Seniors Live Independently w/ Remote Patient Monitoring

Background

The population of those 65 years and older is growing thanks to increased health advancements. However, due to their age, seniors are at an increased risk for diseases. This requires more frequent visits and check-ups. Oftentimes, the older patient requires assisted living in order to monitor their health. Surprisingly though, 61% of older adults prefer to live in their homes, even if they live in isolation [1]. About 28% of older adults that do live alone feel lonely and isolated [2]. This is concerning because those that live alone may have a harder time following their treatment plan. They may also have worsening symptoms go undetected [2]. Furthermore, due to their decreased social activity, they may not be getting enough nutrition. All of these can lead to decreased quality of life for older patients. Therefore, seniors need remote patient monitoring in order to continue living independently while receiving the care they need.

Solutions

Preventive Care

Remote patient monitoring provides real-time data to the care team. This can be done with wearables that track different health data such as heart rate, oxygen levels, blood pressure, and more [3]. Monitoring devices can also be used to detect falls or dementia episodes that cause older patients to wander off [3]. This helps provide peace of mind to caretakers and allows older patients to live more independently. Furthermore, doctors can use medication devices to ensure that older patients are adhering to their medication and treatment plans [3]. Patients can track any new symptoms or worsening conditions when they happen. Physicians will have real-time data from monitoring devices to provide proper treatment. Overall, implementing remote patient monitoring services has been shown to decrease hospital readmissions by 20% [4]. Therefore, the use of remote monitoring devices to collect vitals is an effective method of providing preventive care to older patients.

AI-Personal Assistants

Remote Patient monitoring can also be used with AI in order to provide older patients with their own healthcare assistants [3]. The AI system can ask patients about their current health assessment in order to track their treatment progress. The personal assistant can also look out for any changes in mood or worsening symptoms. Furthermore, older patients that live alone can gain some social activity by interacting with the virtual assistant via conversations throughout the day [3]. Patients that suffer from memory loss will also benefit from continuous medication tracking. This can aid in preventing incorrect medication dosage [5]. Additionally, AI implementation can help diagnose any worsening health factors. It does this by tracking trends and alerting the proper care provider when needed [5]. Overall, implementing remote care services with AI provides real-time diagnostic services to the care team for better health outcomes. 

Conclusion

The majority of the more senior population prefer to live independently, and may even delay care in fear of losing their independence. Therefore, older patients need technology advancements so they can receive the care they need from the location they prefer. With the use of vitals monitoring and AI-personal assistants, real-time data can be provided to the care team. Physicians can use this to make sure seniors are following their treatment plans. Overall, this provides older patients with increased preventive care and better health outcomes.

References

  1. https://homehealthcarenews.com/2019/06/61-of-older-adults-prefer-to-remain-at-home-even-if-living-alone/#:~:text=Subscribe-,61%25%20of%20Older%20Adults%20Prefer%20to%20Remain,Home%20%E2%80%94%20Even%20If%20Living%20Alone 
  2. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/geriatrics/social-issues-in-older-adults/older-adults-living-alone#:~:text=In%20the%20US%2C%20about%2028,about%2044%25%20live%20alone). 
  3. https://www.trapollo.com/articles/connected-health/telehealth-aging-population/ 
  4. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220613005819/en/Livindi-Improves-Telemedicine-Remote-Patient-Monitoring-and-Video-Calling 
  5. https://www.himss.org/resources/how-remote-patient-monitoring-can-help-people-age-place