Elder care is a crucial aspect more because the seniors have varying needs according to the different phases of transition. With a large section of the populace are seniors and with most of them wanting to age at home, there is a rise in demand for home care.
In fact, experts in the home health care industry predicts that:
- This will soon become a billion-dollar technology opportunity and
- It will be most disrupted by the Internet of Things.
However, IoT will impact all industries long-term, but it is the elder care industry that will experience the most significant impact of this technology. Here’s why:
The cost of elder care can be enormous. According to study reports, senior care is expected to reach approximately $319 billion in the US alone. This really is a massive revenue opportunity as far as the incumbent elder care market is concerned. On the flip side, it also reflects at the huge cost for the seniors who live primarily on a fixed income.
However, home health care for the seniors is one of the fastest growing segments of this market. With a lot of varied home elder care services provided, the positive side of this type of care is that:
- It is a part of a broader trend of seniors wanting to age in place
- It relieves the burden on the others regarding elder care
- It provides proper support, care and assistance with a well-developed assisted living infrastructure
- It is the most traditional way to take care of the elders, at home.
However, at-home health care can be a costly proposition not only for the seniors themselves but will also have a significant financial impact on their families. In addition to that it will also affect the society in general and on the whole.
Use of technology
Although in its stage of infancy, technology is used in managing senior care services. The use of technology has made the seniors independent even more than they were before. Now they do not have to scream for help or lie on the ground for hours after they fall till the time someone comes and picks them up. With useful technologies like safety monitoring, assistance technologies such medical alerts and others, seniors can stay in their homes more independently now.
The devices are also improving rather quickly now and are coming with more improved features such as:
- Sensory networks
- Telecommunications and
- Cloud computing.
However, it is not the enabling technology that is getting better and better. Along with it the latest consumer-facing technology categories are also developing at an equal pace. These devices have made home health care even more fruitful and effective.
A welcome change
There are lots of wearables that you will get in the market that will help a great deal in the senior care space as well. New and developed wearable health sensors will do a lot of things such as:
- Detect body vitals such as temperature
- Heart rate and even
- Detect falls and any other types of incidents.
When such technology is applied it automatically decreases the cost of care. According to a recent research it is estimated that:
- New technologies such as telehealth monitor can bring down costs of senior care in the form of emergency room visits by 20%
- The use of body sensors will reduce costs of hospital born infections by $12,000 for each patient.
However, the biggest cost for every family is for live-in care. Survey reports suggest that the cost of any traditional live-in care service may range anywhere from $3000 to $6,000 each month. Such a high expense every month can surely break the back of several families and especially the seniors who have no or low fixed income every month.
The new technologies in such a situation is a welcome change that can help the seniors hold off or even reduce the cost of health care for a few years. Therefore, it is no surprise that most of the elderlies and their families are embracing them.
Quality of life
Modern home care processes increase the quality of life of the elders and ensures autonomy. Since health care is a part of a highly demanding, well-regulated and a convoluted bureaucracy, by embracing technology such as live-in-place and preventative technologies that are enabled through the IoT the elderly and their families alike can gain a lot of control of their health and well-being both in the short-term and in the long-term basis.
This means that they will be well away from the healthcare and the caregiver market, both of which are expensive, for a longer period of time. This will in turn result in a lot of dollars saved down the line along with some additional years added to their lives.
However, technology and its use in this home health care industry is still in its early stage, no matter how beneficial it is for the seniors.
- As of now, it is seen that there is a lot of investment made in the senior care segment today. In fact, AngelList has more than 138 companies listed under this specific category.
- It is expected that the major cable providers who already providing smart home services now are expected to provide targeted senior care services in the next 12 to 24 months.
In addition to that the experts have also analyzed the Internet of Things space. They have found that it has already and will be creating a lot of buzz in the circuit. It is also seen that a lot of companies are making a lot of investment in it. Practically, this trend will reshape the senior healthcare industry in the most significant way, and for the better.
Over the next decade, IoT will affect several industries, if not all but the senior home care industry is the one that will be most disrupted with the use of such technology. It will be applicable directly at almost every layer of the market making it further affordable for the seniors and their families.
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