Older Age & Coronavirus: Why Are Seniors At Risk?

People all over the world are worried about being infected with COVID-19. Statistics have shown that older adults aged 65 years and above are at a higher risk. The risk is even higher for older adults who live in care facilities since the rate of coronavirus transmission is much higher.

Note that by higher risk, we mean seniors are more likely to become critically ill and die due to COVID-19 infection. Although younger people can still catch COVID-19, their chances of hospitalization and death are much lower except in cases where the patient has health issues, e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Most young people have mild flu-like symptoms. Some don’t have any symptoms at all.

Young and older adults alike should take the necessary precautions to avoid catching COVID-19. SARS CoV-2 infections have serious symptoms that can lead to hospitalization or death.

This article discusses the relationship between old age and the coronavirus. We will look at the reasons why seniors are at risk and how to protect them against infection.

Why seniors are at a high risk

As mentioned before, seniors are likely to become critically ill or die due to COVID-19. These are the three main reasons why seniors are more vulnerable.

1. They have a weakened immune system.

As people grow older, their immune system weakens. This explains why seniors have harsher symptoms even when they catch a cold. Likewise, seniors will get sicker from COVID-19 since their immune system isn’t effective enough to fight off the virus. Therefore, they are at a higher risk of hospitalization and death.

2. Underlying health issues

Most seniors have underlying issues that healthcare practitioners consider risk factors. They include: lung disease, diabetes, and heart disease.

Additionally, seniors who have undergone treatment for renal failure, cancer, liver disease, and high blood pressure are at a high risk of getting infected with the coronavirus.

3. Stress

Even though they may have limited interaction with other people, the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic can be quite stressful for seniors. Additionally, since seniors are vulnerable, they are likely to become stressed over possible infections. Stress can harm seniors’ immune systems, which makes them even more vulnerable.

How to protect older adults

Since the COVID-19 case is still prevalent, there is a need for us to protect older adults. The best way to go about this is to minimize interaction as much as possible. Older adults should only leave their homes if it is very necessary. However, limited interaction in and of itself, can cause stress because staying active and entertained is important to their well-being.

Here are a few pointers on how you can protect seniors so that they remain healthy.

Take the necessary precautions

coronavirus-COVID-19-protections-for-senior-care-healthcare-industry

If you are a caregiver, you need to take the necessary precautions to avoid getting infected with the virus. These are some of the basic things you can do to stay safe:

 

Maintain social distance

Older adults have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Therefore, it would help if you lowered the risk by limiting your interaction with them.

Limiting interactions doesn’t necessarily mean that you keep them isolated. Remember that loneliness can harm older adults’ mental health and immunity. 

Check on them now and then without necessarily interacting with them through calls and social media.

Use technology to keep in touch

We all know that it can get rather lonely during this period. With minimized physical interactions, older adults will likely feel lonely. It would help if you taught them how to use technology to stay in touch. You can do this by:

 

Ensure they are vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccination plays a major role in reducing the risk of infection. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults above 65 years of age get the COVID-19 vaccine. A recent peer reviewed study revealed that older adults who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine have a 94% reduced risk of being hospitalized due to complications related to the coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 delta variant, spreads faster and causes more infections than the earlier variants. Those infected with the delta variant are at a higher risk of hospitalization and death.

Therefore, unvaccinated people should consider getting the vaccine as soon as possible. Fully vaccinated people are half as likely to contract the deadly delta variant. Additionally, they are less likely to infect other people.

Older adults should also consider getting booster shots to strengthen their immunity. This way, their immune system can more easily fight off infections.

coronavirus-COVID-19-vaccine-senior-care-nursing-home-assisted-living-residents-protection

 

Keep them occupied

It would be best to keep older adults entertained as they stay indoors. Buy them entertainment items like crossword books that will keep them occupied for an extended time. Stay away from board games since they involve a lot of contact. You could also keep them entertained with movies.

Monitor them for symptoms

It would be best if you always were on the lookout for any COVID-19 related symptoms. At the same time, tell seniors to inform you if they notice symptoms like shortness of breath, coughs, or fever. If they don’t have any symptoms, do not take them to the hospital. Minimize hospital visits as much as possible.

If the older adult has coronavirus symptoms, call a healthcare provider. Do not rush them to the ER unless the difficulty in breathing is severe. The healthcare provider will give you instructions on what to do next.

