Older people healthcare is a ripe field for modern technologies.
Though the pace of tech adoption in healthcare is slowed down by a rather strict legislation, the market is growing exponentially, and will continue to do so. According to the forecasts, only the patient monitoring wearable market will expand by almost four times to reach 33 million devices by 2021.
Healthcare providers massively agree that technologies can significantly improve the process of care provision. They help caregivers and medical staff keep in touch with patients 24/7, significantly decrease the number of readmissions, and, in general, make healthcare more targeted and personalized. More importantly, technologies may be of even more use when it comes to older adults.
Sensors identifying an unusual or undesirable behavior, GPS tracking the senior patients’ movements, reminder and alert apps, real-time telemedicine solutions – all this can turn an elderly patient’s home into an examination room. Tech advocates state sometimes a secure video chat with a doctor may turn out to be better for an elderly patient’s health than a regular visit, which involves getting out of bed, going to the hospital and queueing. For older adults, to perform even simple actions may be twice as hard.
According to the Medicare provisions, real-time interactions between a healthcare provider and a patient are almost equal to regular visits. Doctors even get reimbursed for them under certain conditions. However, older adults are reluctant to rely on fiddly gadgets and remote consultations when it comes to health issues.
Are there any tricks we can secretly use to help elderly patients let technologies into their lives? The answer is yes.
Old habits die hard
Elderly people are much less willing to grasp new technologies, so healthcare devices and apps designed for them should require as least training as possible. Ideally, they should refer to the older adults’ prior experience. It may seem challenging at first sight; however, a solution does exist.
A potential way out may be to use a habitual “gadget” to establish a video connection between a doctor and a patient. For instance, a TV set. Why not? One could hardly imagine a modern family that does not have a TV. Besides, elderly people are pretty well-versed in it.
A custom-tailored telemedicine solution for a TV set represents a module with specially developed software. It allows elderly patients and doctors to make calls, as well as communicate via an embedded secure video chat. The intuitive and familiar interface makes establishing a connection a no-brainer for elderly patients, thus saving them time and trouble of getting used to new devices.
TV-enabled video chat solutions were quite popular at dawn of telemedicine, and now they experience a true Renaissance serving the needs of one of the most vulnerable groups of patients. Moreover, modern video technologies and high-definition screens allow developers to significantly improve the quality of connection, thus enhancing user experience and encouraging better outcomes of remote consultations.
Telemedicine is projected to be a $36.3 billion industry by 2020, and we are certainly going to witness a transformation of real-time telehealth apps and devices. As for now, secure TV chats may become a good option for elderly patients while they are doing their best to make friends with modern gadgets.
Besides, it is a quite uncommon application of the old faithful TV set that has almost turned into a piece of furniture with the advent of Netflix, isn’t it?