This week, we’re bringing you the best of what we’re reading in the healthcare space; the articles below illustrate the growing connection between health and technology.
“Hack” Finds Way to Use Technology to Help Caregivers, Richmond Times Dispatch
Over the course of one weekend, students from seven universities in Virginia participated in the “Caring for the Caregiver Hack,” creating tech tools with the goal of improving caregivers’ health. From web platforms built to share caregiving information to smartphone apps designed for caregiving volunteers, the students and universities have plans to actually implement the products and put them to good use. The hack was sponsored by AARP, and the weekend itself demonstrated how caregiving and technology continues to merge, even with a young demographic.
Why Senior Living Can’t Ignore Home Health Care Tech, Senior Housing News
Accenture, a global consulting firm, conducted a survey showing that more than two out of three seniors prefer using self-care technology to manage their health independently, leading to potentially huge savings for senior housing providers. Currently, 25% of seniors use electronic health records (EHRs) to manage their health (like accessing lab results), and this number is supposed to grow to 42% over the next five years as technology makes independent management of healthcare more available and manageable. Telehealth solutions, or ways seniors can talk to doctors from their own homes, will also have huge opportunities to grow in this demographic.
According to a consumer survey by PNC Healthcare, technology empowers millennials to change health care delivery and insurance; for example, online shopping for doctors and web-based tools and research are becoming the new norm, quickly replacing primary care physicians. As millennials overtake baby boomers as the biggest consumer-buying group, insurers and health care providers will be forced to adapt to the most technology-driven generation. Quick care (like retail and care clinics), word of mouth marketing (websites like Yelp and Healthgrades) and using the Internet to compare healthcare plans are just a few of the ways that millennials are proving that healthcare and technology will have to continue to advance together.
Between the Apple watch and the new platform ResearchKit, aiming to transform that pharmaceutical industry, Apple is just one company that is tapping into the $3 trillion health care space. Google, Microsoft, Samsung and hundreds of startups are also in the game, developing sensors, computers, tracking technology and beyond that will be stored, analyzed and hugely important in monitoring and researching health and disease. The result: we’ll all receive better health care at a much lower cost.