Conclusion

Seniors are at a higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus due to their weak immune systems, underlying conditions, and stress. Therefore, you must protect them at all times. Use the tips we have shared above to ensure that they stay healthy, happy, and entertained.

Why is Remote Patient Monitoring Important?

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is changing the healthcare landscape for the better. Today, patients don't have to leave their homes to access different healthcare services. In fact, they can sip coffee in their backyard while their smartphone and wearable devices report vital signs like heart rate, dietary intake, blood sugar levels, etc., to their care team. Doctors, too, can monitor their patients remotely and ensure they adhere to their treatment regime.

That is RPM and chronic care management at its best - no traffic, crowds, waiting times, extra cost, stress, etc. Smartphones and wearable devices allow medical systems to offer remote care for relaxed, engaged patients while real-time health data, like beats per minute, is sent to the care team.

Years of studies and documentation by many experts including federal government officials have shown that remote patient monitoring (RPM) can improve patient outcomes for those suffering from chronic conditions like heart failure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and COPD. According to these studies, remote patient monitoring is among the most effective and efficient tools for chronic disease management for seniors, especially those with these diseases.

What is remote patient monitoring?

remote-patient-monitoring-system-hospital-doctors-medical-technology-vital-signs-wearable-devices-heart-rate

RPM uses digital technologies to track and capture patient’s health data and transmit the data to providers for assessment and, when necessary, instructions and recommendations. It allows medical providers to monitor real-time changes in patient’s data remotely once they’re discharged from the hospital. RPM is a critical part of the wider telehealth industry and eHealth domain.

Remote patient monitoring focuses on patients with chronic diseases or in rural areas with limited access to hospitals. Providers also use it to monitor senior and post-operative patients.

According to studies, RPM can:

With RPM, healthcare providers can monitor patients in their homes, on vacation, at work, etc., using monitoring devices like:

The importance of remote patient monitoring

adults-age-65-and-older-benefit-from-telehealth-telemedicine-doctors-appointments-online-real-time-medical-data

Enhances doctor-patient communication

Communication between patient and doctor is critical in healing and recovery. Remote patient monitoring facilitates communication and forges transparency and trust. It offers a deeper understanding of conditions and treatment, enabling patients to take more control of their care plans.

It helps physicians overcome burnout

Burnout is a real issue in healthcare. According to a Medscape survey before COVID-19, about 50% of doctors experienced burnout. A follow-up survey in September 2020 found that 64% had more intense burnout than before the pandemic.

Many cited time pressures and performing delicate procedures in chaotic environments as the leading stressors. Uncertain patient outcomes and overcrowded, understaffed health facilities were also cited.

Remote patient monitoring allows medical providers to perform routine patient care without physical visits to the hospital or clinic. This redirects resources and space from “healthy” patients to those with acute medical attention. As a result, it eases the strain on the system and the stress on doctors - thereby reducing burnout.

Reduces the risk of infection at hospitals

Since RPM is all about monitoring patients virtually, doctors can keep sick people from their offices. This keeps healthy people out of harm's way, especially in a health crisis such as the COVID-19. Patients with acute or chronic diseases that can be managed at home can use RPM. This way, they don't have to make unnecessary trips to the office and expose themselves to infections.

It helps healthcare facilities to grow

Buying medical software and equipment is a significant investment upfront. But RPM pays over time both in terms of growing the practice and offering better patient outcomes. With RPM opened to many Medicare and Medicaid patients, an investment in the opportunity is a good long-term strategy. Experts say this could become the new standard, and patients may start to expect their insurance company to support RPM.

Ensures patients get personal, proactive care

Remote patient monitoring is proactive care. It tracks the patient’s vitals, performs disease-specific analysis, and answers health questions while keeping the care team advised. Patients enjoy better service for their health problems, and providers get to monitor health patterns and detect treatable issues before they escalate into emergencies.

medical-technology-internet-of-things-wearable-devices-real-time-health-data-quality-of-care

It optimizes time spent with patients

With remote patient monitoring technology, providers need not spend time measuring vitals and asking questions. That’s because they already have the patient data at hand. So, in-person meetings are spent answering questions and making the most out of the time. And when providers have fewer tasks, they are less likely to burn out.

For instance, devices like smart scale detect water retention in patients managing congestive heart failure. Any changes might prompt the physician to prescribe a diuretic, increase the dosage, or call the patient in for a visit.

