Technology to Support Healthy Aging

Headquarters of the World Health Organization.

As populations are aging worldwide, people spend more time in bad health. The current pandemic increased health risks for older people while extending the capacity of health care systems to cope with rising demand.

Here are some examples of how new technology can support the mission of well aging.

Supporting the independence of the aging population

Most people prefer to age in their own homes or neighborhoods, surrounded by family members and friends. For example, in the U.S., a recent study found that 89% of its older citizens prefer to receive healthcare and support at their homes. Only 11% of them prefer to spend their time in an elderly living care facility. Therefore, the challenge is how the elderly can stay supported in their own homes. In this case, technology can help them live independently by preventive care, early disclosure of arising health issues, and appropriate assistance for daily duties. 

For example, electronic pillboxes and containers can remind people to follow their medication orders. Ambient sensors can examine movement, place, and health signs, which can help classify early symptoms of disease, prevent or identify falls. 

Simple, cheap versions of these devices can help people manage daily tasks when they age. These devices can boost their self-esteem and their caregivers’ comfort. 


Facilitating Care

Access to modern, professional, and licensed care is another critical element supporting healthy aging. For example, today, many people struggle to operate the elderly care system. Therefore, technology can help improve the approachability and quality of healthcare.

Supporting Mental and Emotional Health

More than one in five adults over the age of 65 are affected by a neurological or mental disorder worldwide. Isolation is a general risk factor for such issues among adults over 60. Supporting mental health is the field where preventative technologies might help.

Social platforms, among other digital tools, for retired people have become more popular and helpful in this pandemic. Social media websites or apps feature simple interfaces and bigger fonts for older people. They receive information, get entertained, and connect with their loved ones when actual visits and gatherings are unavailable. 

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