Technology continues to be a fruitful endeavor within the field of aging, and has already changed the way people are aging. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, additional technology emerged that can further improve the lives of older adults. Key technologies from this show that may affect older adults include virtual reality, robots, virtual caregivers, and artificial muscles.
Virtual reality has always been seen as promising for combatting isolation, and companies like Rendever are teaming up with assisted living communities to allow residents to travel virtually to remote locations. For example, residents can now (virtually) climb the Eiffel Tower, take an African safari, or visit a sentimental location like their childhood home.
Robots have recently begun to make an appearance in aging services. Robots vary in their usefulness: some like the Foldimate can fold laundry for older adults or senior living staff, while robots like the Lovot Groove X are made for companionship. Robots like the Samsung Bot Care provide full-service health-monitoring that can detect intricate details like your heart rate.
Walabot is a wall-mounted monitoring system that will monitor older adults who live alone. This technology maintains older adults’ privacy because it has no cameras, but its sensors still measure gait, movement, and breathing patterns. The Addison Virtual Caregiver is a female video-based assistant that communicates with older adults and reminds them to take their medications, while also collecting data on their health.
Older adults suffering with posture and lower back conditions can now find comfort with a “core wellness suit,” a wearable body suit that augments their muscles and strengthens their posture. Samsung also revealed GEMS, (Gait Enhancing Motivational System) which is a line of wearables that can be worn to assist people’s mobility, specifically for the hips, ankles, and knees.
With innovations like these, older adults can expect to find physical and emotional relief through technology.
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Childress, D. Consumer Electronics Show Unveils the Newest in Aging Tech. LeadingAge. https://www.leadingage.org/cast/consumer-electronics-show-unveils-newest-aging-tech. Accessed February 5, 2019.