As more adults over the age of 60 seek care that allows for more independence, tech companies are answering the call as they increasingly offer health and wellness products and services that cater to older adults’ specific needs. Voice-assisted devices, less intrusive sensors and wearables are just some of the tools being adopted by older adult users.
Here’s a look at the latest approaches that provide ease of use and less invasive options for consumers:
Watches with Health Monitoring
The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 offers more rigorous heart monitoring that could be of value to older adults. An app for the watch allows users to monitor blood pressure, detect atrial fibrillation, measure blood oxygen level, and calculate body composition. It also includes an electrocardiogram to measure the heart’s electrical activity. The watch also has enhanced fall detection that can send out an SOS notification to up to four preselected contacts.
Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant technology has been widely adopted by older adults, in part because it allows them to remain independent. In 2021, Amazon introduced Alexa Together as a subscription service that includes fall detection capabilities and urgent response, which provides hands-free, 24/7 access to a professional emergency helpline and notifies caregivers. The service also works with third-party devices, like wall mounted sensors or cameras, that can detect when a loved one has fallen or needs help, and prompts Alexa.
AI Camera Technology
SafelyYou, a company started by a family member of an Alzheimer’s patient, offers an artificial intelligence-powered camera system to provide fall detection for people with dementia. Video is only captured and shared with families and caregivers when a fall occurs and works as an extra set of eyes to assist with evaluation of falls. The service is mostly used in assisted living or skilled nursing communities at this point, but the company aims to expand to a residential service by the end of this year.