Offers cost savings and reduced hospitalization

RPM has the potential to minimize hospitalization and readmissions as it allows caregivers to monitor patients remotely. This reduces costs for both patients and healthcare systems. It also increases Medicare coverage reimbursement rates and helps hospitals improve their industry reputation.

According to one report, widespread adoption of RPM could save the US as much as $6 billion annually. RPM helps deal with age-related health issues, which account for nearly 90% of US healthcare costs. That’s because it allows care to be moved out of hospitals into homes. When facilities cut on costs, the savings trickle down to patients.

Improves patient outcomes

Possibilities with remote patient monitoring are diverse. The technologies can detect out-of-range values that can be alarming and identify trends that point to the need for changing care plans. They also offer coaching on everyday choices like exercise that tend to be ignored despite their significance on chronic condition management. Patient support ensures a better quality of care and can improve outcomes.

Assisted Living Can Use 21st Century Technologies

Senior living homes are always on the lookout for ways to ensure that older adults are safe and well cared for. That’s why most of them embrace modern-day technologies like wearables, medical-alert systems, and other easy-to-use devices. These and other technologies help ensure assisted living residents get a quality level of care that’s affordable and adaptable to modern life.

A 2018 survey by the International Council on Active Aging reveals that assisted living homes are shifting from a care-first mindset to a wellness lifestyle. About 60% of respondents in the survey said their communities would be based on a wellness lifestyle with options for care by 2023. Wellness trends in an assisted living community are diverse. They include everything from timed medication dispensers to smart lights, fitness equipment and other specially designed senior living advances.

As always, patient care and wellness is the priority.  Thankfully, 21st century technology also provides breakthrough benefits for those who manage assisted living homes. Easy-to-use advances enable significant improvements in customer care, marketing, and communication. For instance, today’s technology makes it quick and simple for senior living homes to work with call centers to connect with potential clients. The same technology can even help free up their all-important teams. The assisted living market is now more competitive than ever. This creates a greater need to have a more public-facing component to their sales and marketing efforts, so they can stand out from the pack. Today’s technology can give you this edge.

21st century technologies for assisted living

medical-monitoring-remote-tech-senior-living-nursing-home-safety-health-care-quality-

Today’s senior care homes always keep a close eye on cutting-edge technologies and upcoming breakthroughs in research. This is crucial in gaining an edge in the competitive market. Some common 21st-century technologies that assisted living facilities can use are:

Call centers to stay connected with potential residents

Many assisted living homes fall short in their marketing efforts. This is partly because they don’t have the right person to explain the value of what they offer to a potential customer. Call centers can solve this problem. For starters, they are available to answer questions and offer quality customer support 24/7. They also have a trained staff that will keep up with customer expectations. Top contact centers like Bay Alarm Medical take the stress out of the process. They communicate the right message to help customers make informed decisions. There is no replacement for skilled nursing care.

Digital platforms to market the business

Senior living homes need a steady stream of residents to succeed. That’s why the importance of marketing can never be overstated. Luckily, 21st-century technologies like mobile devices, computers, and the internet make it easy to connect, educate and attract prospects. Assisted living communities are now creating websites, managing their online reputation, and using social media to gain an edge in the market. Some are even providing virtual tours of their amenities. Computer-aided modeling lets prospects “tour” the facility to get an idea of what the home is all about.

Telemedicine for the convenience of residents

telemedicine-telehealth-assisted-living-facilities-can-use-21st-century-technologies-quality-care-senior-health

Telemedicine is one of the fastest-growing segments of 21st-century technologies. A survey of 22 senior living providers by Senior Housing News found that telehealth is used for various services. In the survey, 75% of respondents said they were using telehealth for primary care. About 45% said they used it for emergent health issues and 30% for behavioral or mental health.

Most assisted living communities lack on-site expertise, which limits the on-site care options. So when a medically fragile, older adult develops simple issues, they may have to be transported to hospitals. Unfortunately, this may disrupt theiir routine, cause confusion, or expose them to viruses. Telemedicine addresses such challenges effectively.

Telemedicine offers convenience – something that many adults age 50 and over are interested in. It eliminates the discomfort of long drives and waits in the doctor’s office. Additionally, it can connect on-site staff to specialized medical expertise rather than moving a sick resident to a hospital. One study revealed that minimizing transportation costs for an in-person doctor visit can save long-term care homes $479 million each year.

IoT wearable devices and sensors

Many graying adults live at home. Most are lucky enough to get home care services from loved ones or caregivers. But aging involves decreased strength, stamina, and mobility. This increases the risk of progressive disability, a fall occurring, and the need for assisted living services.

