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Technology driven eldercare market in India

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Vaibhav Tewari, Co-Founder & CEO, Portea Medical highlights the role of technology in eldercare market

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the focus on the healthcare sector – not just on how there is a need to improve on certain parameters but also on many positives. As they say, every cloud comes with a silver lining. The pandemic also put a spotlight on elderly care and how technology has the potential to absolutely revolutionize the ecosystem. Most legacy organizations of this century are a result of the efforts put in by those from our past, and those who now need care. It is time that the society finds innovative solutions which can assist these baby boomers to lead their golden period with as comfortably as possible. A question that could arise here is whether technology and elderly can go hand in hand? On a lighter note, it was a baby boomer who invented the world wide web. Not only are people in the older age groups befriending technology, they are doing so for practically everything from surfing online to shopping and travelling. Even as home care and caregiving accelerate as extremely promising areas in the immediate future, there are some technologies and innovations that can aid India’s already burdened healthcare system.

Medication alerts

Several elderly in India have now started living alone either in their own homes or in assisted living environs. In such a scenario, there is a need for technology that can share timely alerts – something that is seeing mainstream adoption in the form of smartphone apps, wearable devices, etc. Additionally, many of them are at the risk of falls or health conditions like fever or even common cold and may require assistance. Many app developers and startups are focusing on building a monitoring service that is centralized and virtual and can be integrated with wearables. Given how technology has advanced, this would allow the wearables to gather data and details on patient activity to notify caregivers in a timely manner.

Telemedicine

Estimates peg the global telemedicine market to reach $185.66 billion by 2026. The COVID-19 pandemic catapulted the importance of telemedicine for regular consultations as well as in home healthcare. With 5G and AI enabling better remote monitoring for both the doctor and patient, it has become possible to get care in the comfort of one’s home. The in-built trackers in wearables and monitors are even enabling elderly patients to track their own health and inform their doctor or caregivers for a virtual consultation.

Artificial Intelligence

It is estimated that there would 21 billion active IoT connections by the year 2025. IoT has the potential to augment the benefits that technology brings, more so for the elderly.

For instance, sensors can inform home caregivers or guardians in case an elderly with Alzheimer’s has stepped out at an odd time. Another use case is with regard to voice assistants that can help the senior citizens to control appliances at home – a benefit that also bodes well for differently-abled elderly.

Elder care products and medical devices

According to statistics, the market for elder care assistive devices is expected to reach $914.9 billion by 2025 globally. Apart from an increasing elderly population, the fact that this segment requires at-home assistance are some of the major factors responsible for this growth. The proliferation of home medical equipment is enabling in the reduction of dependence on clinical support for the elderly as well as regular monitoring. The devices required for elderly care include those for rehabilitation, mobility and cognitive aids, wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches, and walkers. There are also devices that enable monitoring of acute conditions at home including respiratory aids, dialysis machines, etc. Many home healthcare companies today are enabling this including ensuring that even when an elderly is buying things on their own, the process is made easy and navigable.

It is not just home healthcare companies but the elderly themselves that are demanding technologies that can assist them in leading their lives in a better and worry-free manner. The Indian government recently announced a project with them aim to select, support, and create a one-stop access point of elderly care products and services by new-age startups. Called the Seniorcare Ageing Growth Engine (SAGE) project, the idea is to encourage the youth and private sector to bring forth innovative products, processes, and services for the elderly. Technology has pervaded every aspect of our lives and one cannot shy away from the fact that the elderly are as privy to its benefits as any other age group. This and the increasing numbers of senior citizens point to the importance of innovations and new technology for them. The future will be about how we make tomorrow better for those who created a future for us.

1 Comment
  1. arvind says

    Thankyou for this information

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