As the percentage of seniors in the US grows, technology to assist them as they age has become more important. Considering that many seniors want to stay in their own homes as long as possible, the use of technology has become even more relevant.
But while technology for seniors is important, it is also important that the technology is accessible and usable. Personal emergency response systems (PERS) and wearables offer security and remote care.
While PERS were first designed for seniors (the “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up” button), they are now intended for use by all age groups. The same goes for devices such as Fitbits and Apple watches. So it’s important for device manufacturers to ensure that a smooth experience for users is available for all ages.
Daniel McCaffrey, vice president of digital health and software at Omron, said more patients are interested in remote patient monitoring systems and consumer health tracking devices and they're talking to their physicians about them. These patients are digitally savvy, for the most part – they use platforms such as Amazon and Uber and expect the same experience from their digital health platforms. They are also more mobile and more active, as a group.
Many seniors have multiple medical conditions that need to be managed. It is important to have the least number of devices and platforms necessary to manage those conditions. For example, integrating the ability to monitor blood glucose and blood pressure can enhance the experience, as well as improve care.
McCaffrey from Omron says that manufacturers of these devices should “rise to the occasion of providing a user experience where you don't have to open up 20 apps to make a health decision for that day."