Wearable technologies allow assisted living homes to monitor different parameters. These include frailty, body temperature, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, ECG, BCG, posture, heart rate, etc. They track residents’ physical activities and behaviors along with their biochemical and physiological parameters throughout the day. This way, they can tell when a condition or injury needs immediate health care. IoT wearable devices are highly portable and can attach to anything. They can be attached to eyeglasses, earrings, shoes, watches, gloves, and clothing.

In an assisted living community, wearable sensors allow caregivers to increase safety, improve quality of life and avoid false alarms. They also help monitor how efficiently the seniors are going about their daily tasks – like grooming or cooking in their houses or eating in the dining rooms.

assisted-living-21st-century-technologies-tech-technology-wearable-devices-medical-monitoring-system-safety-healthcare-admin

Tech that detects falls

As seniors age, they become more susceptible to slips and falls. The CDC reports that 50 – 75% of residents in nursing homes fall each year. This is twice the rate at which other seniors fall when not living in nursing homes. According to CDC, 24% of falls happen due to muscle weakness and 16-27% due to environmental hazards. Other common causes include medication and difficulty in moving from one place to another.

This is why assisted living homes embrace fall detection technologies to help monitor senior activities at all times. Such systems ensure that adults get immediate help, should they slip and fall. Medical alert systems like these can be a lifesaver, considering about 1,800 people in nursing homes die from falls each year. Senior homes also include grab bars in the bathrooms, railings on both sides of stairs and they ensure that every area is well-lit.

Technology can extend seniors’ ability to live independent and vibrant lives after injury or chronic illness diagnosis. As the baby boomers roll into their golden years, it’s evident that nursing homes need fresh approaches to improve a senior’s quality of life, as well as the ability to control costs. Technology can do both. Seniors can look forward to living their golden years in a more autonomous and healthier environment. Moreover, most importantly, it provides the peace of mind of knowing that the seniors are safe.

Top Concerns of People with Parents in Senior care Facilities

Home care services can be a great way to care for a senior adult. However, some situations force people to look into other care options. For instance, the senior loved one might have a severe mental illness or even dementia that would require skilled nursing supervision. It could also be that there's no one at home to render the best personal care. In such cases, it makes sense for the safety of your loved one to seek professional care. If you are considering placing one, or both of your parents in senior care facilities, you may want to know about these concerns.

Leaving a senior loved one in a care facility is not as easy as it sounds. Not when there are concerns about their wellbeing, care, safety, and security in these homes. Such concerns include:

Understaffing in long-term care homes

One of the top concerns that people with parents in senior care facilities have is the staffing issue. Many long-term care homes were short-staffed before the pandemic. And now, it's even more challenging to hire and maintain nurses that care for residents.

Families are worried that their loved ones won't get adequate care because these facilities are understaffed. That the few available staff strain and may end up cutting corners. And that they may fail to fulfill their duties as expected. Whether it’s to wash their hands often enough or respond to calls whenever the elderly needs help, and so on.

parents-in-senior-care-facilities-nursing-home-assisted-living-elderly-healthcare-SeniorSense
With many senior care facilities being overstaffed, your loved one might not get the attention they need and deserve.

Security and safety concerns

There have been several reports of security breaches making headlines in the recent past. In 2018, for instance, a 94-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by an intruder while at a skilled nursing facility. Industry watchdogs and government agencies have raised the alarm about lax standards in assisted living facility that includes nursing and retirement homes.

Some common security and safety concerns that friends and families have include:

 

Resident violence or aggression

Some families place their loved ones into long-term care facilities because of their worsening condition or aggression. In most cases, the older adult cannot stay at home because the family caregivers don't know how to render care. But even with the shift, families still worry about how their aggressive loved one will fit into a home. That’s not the only point of concern for residents. Other residents’ families also worry about their loved ones being attacked by the aggressive resident.

2010 multivariate analyses by the National Library of Medicine found that 7.6% of 6,848 residents living in skilled nursing homes engaged in physical abuse or aggression toward other residents or staff members in the past month. 9.5% had shown verbal abuse or aggression, while 2% had engaged in sexual abuse or aggression toward staff or other residents. In all these cases, severe mental disease and dementia were significant risk factors.

