Improved life-spans, shifting demographics and shrinking families has led to a large number of seniors who are susceptible to loneliness and lack of care, especially in the developed nations. In the developing nations conventionally the family members were the primary caregivers. Today, this is observed to be rapidly changing, creating a huge proposition of senior healthcare. Irrespective of the cultural differences specific to particular countries and socio-economic layers, elder care or elderly care is now one of the key priorities for governments and welfare associations across the world.
In the US, assisted living is gaining wide popularity to provide senior care for elders who cannot live independently or want assistance owing to medical conditions. In other countries as well, seniors are relying on government provisions for better healthcare and living. And this is exactly why the importance of technology in healthcare is more crucial than ever. Technology is offloading senior care concerns and it is preferred to extend reliable, efficient and affordable senior healthcare. The world of IoT and connected devices has streamlined senior care, let’s see how:
Role of technology in senior care:
Most of the elderly population across the world live by themselves. They are subjected to loneliness as well as the burden of performing multiple day-to-day activities on their own. Smart homes and virtual assistants help seniors in carrying out simple tasks such as making to-do lists, setting alarms & reminders and driving home automation systems- from home security, lighting to microwave operations.
If a senior runs into any medical emergency, providing instant medical care and attention is a key priority and IoT devices such as smartwatches can help in detecting falls, amplified health vitals, etc. These IoT devices and smartphones can also help in tracking the live location of the seniors, helping immensely in tracking seniors with special needs such as Alzheimer’s disease. Further, mobile devices provision instant communication tools helping the seniors in living a safe and joyous life.
For professional caregivers working in assisted homes or pension homes, digital devices such as tablets can help in maintaining health records, medical reports and current medication details to ensure a smooth transition between shifts or patient transfers.
Challenges in using Technology for senior healthcare
For the elderly, there are quite a few limitations in using technology. It includes physical limitations such as chronic pain and arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Dementia that limits them from using handheld laptops, tablets or mobiles or visual or hearing impairment due to ageing that doesn’t allow them to leverage the digital devices to full capacity.
But another more grave challenge includes skepticism or mental block to embracing technology. First, they need to be educated around the usage of devices. Furthermore, the vast information available on digital devices such as tablets can overwhelm and confuse, resulting in the aversion of using technology.
Hence, provisioning the devices used for senior care with only essential applications is important. The devices also need to be up-to-date, loaded with vital health/activity apps and secure, to ensure that critical personal information is not misused.
Mobile Device Management in Healthcare for Seniors: How it helps
To overcome the iota of physiological as well as practical challenges involved in using technology for senior healthcare, a mobile device management tool can prove to be immensely useful.
Let’s know how Scalefusion MDM for healthcare helps mitigate the above-mentioned challenges:
- Device provisioning & monitoring : To ease the usage of devices used in senior care, Scalefusion aids in device provisioning over the cloud. The devices can be configured, secured and provisioned with necessary settings before they are shipped. The seniors can unbox it as usual and have a completely provisioned device at their disposal. Since the seniors might not necessarily be tech-savvy, the facilitators can remotely monitor device health, send alerts whenever the device battery is low, can update the device operating system remotely.
- App Management : With Scalefusion MDM, the facilitators can provision the necessary apps on the devices used in senior healthcare. These apps can be remotely updated, deleted or new apps can be installed using Scalefusion app management. Further, private apps developed by a particular healthcare/ government facility can also be made available on these devices.
- Location tracking & geofencing : Scalefusion helps location tracking of devices in real-time, which is critical for many patients with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. Healthcare givers can track the location of the patients and also create geofences for safe and gated areas. If and when the patient leaves a geofence, the healthcare provides are quickly alerted and necessary steps can be taken to safeguard the patient, instantly.
- Device troubleshooting : Whenever the device runs into an error, the facilitators can issue quick fixes with Scalefusion Remote Cast & Control. The device admins can start a remote cast session and mirror the device screen as appearing to the end-users, hence even if the seniors are not able to describe the exact issue, device admins can rectify it, navigate screens and help resolve them.
- Communication : To ensure smooth communication between the seniors and caregivers, Scalefusion offers Eva Communication Suite. Eva Communication Suite facilitates VoIP calling, text and voice messaging and image transfer and conference calls for communication as well as collaboration.
- Device security : The devices used by seniors for assisted living possesses a lot of critical personal information that can be misused if accessed by an authorized entity. Scalefusion offers enhanced security for the devices and the data on it. Scalefusion MDM detects security violations with automated checks and the facilitators can remotely wipe off the device or protect it against being factory reset from the Scalefusion dashboard.
Scalefusion MDM for healthcare reforms the way technology is used in senior care and is certainly a forward-looking aspect critical to futuristic healthcare systems.