If you're looking for predictions of the future, you've come to the wrong place–Nostradamus wasn't taking interviews. Anyway, we've compiled a short list of tech advancements that are already here and in large part have been applied at scale throughout the broad business world. Technology advancements are changing every day and many are already being applied to senior use cases, so this list may be dated depending on when you're reading this.
So, here's the list:
Wearable technologies are advancing every single day. FitBit recently announced updates designed to help those managing chronic conditions and Apple Watch implemented fall detection for people that may have taken a spill.
This makes a lot of sense for our seniors that face a challenge seeing or interacting with computers. Jeramy Ragsdale, CEO of Thrive Senior Living recently released a video showing residents using Alexa in their communities.
Transportation is a crucial part of aging-in-place and a key service offering for senior living communities. Getting too old to drive or having a driver's license revoked can often trigger the need for people to leave their home. So, ride share services seem like they're helping people age-in-place longer, which may be true. However, both Uber and Lyft have considered a subscription model that could allow these services to be included as an add-on for senior housing. Why are we okay with Home Health and Hospice offering supplemental services in our communities but not ride share companies? Also, we often think of Uber and Lyft as the only ride share offerings, but if you dig deeper you'll find companies created specifically for the transportation of seniors.
Continuing on in the same vein as ride share, meal and grocery delivery could be hugely beneficial. If a new resident was already using these services from home, it will make the transition to your home all the easier.
You may be wondering why we added this one. Well, in case you missed it, Amazon bought a pharmacy. That could mean Prime delivery for drugs and medications and a new level of convenience for residents of your community.
We already see mobile physician groups that make house calls to senior living communities. Telehealth seems like the logical next step. Maybe even a tele-health room in the community that's wired for easier interaction where the nurse can be involved.
This is a weird one I know. Our office is a shared workspace and I work alongside a guy that is putting smart toilets in remote villages across the world to collect data. These toilets can identify certain nutrient deficiencies, illnesses, dehydration, chronic conditions, and more. Though not cost effective at the moment, smart toilets could be an incredible step forward in providing greater care for our seniors.
There is a long list of products that could be installed or added to resident rooms that could not only make life easier for seniors, but reduce the assistance they require on a daily basis. Simple things like power shades, automatic lights, even turning the television on or off. And to add to #2 from our list, most of these technologies interact with voice-command devices from Apple, Google and Amazon.
Depending on how you look at it, this list can be scary or exciting. How about you? What advancements are you anxious to see implemented in your community?