eHealth and improvement of health literacy in older adults – best practices and obstacles

eHealth and improvement of health literacy in senior citizens – best practices and obstacles

03.12.2015By: Ioannis Koutelidas

The implementation of the IROHLA pilot programmes showed positive attitudes of senior citizens towards the use of e-health applications (transfer of health resources and healthcare by electronic means) and m-health applications (delivery of healthcare services via mobile communication devices) for improving and managing their health.

Modern information and communication technology (ICT) can help senior citizens overcome difficulties related to distance from health centres and support them to understand their health issues, improve their communication with care givers and service providers, and enhance informed decision making. Additionally, ICT facilitates more targeted public health and medical interventions, as well as remote diagnosis and monitoring. In general, technology offers tools necessary for families, communities, healthcare professionals and the healthcare system to assist older people to age healthily. ICT creates innovative solutions, such as interventions through the internet, mobile phones, tablets, and video games that can improve the health of older people.

IROHLA’s work on e-health and m-health

The IROHLA project examined several promising practices among different groups of participants, including older adults with low health literacy, using different kinds of technical equipment. Some of these were applications that aimed to increase physical activity and track weight loss, while others supported behavioural change and sleep quality, or were games designed to improve cognitive skills.

One of the pilot projects designed by Prolepsis Institute aimed to improve participants’ knowledge about physical activity and healthy nutrition as well as related behaviours, while exploring attitudes towards ICT-based health applications. The content was based on the Greek National Dietary Guidelines for older people developed by the Prolepsis Institute. This tool enabled participants to set their own dietary and physical activity goals and assess them at the end of a specific period (normally one week) regardless of whether they achieved them or not. The system generated personalised messages based on the assessment of goals.

Research conducted during the implementation of the IROHLA project brought to the surface important learning points and obstacles that need to be carefully examined when developing similar interventions. One of the main conclusions was the need for active and continuous collaboration between application developers, healthcare professionals and researchers. Other matters that should be taken into consideration when designing such applications include simplification of the content and use of the application, and the ability to set short-term, personalised goals.

The importance of considering socio-economic status

In an era of technological innovations, a false perception dominates that all people are familiar with computers, smart phones and tablets. But this is not always true, especially when referring to the older generation. In addition, socio-economic status plays an important role in determining understanding of new technologies and the messages it delivers. That is why these factors should not be ignored when designing e-health and m-health applications that aim to contribute to the reduction of both inequalities between different social groups.

Source: news

Independent living in an ageing society through innovative ICT solutions

Independent living in an ageing society through innovative ICT solutions

Europe is facing a major societal challenge in the fact of a rapidly increasing ageing population. A key challenge is to find real solutions to ensure that our older citizens are able to live healthy, fulfilling and independent lives whilst keeping health and care systems sustainable. Exciting and groundbreaking EU research and innovation efforts look set to deliver these solutions.
Independent living in an ageing society through innovative ICT solutions

With each passing year, Europeans are living longer. Although this is to be applauded, there will be increasing demands for health, social and informal care services over the coming decades. This will have real effects on how we live, work and shape our external and domestic environments – home, communities, cities and towns. Questions over who is (or who should be) responsible for health and social care will be at the top of political agendas and concrete answers must be provided. At the same time, the changing age structure of our society can also open up new opportunities for innovation in the digital economy and society.
Read more at:  http://cordis.europa.eu/article/id/400060-independent-living-in-an-ageing-society-through-ict_en.html

9 Connected Health Recommendations to Help Seniors Aging in Place

PCAST’s connected care recommendations aimed to help America’s aging in place

Telehealth, mHealth, broadband adoption and remote monitoring technology figure prominently in a new report from a White House advisory council.

A White House advisory council is calling on the federal government to support connected health technologies and platforms for America’s aging population.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), in an 80-page report issued this week, makes a number of recommendations that would support telehealth expansion and reimbursement, broadband access for seniors, remote patient monitoring, mHealth innovation and even more sophisticated wheelchairs.

Source: 9 Connected Health Recommendations to Help Seniors Aging in Place

Tech dramatically improves medication adherence

Connected technology solutions dramatically improve medication adherence, according to new study from Philips

Over the span of one year, user data from more than 1,300 patients in the Netherlands was analyzed, showing 96% of patients using Philips Medido, a connected medication dispensing solution, were adherent to their medication schedule. Data from the study also showed that patients using Medido stayed adherent to long-term therapy over time, showing little or no change in adherence over the course of the year.

Read the full article here:  http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten-2016-06/37561300-connected-technology-solutions-dramatically-improve-medication-adherence-according-to-new-study-from-philips-008.htm

Economics of ageing: Coursework for Re-thinking aging

Currently, I am participating in an massive online open course (MOOC) from the University of Melbourne on the topic of Re-thinking aging:  are we prepared to live longer?

The free course is offered through Coursera; it started the last week in April and runs for 5 weeks. You can read more about the course and sign up for future offerings at: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ageing/home/welcome

We were encouraged to keep a journal or blog about our journey through the course, particularly to note where our opinions and ideas have changed from the beginning of the course to the end. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share the course information and my opinions with you – a little something different than my usual posts 🙂 As such, this will be a work in progress over the next 5 weeks. Continue reading

81% interested in tech for older adult fall detection

Carnegie-Mellon University-College of Engineering recently conducted a survey of 1,900 US adults on care for their aging parents, as background for a project in fall prevention.

Source: 81 percent interested in tech for older adult fall detection: Carnegie-Mellon | Telehealth and Telecare Aware

A hackathon focused on dementia!

