Mhealth technology could maintain independence among the elderly

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Sensor based wearables could make it possible for people to live healthier and safer lives.

According to the results of a new research reports, the use of sensor based mhealth technology for care coordination could make it possible for seniors to be able to live lives with improved health and independence.

This study was conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri who looked into the benefits of the tech.

They examined forms of mhealth technology based solutions that would help to monitor and track certain health factors such as sleep length and quality, vital signs, and potential scenarios that could lead to – or could already have caused – a fall. What they discovered was that these mobile health tools made for an effective way to provide an aging population with enhanced care without taking away their independence or quality of life.

The mhealth tools were found to help patients to stay ahead of detecting symptoms before an incident occurs.

mobile health mhealth app newsThe project leader for the study, Marilyn Rantz, a Curators Professor Emerita from the University of Missouri’s Sinclair School of Nursing explained that “If you can get ahead of the symptoms, you can fix the problem when it’s much smaller and avoid the hospital,” adding that “If you can pick up subtle changes and address them early on, you’re so much better off.”

The mobile health solutions industry is forecasted to see a 33.4 percent growth rate from 2015 through 2020. Among the main areas of focus with this technology and its uses is in the management of chronic illnesses. This is particularly true in terms of providing patients with remote care. This is expected to open very important doors as the elderly population has essentially been left unaddressed when it comes to the use of this type of technology, in comparison with other segments of the population, such as those who have epilepsy or diabetes.

The study from the University of Missouri ran for five years and involved the use of motion and bed sensors at the independent living community at the university called TigerPlace. From there, mhealth data was collected to allow researchers to better understand the types of tools that could be used for enhanced decision making by healthcare providers by helping them to spot warning signs with early alerts to possible medical problems.

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