The moving parts behind data collection in senior care
As the healthcare industry progresses, senior care technology is becoming a huge player in the aging care space.
In fact, this healthcare focus has become an almost $280 million industry and is projected to reach $843 million by 2021. This huge projected growth in the senior care technology space is challenging, though, because it could mean a market saturated with sub-par solutions that aren't all driving everyday value for residents or those who serve them.
Data can drive effective solutions, but if technology companies don't know what kinds of data will be effective, or how to use those data after they've gathered them, then the solution will be forgotten just as quickly as it was adopted. As both individual seniors and their caregivers look to implement technology solutions that will have a positive daily effect on the aging experience, a couple of key elements of data collection must be addressed:
When it comes to the projected 98 million adults who will be aged 65 or more years by 2060, a one-size-fits-all approach to senior care management won't cut it. That's why implementing a means to track broader data that then can be pared down to fit an individual's specific health needs is vital to success. This can be anything from wearable and mobile devices that track activity and vitals, to digital pill dispensers that give daily reminders to support medication adherence and record what medications were taken when. These technologies must be equipped to track data in ways that support positive aging, no matter the individual.
Creating insights from data
The most difficult part of tracking data is turning that information into something meaningful. By harnessing a data analytics tool that transforms seemingly meaningless data into fleshed-out insights on what individual actions or vital signs mean, senior care technology can provide a pathway to improved daily care.
Taking data analytics a step further means predicting what those insights will mean for the future — and how to alter them as needed. In addition to improved immediate care, actionable data insights can support preventive care by identifying warning signs for a potential future condition. For example, if an analytics platform identifies reduced activity and more frequent trips to the restroom, then it can flag not only a need for increased activity or a dietary check, but a potential impending urinary tract infection.
Technology companies must do their due diligence when it comes to proactively addressing how they are both pulling data that can be personalized to individual use cases, as well as creating meaningful insights from that data. For senior health technology to reach its full potential with the 98 million seniors of the future, these solutions must address the moving parts behind data collection that will truly make a difference for residents and those who serve them.
Jose Basa is the president of Reemo Health, a senior health technology solution designed to empower caregivers with actionable insights to improve the aging experience. As a 17-year product development veteran, Basa has worked for Teradata, Netflix, Ebay and HSBC. He has been an avid data enthusiast since an early age and applied his interest in all things data science well before it became one of the most in-demand skills.