Innovative Technology for Seniors: How the Evolving Digital Era Is Influencing the Way We Age


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This past May, Institute on Aging hosted an aging and tech conference. According to post-conference questionnaires, it was our best one ever! Nurses, psychologists, assisted living administrators, social workers, doctors, tech innovators, and family caregivers were among the long list of attendees. The conference inspired us to collaborate and share exciting ideas about some of the latest developments in home care technology for older adults. And far from a new breed of toys or amusements with buttons to press, these inventions are actually changing the way we age, and the possibilities that come with growing older.

Cutting-Edge Technology Utilized at IOA

IOA has gotten a head start on using technology to assist our clients and enhance their quality of life. Here are a few tools we already use as part of our best practices:

Procura

Procura is a home care software package that greatly improves IOA’s processes. Among other things, it allows us to collect key medical information from patients and quickly use it to improve care. It also lets us to keep up with a rapidly-shifting healthcare landscape. Our staff can stay in constant contact with caregivers and each other, using mobile solutions to coordinate services.
Procura’s scheduling optimization is one of the reasons why we’re able to accommodate so many clients with efficiency and ease. Finally, this software helps us meet new regulatory requirements, so you know your loved one’s care is safe, secure, and “up to code!”

Secure Senior Care Management App

Powered by CareZone, this app is for those looking after an aging loved one or an adult with disabilities. It lets you easily manage medication schedules, coordinate care with family, and connect with IOA’s team of gerontologists and other experts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Want to stay organized? Now you can have a current medication list and schedule right at your fingertips wherever you go. The same goes for contacts, passwords, and any other information needed to provide care.  What about care coordination? The app allows you to share secure access with family and other caregivers so that everyone’s aware of key tasks, appointments, medications, and updates. Other features include a journal, calendar, notes, to-do lists, medication reminders, photos, files, caring resources, and more.

What Else Is Out There In the World of Home Care Tech?

The following are among several unique innovations and home care tech systems (many of which were represented at the recent Aging2.0 Tech Expo!):

Alere

Alere[1. www.alere.com] is a company with exceptional devices to monitor patients at home for heart failure and other chronic diseases. Their full suite of rapid diagnostic tests can enhance and accelerate decision-making when it comes to treating infections, cardiometabolic conditions, and toxicology issues. Alere prides itself on delivering time-sensitive results when you need them most.

Nellcor

You may already recognize the Nellcor™ (standard) pulse oximeter: it’s that little clip nurses put on your finger in the hospital to measure your oxygen level! It’s now become the standard in healthcare settings worldwide. However, the Nellcor™ pulse oximetry system with OxiMax™[2.” True Intelligence for Both Monitor & Sensor,” https://www.medtronic.com/covidien/products/pulse-oximetry] technology goes even further. Its new sensor design helps monitor a broader range of patients more effectively, including those that clinicians had trouble monitoring in the past.

Innovations in Technology for Seniors

The technology listed above is only a drop in the bucket of what’s available (and what will be available) when it comes to digital home care solutions. New inventions are constantly changing the way we age, and allowing older adults greater autonomy and security in their health care. They also allow caregivers greater flexibility and peace of mind when it comes to looking after their loved ones. And who knows? With stellar options like these already available, personalized robots and spaceship transport may not be far behind!
**Please note that this article is informational only and not an endorsement by IOA of any particular system.
If you are unsure of how to best help an aging loved one, the trained and compassionate staff at the Institute on Aging is here to help you make that decision and gain the best in at-home care for older adults. Contact us to find out more.

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