated array of sensors able to detect an individual’s daily living activities and location, while providing a touch-button call system for real-time communication with caregivers. When the integrated assistance button is pressed, an alert is sent to caregivers showing the exact location of the senior. Machine learning discerns which activity is being performed and identifies the individual’s unique behavioral patterns, which helps CarePredict recognize trends in complicated and disparate data sets.
Wearable wellness is just one way that societies are innovating to more efficiently care for elderly populations. For more insight on this topic, see PSFK’s report Enhancing Daily Life For Seniors.