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INDEPENDENT AGING > AGING IN PLACE > AP 4

In-Home Medical Technology Growing Fast

By: Jo-Ann Thibault

“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” – we all know very well this catchphrase from the late ‘80s early ‘90s pop-culture, originating from a television commercial from a medical alarm company called LifeCall.

Well, medical home technology has come a long way since Mrs. Fletcher pushed that button and talked to the dispatcher at LifeCall. 

Available now are personal emergency response systems (PERS) that are not just pendants.  Small pager-like devices that are wrist bands, clip to belts and can detect a fall WITHOUT pushing the button!  There are also devices that you can talk to an R.N. 24/7/365, if you have a question about a changed condition or are seeking advice.

More technology includes remote care monitoring systems. Wireless sensors placed throughout your home that can detect movement or inactivity. Whether you left the stove on, or have not opened your refrigerator in a timely manner.  All information is logged into a system that is transferred to a caregiver of choice that alerts them of change in routine or health status.

Some of these remote monitoring systems replace your own personal computer and provide email, sharing of videos, pictures, appointment calendars, medication monitoring and more.  Others are a software component that you install on your own personal computer.  All enable you to share throughout your care giving network, family, medical personnel to your choosing.

There is also Tele-Health systems that are available directly to the consumer now.  Most tele-health is utilized through home health care agencies only – but not anymore.   Consumer based tele-health systems are small hand-held devices that can monitor your weight, blood-pressure, blood-sugar glucose levels, oxygen saturations and more.  The information acquired can be programmed to be automatically sent to your primary care physician or your caregiver of choice. 

There is a lot going on in the 21st century as the baby-boomers growth expectations exceed 9,000 people a day turning 65, and our life expectancy is increasing significantly. 

As we age in the 21st Century – we have more and more new technology available to us to help us live a more independent and safe existence.

Education is the key to independence and staying in control.

 

By: Jo-Ann Thibault

© The Elder Insider, LLC 2012