Hacking dementia: Facebook invites tech nerds to combine brain power

Imagine if a person with dementia could tap a device on a television, microwave or laundry machine and instantly be reminded how to use it. Technologies like this emerged from last year’s DementiaHack, a “hackathon” that incubates hundreds of tech and medical professionals, along with the general public, to create tools for people living with dementia—a condition experienced by about 750,000 Canadians and 15 per cent of Canadians aged 65 and older.

The event, held this year at Toronto’s George Brown College on Nov. 7- 8, is organized by Facebook Canada and HackerNest, a not-for-profit aimed at using technology for economic development. This weekend, as early registrants began dividing into teams and pitching ideas, Maclean’s spoke with Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada, and Shaharris Beh, director of HackerNest.

Read the rest of this article on Macleans’ website here.

14 Technologies Seniors Should Use to Make Life Easier

14 Technologies Seniors Should Use to Make Life Easier

Technology Allows Aging in Place to Happen

The most efficient way to lower long-term care costs is to remain at home and to delay nursing home placement. People can stay in their homes using home and community-based services. What cost-effective means will keep them safe and independent? We think it’s technology. But which ones? Here are 14 technologies seniors should use to make their lives easier.

Read the rest of this article here, on AssistedLiving.About.com

Baby Boomers Are The First Tech-Savvy Retirees

This article comes to us from Huffington Post. With increasing use of wearable technologies, robotic assistants, home automation, and a whole range of welfare technologies to support independent living, safety, and health, this generation of retirees are doing it differently than we have seen before!

Baby Boomers Are The First Tech-Savvy Retirees — And Have The Home Renovations To Prove It

08/11/2015 9:36 am EDT by  Sr. Editor | NowItCounts.com

Newest retirees want state-of-the-art technologies in homes and home offices for consulting work.

Time to throw out the notion of the “stuffy” grandparents houses like we used to visit in our childhoods. Continue reading

The 10 Best US Cities for Technology-Assisted Living

This article comes to us from Redfin Blog. To find the “best” cities for tech-supported living, the authors of this article looked at 5 app-based services that aging adults would find useful, monthly mortgage payments, and monthly assisted living facility costs in the cities. If it cost less to live at home and use the services than it would to live in assisted living, the cities made the list. So, while you are reading this list, please keep in mind that these are the criteria they used. Of course, there are many other options for using technology to support independent living, and if you want to read more about this, check out some of my other posts – you will see suggestions at the bottom of this post.

The 10 Best Cities for Technology-Assisted Living

by | August 11, 2015

10BestCitiesTechnologyAssistedLiving_Banner

The National Conference of State Legislatures and AARP Public Policy Institute report that nearly 90 percent of people over the age of 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible. Fortunately, in most cases, they won’t have to move as they age. According to Seniorly, a service that helps people find senior care, the majority of seniors do NOT need to move into a nursing home. They simply need some care equivalent to what they would find in an assisted living community, which includes assistance with daily activities like meals, medication, housekeeping, bathing and transportation.

And these days, there’s an app for that. An elderly woman can take an Uber to her friend’s home, find someone to walk her dog through Rover.com, schedule her lawn to be mowed or her house to be cleaned through Porch, get groceries delivered through Instacart, and schedule a professional caregiver to assist with bathing, meal preparation and other daily living activities through CareLinx. Or, for those seniors who aren’t tech-savvy, friends and family can use these technology-based services to arrange care for them. Continue reading

The stories speak for themselves

From Hospice Matters blog:

It is so gratifying to be able to touch the lives of these patients and to watch the excited faces of their loved ones as they observe the interaction. We relish these opportunities to restore quality of life to patients. Most of them don’t have the ability to tell us how much they enjoy these visits from our social workers, but their faces (and these stories) do it for them.

Hospice Matters

by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager

tiny piano appA while back I shared a few stories from our social workers who have been successfully connecting with dementia patients by using applications they’ve downloaded onto their iPads.  These patients, normally unresponsive, have surprised the social workers and especially their family members by interacting and showing interest in what the iPad apps have to offer.  Here are a few more stories to warm your heart.

From Lesley:

I used my iPad to pull up the main street of East Aurora, NY for a resident in memory care.  He was born there and had a big smile as he watched the video.  For another resident, I used my iPad to pull up a video of New York City taxi cabs because he told me that’s how he used to get around when he lived there.  He laughed at the video saying, “That’s how they drive!…

View original post 183 more words

Cool brain-computer interfacing that would be useful in dementia

I decided to make this a separate post from the other I have written on wearable technologies in dementia care. These technologies, while super cool and having really interesting implications for understanding dementia, are less suitable for a person with dementia to be wearing as part of their daily life. But they do have some great implications for clinical use to get some insight into how a brain with dementia functions the same or differently than other brains.

Continue reading

Great technologies for rehabilitation

While researching wearable technologies that support life with dementia, I came across several other technologies that I see as being useful in clinical applications, especially in rehabilitation. I thought I would start to compile a list here to spread the word on some of the really innovative and useful technologies that are out there.

Continue reading

Helpful tech for family carers

This post is about some of the apps out there that are going to be useful and useable for family members and carers of someone with dementia. It’s certainly not a complete list of everything that’s out there, but a summary of the apps that have come across my radar lately.

Continue reading

Wearable technologies that help manage neurological disorders

I have written other posts on wearables that would be appropriate for dementia care, family carers, and useful for research. So when I came across this post on MedCity News, I was excited to share it. It seems that a lot of the wearables, while they certainly have a focus on health, don’t focus on people with dementia. And, while this article doesn’t focus on dementia, either, I think that the technology under development addresses neurological disorders, which can lead to a further understanding of how wearables can support life with dementia.

Wearables help manage neurological disorders, predict symptoms

Continue reading