There is much debate on using Internet applications & services. While IOT has made senior care more accessible & proactive, there are serious concerns about the patient’s privacy and lack of human connection.
IOT-enabled senior living communities swear by the effectiveness of IOT and its ability to transform senior care.They call themselves SMART communities where SMART stands for Safety, Mental/Physical Health, Activity, Rest & Togetherness.
Safety: Real-time monitoring & gait analysis in built-in sensors like watches, fashionable jewellery or clothes will keep the staff constantly updated about the residents’ whereabouts and will help in detecting any wandering on the part of the resident. Automated lighting & temperature control are also other IOT safety measures.
Mental/Physical Health: Sensors are of great help when it comes to alarming staff in case any intervention is needed. Like unprecedented situations like soiling or urine related events, or even to monitor blood pressure levels or heart rates. There are earbuds which connect to calming music when the resident is up against an anxiety attack. Even automated room temperature or refrigerator controls will warn against food poisoning.
Activity: Activity monitors keep a check on blood pressure levels, heart rates, oxygen levels & bone density. Activity monitors are everywhere today on watches and on running/walking hand-bands but seniors need targeted monitoring which analyses gait, body movement -like how fast or slow do they walk or get up from a seat or bed or how many steps they take a day-which keeps them constantly aware about the physical exertion they have experienced and tells them if they need to rest.
Rest: Wireless oxygen, heart rate monitors and instruments that play calming music during stressful health conditions, accelerometers have replaced noisy bed exit alarms and can be fixed to the legs or even the back end of the beds which will alarm the staff if the resident has rolled off the bed and not got back up etc.
Togetherness: Keeping seniors in constant touch with loved ones & staff, IOT enabled devices ensure smooth hassle free & instant connection and communication. The resident’s well being is always known and communicated. The seniors too can connect with families and enjoy a sense of togetherness & companionship.