This article originally ran on NBC
PUBLISHED: July 29, 2020 01:30:54 PM IST
An unfortunate reality: Assisted Living Facilities are positioned to become hotspots for virus outbreaks. It is estimated that more than 2 Million people live in more than 28,000 residential care facilities across the United States.
When coronavirus hit nursing homes, the effects were uncertain and frightening.
To date, US nursing homes had more than 10,000 fatalities and accounted for half of the total fatalities in Europe. Many senior care centers had to be evacuated when workers – fearing for their health – simply stopped showing up for work.
Already operating with limited resources, a crisis like this is bound to put severe strain and demands on the workforce. The unfortunate reality is that being understaffed, ensuring a safe and sterile environment, while maintaining a sense of calm and control during a pandemic puts many at risk.
Seniors On The Rise
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the senior population is on the rise. Today there are close to 50 million people, 65 and over in the US. By 2060, this number will exceed 98 million – nearly a fourth of the population, thanks to higher fertility rates, lower mortality, and increased migration from poor nations to these stable countries.
The global population of individuals aged 80 and over is likely to triple during that same timeframe, from 143 million to 426 million. Moreover, in the United States, 65+ elderly which constitutes 13% of the US Total population, consume more than 50% of care dollars annually while taxing our strained healthcare system.
Thanks to modern-day advances in medicine, average life expectancies have increased. As such, the size and value of the elderly market is also steadily increasing. The expanding population combined with potential future pandemics means there will be a dire need for companies that provide solutions and services for seniors and their caregivers. From the loneliness of isolation to physical limitations and transportation needs, the solutions to these issues are being worked on by hundreds of innovative startups.
Healthcare is on the Brink of a Digital Revolution
The world of healthcare is on the brink of a digital revolution that promises to transform the way care is delivered and consumed across the entire spectrum of services. Innovative cloud-based technologies, digital interfaces, and patient-friendly digital tools powered by advancements in artificial intelligence are making it easier for providers of all kinds to provide cutting-edge, patient-centered care.
Elderly care is the fastest-growing segment of the global healthcare market. However, technology adoption in many elderly care organizations continues to lag far behind the norm.
Residential facilities like assisted living centers and nursing homes occupy a unique healthcare niche, in which medical and hospitality industries overlap. Although these elderly care facilities operate at the intersection of several different aspects of healthcare delivery, they also serve as home to those residents. As a result, providing a wide range of services, these facilities also need to operate like a well-managed resort, while providing the comfort and ambiance of a home.
Because of the increasing needs and severe caregiver shortage in the market, providers are increasingly challenged. Inability to staff their facilities while adhering to regulatory requirements often means they have no choice but to operate at low occupancy rates which ultimately hurts business.
For these reasons, nursing homes assisted living facilities and other types of services for elders need to rapidly adapt and reap the benefits of digital transformation. Digitization and automation platforms that can support technologies like telemedicine portals, wearable monitors, and AI-powered treatment protocols can help residential facilities provide more comprehensive, resident-centered care, and drive business growth.
This new digital world has profound implications for elderly care providers. Cloud-based data management allows doctors and caregivers to access patient information within seconds. Telemedicine portals and wearable devices let patients manage many aspects of their own care and share information with their provider team, tracking progress around the clock and the ability to provide on the spot recommendations. Artificial intelligence can deliver preemptive care and with the power of data, predict, prescribe, and aid in proactive management of care or the business of care.
A growing number of people over 65 are using digital devices and apps to manage health conditions such as diabetes, COPD, and heart disease. As technology evolves and gets smarter, DIY management of health will become mainstream and will advocate an environment where fast access to needed information from any place, at any time becomes essential and customary.
Introducing AI Powered Application Zemplee
Zemplee is a revolutionary start-up with its sole purpose of building an artificial intelligence-based assisted living.
With pandemics and the increasing aging population, it is even more apparent that nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of services for seniors need to rapidly adopt technological applications such as Zemplee.
Zemplee‘s world-class advanced technology is designed with your elders in mind.
Through a sensor-based system it can intelligently distinguish between normal, routine behavior and distress scenarios and keep family members notified. Zemplee is a companion mobile app that gives you access to real-time status about dining habits, medication intake, activity level, sleep patterns, and other important details.
Hardware is placed strategically in homes or independent living units to track daily living activities so you can monitor their well-being from a distance. Sensor-based systems are non-intrusive. Unlike a video or voice-based monitoring system, there is no compromise on privacy.
Some of the results they have already provided are improving quality of care, business growth, and supplementing caregiver time through tech-assisted care. For Assisted living facilities there has been deeper family involvement through passive monitoring and improved quality of care. And for families to stay in the know with innovative monitoring technology so they can live their lives, knowing their loved ones are safe and happy.
Want to learn more? Visit our website: www.zemplee.com