Using Technology to Transform the Aging Experience

Kimberly O'Loughlin is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Philips Home Monitoring.

As the senior population evolves, it’s no surprise that technology is helping people age in place. But when it comes to transforming the aging experience, this doesn’t just mean addressing seniors’ needs – it means addressing the needs of caregivers and clinicians as well so seniors can live healthier, enjoyable lives in their own homes. I recently discussed this on a panel at the Our Aging Market Grand Forum.

Fortunately, with a changing healthcare landscape and advancements in technology such as sensors, wearables and predictive analytics, we’re able to help improve the lives of our aging population and caregivers alike, focusing on:

  • Addressing the Needs of Seniors: The demographics and needs of this population are rapidly changing – people are living longer, they are more tech-savvy, and they are more engaged in their personal health than ever. Ninety-six percent of seniors said it’s important to be as independent as possible as they get older1 and there are more than 56 million seniors in the U.S. right now, and this number is only expected to grow in the upcoming years. Medical alert devices are powerful tools that empower seniors to be active and independent while keeping them safer. These devices also capture important data about behavior and eventual outcomes – a function that has exciting possibilities for helping improve outcomes, reducing hospital readmissions, and increasing patient satisfaction.
  • Recognizing Caregiver Pressures: There are over 34 million informal caregivers today2, and they face incredible pressures as they help to ensure their loved one is safe and aging well at home. Caregiving requires a time commitment, and with many important decisions to make, caregivers can often feel overwhelmed. As the senior population continues to grow, caregivers need support and the proper resources more than ever to help them take care of their loved ones. Technology provides caregivers with peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is safe even when they aren’t there.
  • Helping Clinicians Face New Challenges: With new government regulation and processes in place, clinicians are adapting to value-based care models, seeking to reduce readmissions and assure better outcomes. As this population grows, and individual consumers approach healthcare in a different way, connected technology solutions that provide clinicians with a view into the home and a patient’s health status will be integral in helping seniors age in place.  Connected technology solutions not only provide more touch points with patients, but when pairing predictive analytics with wearables for seniors, the combination can have a dramatic impact in helping to proactively manage their health.

This is an exciting time to be in the business of serving seniors, and today’s innovative technologies are enabling seniors to live with grace and dignity in their own homes. These solutions can help alleviate worries while helping to deliver better care, providing

1 Aging Well: Technology Use Among Our Aging Population

2 http://www.cdc.gov/aging/caregiving/facts.htm

 

 

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