Eldercare is about to become a big deal: Tens of millions of baby boomers are about to cross retirement age, after all — and there are plenty more who already have. Fortunately for them, new technologies might just make their life better. But which ones?
To dig into the relationship between tech and healthcare, smart-home caregiving service LifePod Solutions announced plans for a study with the American Heart Association’s Center for Health Technology and Innovation to address chronic heart conditions and not only collect valuable information but hopefully help people with those conditions. LifePod’s service helps patients stick to the Center’s health management plans, called CarePlans, offering voice reminders to take medicine and prompts about eating and excercise. The plan works with most modern smart speakers.
The study will examine those health-management CarePlans to figure out if people who follow them live healther, longer lives. Taking regular routine medicine is a key part of that; people who miss their meds results in about $300 billion in healthcare spending that could be avoided.
“We’re excited to collaborate with LifePod on this study and we look forward to applying our unique cardiovascular research expertise to help improve health education and health engagement,” Patrick Wayte, the senior vice president of the Center for Health Technology and Innovation, said in a press release.
LifePod has been busy already. It already finished a pilot program with the Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) that led the organization to expand LifePod’s caregiving service to about 500 CCA members.
“We are proud to collaborate with the association with the goal of enabling patients with heart conditions to live longer, healthier lives,” Lifepod CEO Stuart Patterson said in a statement. “Our tests have shown that the personalized nature and intuitive UI of LifePod’s proactive-voice service can empower caregivers to address the gaps in behavioral and social support that contribute to medication and behavioral nonadherence, potentially extending patients’ lives and saving providers billions in avoidable costs.”
Regarding the specifics, LifePod initiates pre-scheduled routines through a LifePod-powered smart speaker. Not only does it help the recipient, but caregivers don’t have to carry a notebook worth of reminders. The Care Team Support function can send reports not only to caregivers but also to loved ones. Voice prompts can trigger, hopefully, medication, behavioral therapies, hydration and appointment reminders. There’s also a limited amount of integration with smart home devices, so your given charge can turn lights on and off.
LifePod says the caregiving market is something like $280 million, and the company recently won the 2019 Caregiver Friendly Award at the Voice Summit 2019 Conference in Boston in July. We’ll keep an eye on these things and see how eldercare progresses over time.
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