About the SeniorAdvisor.com 2014 In-Home Innovation Scholarship: We started the scholarship program to bring awareness of the unique benefits and challenges of in-home caregiving for seniors to younger generations. The questions posed by the scholarship encouraged our nation’s future caregivers to present solutions for improving home care in the United States. College-aged students were required to answer one of the three essay topics below and provide a short bio as part of their scholarship application. Read the winning essays here.
How can the healthcare industry use technology to improve in-home care for American seniors?
Essay response by Samantha Bradley
How can the healthcare industry use technology to improve in home care for seniors? In home care for seniors can be improved dramatically if we could use the technology we have, with a few upgrades to create programs to record important information for the seniors. The technology used not only will help the seniors be able to stay in their homes; but will also help the families and the people that care for them. If the family and caregivers have this information, they can do things outside of the homes and still know what is happening with them. New technology will give family a sense of security when they are away from their loved ones and they will know that if anything happens or goes wrong, there will be help readily available to them.
The healthcare industry can use technology to improve in home care for seniors by using heart monitors that transmit EKG rhythms via wireless connection or cellphone. You know like they have those fit bit things you can wear to track your exercise, there should be a way to make something like that record your rhythms and store it in a database. Video technology could also be used to assess stroke symptoms. Like the video monitoring systems for home security systems, there should be a way to utilize the same type of systems and be able to notify medical personnel.
There also should be a way to use technology to access specialist miles away via the internet. Being able to access specialist via the internet miles away will help seniors cut down on the number of trips to the doctor that may be miles away. They can use this type of technology for follow-up visits and then if the doctor feels he or she needs to see them in the office, they can arrange that appointment. Being able to access your doctor via internet may also help cut down on ER visits. If they are having problems they could speak with their doctor or nurse and then go if needed.
Another way technology can be used for seniors is for them that have cell phones, equip them with an app that talks to reminds them to take med and appointment reminders. When they have a doctor’s appointment, if there are any changes in medications or if they need to schedule follow up appointments, which can all be done before they leave the office. Someone can take their phone and download all this information to the app, which I think could be easy for everyone that use Electronic Medical Records. The records have to be updated any way so just hook the cell phone up to the computer and update them both at the same time.
These are just a few of the ways I feel technology can be utilized to improve the life of seniors. If we could create the systems and programs to do these things, we could have great in home care for seniors and eliminate the need to be out of the home.
Samantha is currently attending Anderson University pursuing a B.S. in Human Services with a Behavioral Science concentration.