Most skilled nursing facilities have processes in place to help contain such cases. These processes allow them to strike a balance caring for residents with behavioral problems while protecting other clients. In extreme cases, the resident may have to go to a state psychiatric hospital.

Theft from staff members or residents

Senior adults are more susceptible to financial abuse than the rest of the population. When people get older, they trust more often because they have to. They also have a harder time with memory. Sadly, some bad residents and staff members take advantage of this fact to steal from unsuspecting residents. Common types of financial abuse include credit card fraud, bank withdrawals, stealing cash, and access to debit cards. All these things are illegal and are punishable by law.

Elopement or wandering

According to a case report, about 31% of nursing homes and 25-70% of community residents wander at least once. Another study reported that 1 in 5 people with dementia wanders. Going by the numbers, it is clear why families worry about an elopement or wandering in long-term care facilities. Wandering is usually safe and healthy when it's within the facility. It is one of the common, daily activities in most senior living homes.

When residents wander or elope from the nursing home, it can be dangerous. Elopement happens when the resident makes their way out of the assisted living community undetected and goes into harm's way. In most cases, they elope because of:

 

Elopements are common during the first few weeks after a resident joins a community. Most of them do so because of the change in setting and desire to go back home. It is the responsibility of the nursing home to prevent this from happening.

 

Abuse from staff

parents-in-senior-care-facilities-elder-abuse-concerns-staff-residents
Sadly, elder abuse can take on many forms. Beyond physical abuse, elders can be verbally and mentally abused, as well.

According to WHO, 1 in 6 adults aged 60+ suffered one or more abuse types while in a community setting. WHO also adds that 2 in 3 nursing home staff members said they abused residents over the past year. Such glaring numbers make many family members worry about their loved ones' safety in these care homes. They are concerned that their loved ones may suffer at the hands of those supposed to care for them. Nursing home abuse includes:

 

 

Abuse can take many forms, while some is less obvious than others. Signs that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home can include:

 

But since these signs may vary, it's imperative to closely monitor your loved one. He or she may not speak about their abuse because of fear or simply being unable to communicate.

Concerns about their loved one falling or getting hurt

It is not uncommon for senior adults to slip and fall. In fact, each year, 3 million senior adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. For this reason, many family members worry about their loved one falling.

This is considering that slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of disability and even death in the US. But the good news is that aging in place can be a great way to prevent falls. Most of these institutions have secured spaces that ensure adults are safe from falls and other hazards. They have handrails, grab bars, effective lighting, safe bathrooms, etc., to ensure the safety of their elderly residents.

senior-care-facilities-falling-injuries-slip-and-fall-accidents-resident-safety-assisted-living-nursing-home
Falls can be devastating to seniors. Most senior care facilities are designed around their resident's safety, with adequate lighting, ramps and handrails to help minimize the likelihood of a fall.

 

Strangers caring for parents

Seniors, like everyone else, prefer to be around familiar faces like family or friends. They want their loved ones to prepare their meals, bathe them and even carry them around if needs be. But when home care services are not feasible due to a range of reasons, they'll have to get this care from someplace else – like in an assisted living community, or in the case of mental illness, a skilled nursing facility. However, the prospect of a stranger caring for a loved one is disturbing to seniors and their families alike. And it can get extremely uncomfortable, especially when it comes to personal needs.

WytCote understands these issues and in response created SeniorSense. SeniorSense provides resident care and monitoring as well as staff quality control in a simple, secure and easy-to-use platform. Ask your community if they have SeniorSense.

 

Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s in Assisted Living

Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain. It causes large numbers of cells in the brain to die. This impacts an individual’s ability to think clearly and remember things. People with Alzheimer’s disease are forgetful and easily confused. They behave in odd ways and may have difficulties concentrating. These issues worsen as the illness progresses, making your job as a caregiver harder.

An estimated 5.8 million Americans 65 years and older lived with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2020. According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. It affects the part of the brain that controls thought, language, and memory. Over time, the disease impacts one’s ability to execute daily activities. Sometimes, it makes them aggressive, incontinent, or wander a lot. Families that cannot meet all the needs of an Alzheimer’s patient often consider long-term care facilities like an assisted living home.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

alzheimers-disease-elder-care-senior-health-routine-schedule-dementia

Alzheimer’s is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s thinking and memory skills. In later stages of the disease, patients lose the ability to execute even the simplest tasks. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia among older people, ages 65+. But it can still affect people between ages 30 and 60.

