There is comfort and dignity in being able to age in familiar surroundings. Connected health technologies can promote wellness and enable individuals to live independently in the face of weakness, cognitive decline, disabilities or medical conditions. Leveraging connected health technologies, the home can become a ‘health hub’ for monitoring, healthcare and social support. Some of the tasks and activities made easier through personal connected health include vital signs monitoring, medication/therapy reminders, activity prompts, early warnings, emergency response, and real-time alerts and interventions.
- Assistance with daily health and monitoring tasks
- Medical reminders
- Activity prompts
- Monitoring and early warning using bio-sensor data collection
- Automated dietician
- Emergency response
- Real-time alerts and communication
Carol, 79 years old - living alone in the same home that she’s lived in for 30 years
She and her husband, who passed away two years ago, raised their three children in this home and although she is now living in it independently – it is home. Her children have long since moved out with the closest being Michelle who is a 45-minute drive away. Carol has some cardiovascular conditions and she also, like many people her age, is starting to experience a bit of cognitive decline. She just doesn’t remember things as well as she used to.
Each day, Carol gets up around 7:00 a.m., uses the bathroom, weighs herself, goes to the kitchen to eat breakfast and take her various pills, makes a cup of tea and then settles into the den to watch the morning news.
Around 9:00 a.m., a prompt appears across the TV screen reminding Carol to take her blood pressure, which she does with a wireless-enabled blood pressure cuff that is sitting next to her easy chair in the den.
Each morning around 10:00 a.m., Michelle, Carol’s daughter, receives a text message on her cell phone that says “Mom’s okay” – meaning that systems throughout her mother's home were able to determine that she got out of bed, she used the bathroom, her weight had not dramatically shifted, she took her pills correctly, the gas on the stove is off, and her blood pressure is stable. Michelle uses her cell phone to call her mother and ask her how she’s doing that morning, but she already knows that all is well and they talk about Michelle’s kids.
If Carol had forgotten to take her pills that morning or if something else about her daily living had been abnormal, Michelle would have been alerted and she could have called her mother to help coach her or preventively called for more specific professional health care support.