Smart Tech for Healthy Aging - 2022 lineup
Living longer, better, and with more independence? Yes please! Innovations in technology and health solutions are allowing humans to do just that. Whether seniors are facing chronic illness, dementia, or isolation challenges, technology is rising to the cause. Today’s innovators are helping people manage and improve their conditions or stay on the path of healthy living one connected device at a time.
Here is what is new in 2022:
Smart TVs are playing a new role in healthcare. Two international leaders, LG and Samsung are introducing solutions to meet the health needs of seniors and families.
LG partnered with Independa Health Hub to provide app accessible health solutions via LG’s smart TVs, including family chat, medication fulfillment, exercise videos, telehealth services, meal ordering, transportation coordination, and on-demand HealthClips health education videos from WebMD’s The WellnessNetwork. The services are selectable via partners within the Independa Health Hub, which launched the partnership at the SXSW conference. The Health Hub has rapidly become a leading app within LG’s smart TVs offerings. (1)
Similarly, Samsung partnered with Best Buy Health. Samsung is providing health solutions through tablets, mobile devices, smart watches, TVs, and appliances, effectively moving healthcare into the home and wherever a person might be.
"With wearables, particularly with the aging population, it’s a different way of engaging them than mobile devices because we can collect information like body composition, heart rate to detect arrhythmia and sleep score, and it’s only going to get better. This device on our wrist, it started out as a toy for measuring steps, and now it's headed toward colliding with medical devices that are being manufactured," said Hon Pak, M.D., chief medical officer at Samsung Electronics in an article about SXSW. (2)
Best Buy has been building out its healthcare strategy specifically around senior and elder care technologies and digital health solutions. A recent acquisition of remote patient monitoring technology vendor Current Health for $400 million, a $800 million acquisition for Great Call connected health and personal emergency response services, and partnerships with TytoCare’s telehealth platform’s remote medical exam kit, Workpath for in-home blood draws, and ScriptDrop for medication delivery creates an ecosystem of care designed to serve the aging population. Best Buy has also reconfigured their Geek Squad tech support team to work with seniors to set up devices like blood pressure cuffs and connect devices to various applications. (2)
"We have been talking for a decade about the consumerization of healthcare. And it never really came. Then the pandemic came and just took it home. Technology is moving into health, and health is moving into the home," said Deborah Di Sanzo, president of Best Buy Health, in a SXSW 2022 conference session. (2)
Even Apple Watch has upped their game with a new feature that detects hard falls. If a hard fall is detected, the watch will call emergency services if the wearer is unresponsive for longer than about a minute, providing current location as longitude and latitude. During the countdown, the watch taps the wearer on the wrist and beeps, progressively beeping louder as the countdown continues to alert possible nearby individuals for assistance prior to calling emergency services. The watch does allow the wearer to dismiss the alert with the push of a button. Functionality and location notifications must be activated within the settings and set up of the device. (3)
And there are apps designed for families and caregivers of seniors, helping to coordinate care and make communication and connectivity easier among family members and support providers. CaringBridge, for example, offers a free site to families, where the family can pass along information to keep people connected but it also provides a place to communicate good thoughts, encouragement, and photos as well as medical and caregiving updates. “CaringBridge replaces countless texts and emails with a free, easy-to-use communications platform” as stated on the website. (4)
If you haven’t discovered it yet, First Aid: American Red Cross is an app that can be an essential resource in the caring tool kit. We love this one because it is free in the app stores and offers users professional advice from the American Red Cross. Does it get any better? Within the app, helpful videos, step-by-step instructions, and integrated 9-1-1 calling provide more than just useful information in the moment; the app makes the information and resources available offline as well. So if you are in a location without a signal or have your phone in airplane mode, the tools you need are still readily available. This life saving app can make all the difference in an emergency where there’s no one nearby to help. (5)
And don’t be surprised if an app is “prescribed” to you or a family member. Solutions like Daily Breath an asthma and allergy/air quality and trigger tracker, WellDoc an FDA approved diabetes care application, or Headspace for improved sleep and anxiety management are gaining traction with providers as meaningful solutions within a care plan. (6,7,8)
This is a small sampling of the wonderful and innovative solutions that have become available to consumers for better health management. Follow our CarePatrol social media sites where we will continue to share the latest apps, devices and wearables that are elevating our health and wellness care options. Live longer, in good health.
- https://www.theverge.com/2022/1/4/22865640/lg-tv-telehealth-platform-independa?fbclid=IwAR1GyuT5bnY44rL90VSPdajROUxpXKQTcHoxVqQqoTSqW2CWF0rfEOUmwcI The Verge
- https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/health-tech/sxsw-2022-best-buy-samsung-placing-big-bets-home-health-care-65-and-older-population Fierce Healthcare
- https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208944 Apple