As our technology has become more and more advanced, it is becoming easier to combine new 'smart' technology with older tech in order to improve people's lives. One of the more common ways is in the fields of medicine and health, which has always stayed on the cutting edge of what's relevant. Coming of Age has gathered some exciting developments in senior health care that will make living your golden years even easier.
Sensor and Health Monitoring
Some health issues, like heart disease, often require constant monitoring that can be draining on its users. However, cloud based technologies have made it easier for healthcare professionals to monitor your health 24/7 and act if needed.
The company Preventice Technologies produces BodyGuardian, a non-intrusive body-worn heart monitor. It records data about your heart's activities constantly, and stores it on an Android device. From there, it uploads the information to a cloud that allows your physician or cardiologist to monitor your health. This allows your doctors to constantly monitor your treatment and health, and also allows them to act quickly should something change.
Smart device enabled monitoring and tracking is also becoming more popular. GrandCare offers a simplified touch screen computer, which allows owners to track reminders, medication, communicate with family and loved ones, and even access web-based entertainment. The GrandCare System can also be linked to other smart devices like phones or smart watches so caregivers can monitor activities, environmental sensors and more for their loved ones.
Health Apps and Trackers
With smart phones, smart watches and tablet computers becoming more common, there are hundreds of thousands of apps for any occasion - and countless ones related to health for seniors.
For seniors looking to maintain an exercise regiment, the choices are endless. Apps like My Fitness Pal, Map My Walk and Pocket Yoga help you keep a regiment, track your progress and work towards self-set goals. Combining this with a fitness tracker such as a FitBit allows you to monitor your heart rate, your calories burnt and your progress automatically - and since most smart watches are Bluetooth enabled, they work across the spectrum of smartphones.
There are also other tools that are available on the various app stores. Medisafe helps keep track of your medications, set reminders and create reports on how well you stuck to your regimen. For those who are at risk for sudden falls or other unexpected issues, Life Alert has a mobile app that allows those with Life Alert service to easily alert one of their operators if they ever need their assistance should an emergency strike.
Though it may seem handheld tech is leading the way in the health sector, traditional implanted medical devices have also made leaps and bounds due to rapid progression and integration.
Cochlear implants are becoming much more effective, and though they require minor surgery to implant, the results help alleviate hearing loss leaps and bounds past what a hearing aid can accomplish. According to Jan Janssen of Cochlear, advances to cochlear implants include dual microphones which adjust the sounds based on different listening environments; integrated wireless technology that can link to wireless microphones or smart devices; as well as hybrid electric-coustic devices that allow the benefits of both implants and hearing aids. These implants are even becoming more effective to those born with hearing loss, especially small children.
Pacemakers are also evolving, mostly thanks to the advancement of miniaturization technology that allows for device components to be produced smaller in size. The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System, made by Medtronic, is 93 percent smaller than normal pacemakers. It is so small it can be implanted directly into the heart without using any lead wires, which helps reduce the chance of infection and complication. The procedure itself only needs a catheter and does not require open- heart surgery, cutting drastically down on recovery time as well.
Technology is constantly advancing and helping improve people's lives along with it. These health technologies are only the tip of the iceberg, and even these easily accessible advances will allow seniors to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
Council on Aging of West Florida is compliant with the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability. Learn more at www.bbb.org.