Article by Eduardo Jorregui, founder and CEO of arizona
Socially, there is a tendency to believe that new technologies are being developed and are intended for young people, but nothing is further from the reality, as Technology is becoming more and more important among the elderly. Thanks to the extraordinary technological progress that has been developed in recent years in sectors such as big data, The The Internet of things (Internet of things) e Artificial intelligence (IA), it is possible to help people, especially the elderly, by making it easier for them Telecommunications With the environment, help them to Health and increasing on Empowerment and self-management.
According to the calculations of the Statistical Observatory, in half a century, about 14.3 million people of retirement age will live in Spain, which is almost a third of the total population. It matches the INE numbers, which calculate that at a time not too far away, like 2033, there will be 25.2% of the population is over 65 years old. These numbers underscore the importance that aged care already has and will gain in the years to come. There is a real need to search for solutions to the problems that will arise with Premature aging of the population in the futureIt is important to put new technologies at the service of the elderly.
Science has always been on the health and wellness side. The Benefits of telemedicine It is applicable to the entire population, but is especially important for the elderly. Technology is already an essential tool in Detection, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. For example, in recent years, it has already been observed that new technologies applied to health have Reducing stays in health centers and hospitals significantly.
And we will see more and more that it will be implemented to achieve the quality of telemedicine that it provides Support and service for the elderly in case of dependency, which ease overcrowding in health centers, facilitate assistance in places with fewer populations and make the patient-doctor relationship more comfortable in cases Movement difficulties or chronic illness مرض.
Technology applied to health includes tasks related to information management Such as monitoring treatments, recording medical records, or monitoring medication. also in Surgical assistance Such as orthopedic implants, cardiovascular devices, or any of them non-surgical intervention, or in the event Diagnostic tests.
The special significance it has acquired in recent years Use of technology for effective diagnosis of neurological, degenerative or visual diseases أو; As well as the treatment of many cases of the elderly.
According to a recent study conducted in Osaka in 2019, it was found that the use of eye tracking technology It can enhance the diagnosis of diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia, greatly improving healing and treatment, as well as changing the patient’s quality of life حياة (1).
Specifically in the case of AlzheimerIt is known that changes in the brain begin between 10 and 20 years before the onset of symptoms, and the diagnosis does not reach until a year or two after the onset of obvious symptoms and when the disease has passed the initial stage and is in a moderate stage with the consequent effects. for your daily life. Spain is one of the countries with the highest percentage of people suffering from this disease. And expectation as in Parkinson’s, is that it will double in the next two decades. For this reason, this application takes special importance considering the gradual aging of today’s society, which represents a The challenge to medicine around the world.
In addition, the Eye-tracking offers tremendous potential for neuroscience. Using this technique, neurophysiological data can be obtained from the elderly population on a daily basis, in order to Facilitate diagnosis, diagnosis and follow-up. The same thing happens with diseases like dyslexiaTechnology provides support for assessment of cognitive impairment.
Day after day We cannot separate technology from healthcare عن And it will be even more relevant in the future, because the progress is enormous and the possibilities that technology offers to support, not only patients but also healthcare staff, are endless.
On the other hand, over the years, we have immune system It weakens, so we are at greater risk of getting sick. This is why it is more necessary Caring for the elderly is also on an emotional level Motivate them to do fun and distracting activities.
Technology, as always, helps in this regard. There are a variety of applications that allow this Improve cognitive abilitiesTo maintain a good state of mental health, and to improve the quality of life of people with some types of neurodegenerative diseases. For example, through Specialized video games The use of specific areas of the brain can be encouraged to improve performance and prevent degeneration. There are also countless applications in which to develop capabilities Mental Mathematics, Language and Logic. In this way, they can design mental training routines and constantly exercise brain activity.
Finally, another technology trend with a lot of potential for growth in the coming years is Home Automation for Seniors. in 2019 DomoMayor . project (2), They installed home automation systems in three homes where the elderly live alone. result of the project Great benefits during this time for both the elderly and their families. For example, they can turn on the lights by controlling presence, which helps the elderly to always have the rooms in which they will stay lit, while reducing energy consumption by avoiding leaving the lights on by forgetting.
With a controlling house, plus Relatives gain peace of mind, because they have options to control the house of their elders. Tests have already been developed in which home automation allows the installation of smoke or motion detectors, sensors that control water flow in taps (which can be closed remotely if necessary) or devices that allow gas to be turned off, lights off or the air conditioner turned on or off . There will also be the possibility home access controlThus preventing intruders from accessing the elderly home.
see how Technology allows endless applications in health and well-being It has a significant impact on the lives of the elderly and the capabilities of their families and the medical personnel who assist them. However, it is essential that researchers have access to these technologies in order to be able to do so Research and develop their full potential Applied to health and well-being.
All technology companies must go in the same direction, and we must put our professional, health and enterprise personnel at the service Technological development and devices Free to enable significant progress.
- Oyama, A., Takeda, S., Ito, Y. et al. A new method for rapid assessment of cognitive impairment using high-performance eye-tracking technology. Sci Rep 9, 12932 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49275-x
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