New Technology Can Be The Best Medicine

We all know that smartphones, tablet computers and big-screen TVs are transforming the workplace and home. But the newest gadgets could also be a tonic for medicine and health care.

Cellphones have already proven to be a potent medical instrument in improving patient outcomes. Diabetes patients who are sent videos on their cellphones and actually view them are more likely to check blood sugar levels and comply with their care regimens, said U.S. Army Col. Ron Poropatich, who spoke at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. (Read More)

New Study Reveals Family Caregivers Want Web-Based and Mobile Technologies to Help Them Care for Their Loved Ones

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new survey reveals that the technology advances that have transformed how Americans work, play and interact have potential to alleviate the growing financial and emotional burdens on family members caring for sick or disabled loved ones.

“With this survey, we wanted to look at ‘what’s next’ with technologies that can be brought to bear to help caregivers focus not only on the health of their loved one but their own health as well.”

The e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century study, released today by the National Alliance for Caregiving and UnitedHealthcare, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company, found more than two-thirds of family caregivers who have used some form of technology to help them with caregiving believe web-based and mobile technologies designed to facilitate caregiving would be helpful to them. Family caregivers provide an estimated $375 billion worth of uncompensated care to loved ones annually. Previous studies have shown that many lack support systems and tools that could ease the burden financially and emotionally. (Read More)

New Devices Help Seniors Stay Longer in Their Own Homes

TUESDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) — Seniors who want to remain in their homes despite illness and infirmity can get a high-tech assist these days.

So can their children who might worry about an elderly parent living alone, often far from family members.

The 1980s-era medical alert pendants made famous by their television advertising (“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”) are now among a wide array of devices that can help keep an eye on aging parents and get them help when they need it.

Available technologies include:

  • Sensors in the home to track an older person’s movement, from the front door to the medicine cabinet to the refrigerator to the stove. The sensors are linked with computers that can issue alerts when people deviate from their routine.
  • Global positioning system devices, using the GPS technology that’s become so common in cars, that can help locate someone with dementia who’s wandered from home.
  • Computerized pillboxes that track whether medication is being taken on time.

(Read More)

e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century

UnitedHealthcare and the National Alliance for Caregiving conducted a study, e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century, to increase understanding and awareness of the home technologies that family caregivers feel could help lessen the challenges of caregiving and ensure their loved ones are safe, remain independent and are getting the care they need.
Conducted in November 2010, the study surveyed 1,000 family caregivers who have already used the Internet or some other technology to support their caregiving. It assessed how helpful 12 particular technologies would be in supporting caregivers or helping them provide care. It also explored perceived barriers to using technology, factors that influence family caregivers’ use of technology and sources of information about technology that caregivers trust.
Selected Key Findings Of the 12 technologies evaluated, the three that appeared to have greatest potential were…Read More...