With wearable medical alerts and in-home monitoring systems becoming more common, technology has played an increasingly large role in healthy aging. While there are certainly many helpful gadgets, a large number of them are only useful in the event that an emergency has already taken place, but some emerging technology may allow seniors to stave off problems before they start, according to The Associated Press.
Some of the most encouraging research comes from experts at the University of Missouri, who believe they are on the cusp of creating devices that can detect subtle changes to seniors' behaviors. For instance, the devices could detect if a wearer has been less mobile or is increasingly restless in bed. Even small shifts can be indicative of serious issues, and by detecting them early, doctors and caregivers may be able to avoid significant complications. Perhaps most encouraging is that these sensors are non-intrusive.
"When we started this team, I said we are not going to make anybody wear anything or push any buttons, because my mother refused and I don't think she's any different than a lot of other people in this world," study leader Marilyn Rantz told the AP.
Other technology is geared toward preventing falls. In fact, at the recent LTC and Senior Living LINK Conference, the top prize went to WalkJoy Corp., which created a device that attaches to a senior's leg and helps him or her walk, Senior Housing News reports.