This article will highlight some of the things to keep in mind when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. But before we do that, let’s look at the different stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease can be mild, moderate, or severe. The symptoms worsen as the disease progresses, bringing new challenges to you as a caregiver. Knowing the stages and their associated symptoms can help you plan ahead.

Mild (preclinical)

Patients with early-stage or mild Alzheimer’s disease can still function independently. They can participate in social and professional activities. But they’ll have a hard time focusing or remembering recent events. Most will also forget certain names or words and have difficulties writing and solving problems.

Moderate (mild cognitive impairment MCI)

At this stage, the patient experiences significant confusion, memory loss, and physical symptoms. They will have a hard time recognizing close friends and family.  Organizing, following instructions, and performing regular tasks will become very difficult. Patients may also wander or get lost, become restless, or have trouble falling asleep. Other symptoms of moderate Alzheimer’s include personality changes and fecal or urinary incontinence.

Severe (Alzheimer’s dementia)

Patients with severe Alzheimer’s lose the ability to carry out most or all of their basic activities. So they’ll need help with daily life activities like walking, eating, and sitting up. At this stage, they may not be able to engage in conversation or recognize their family members. Chewing and swallowing become a problem too.

senior-care-technology-dementia-stages-Alzheimer's-disease-healthcare-tech

Things to bear in mind when caring for an Alzheimer’s patient in assisted living

Today, more than 50% of residents in assisted living facilities have some form of cognitive impairment or dementia, including Alzheimer’s. If you are a caregiver in one of such facilities, you should always remember that the disease is what causes the changes, and not the person. Here are a few things to keep in mind when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s in assisted living.

 

Your patience and sensitivity go along way

Dressing, eating, and grooming will become challenging as the disease progresses. The loss of privacy and independence that comes with the condition can be a hard transition for the resident with dementia. Your sensitivity, patience and understanding will help him or her through it. Once you are done helping with the daily tasks, you may want to think about the patient’s abilities. Then encourage them to do as much as they can – and be ready to help when the need arises.

Meltdowns are common

As the disease progresses, it becomes harder for the patient to communicate. He or she may want you to warm the food or turn down the volume. But because they cannot express their needs, they may end up lashing out in anger. In some cases, these residents experience pain and discomfort, lack of sleep, or they’re just not in sync with their routines. So you should understand this and handle any meltdown situation with professionalism and positivity. You can lower the occurrence of such issues by keeping the resident on a regular routine and ensuring they’re comfortable. Try to:

healthcare-senior-care-nursing-home-assisted-living-facility-dementia-activities-technology

Reminders and logic may not work

When caring for a resident with Alzheimer’s, you may find yourself trying to help them act as they would normally. For instance, you may want to remind them of facts or a conversation when they say something that’s off and so on. But this will only make things worse. Alzheimer’s is confusing and scary for the patient. Trying to use reason or logic to explain why they’re wrong will likely make them defensive, agitated, angry, or difficult. So it’s best to respect and join them in their new reality – and focus more on their emotions as opposed to words.

Nutrition is essential

People with Alzheimer’s may not need a special diet in the initial stages. But as the disease progresses, weight loss and loss of appetite may become concerns. Experts recommend serving finger foods, high-calorie healthy meals, and multivitamins. In the later stages, the patient may have difficulty chewing and swallowing. This is a big problem because if he or she chokes, the food might go into the lung, causing pneumonia. So, it’s best to prepare foods that are not hard to chew and swallow. Also, provide drinks with high water content, like smoothies, soups, and fruits.

The Future of Healthcare on the Blockchain

Blockchain technology has many applications in healthcare. It can improve monitoring devices, mobile health applications, and clinical trial data. It can also offer a new model for health information exchanges by making electronic medical records more secure, efficient, and decentralized. While not a magic bullet, blockchain technology offers a platform for investment, experimentation, and proof-of-concept testing.

There's so much hype around blockchain. You'd think it is the cure-all technology or one that will solve the chronic data security and interoperability issues that cripple health data sharing. Blockchain will be used to share health information securely and to approve and monitor health data usage. However, the technology alone won't make health data interoperable or ensure data is shared. A lot has to go into standardizing health data formats and coding and controlling data sharing for research and system-wide improvement.

The first blockchain applications will likely handle the secure exchange of well-defined healthcare transactions like tracking the drug supply chain to prevent counterfeiting or settling insurance claims, and so on. But it will take a while to address challenges like interoperability, sharing, and access.

data-sharing-healthcare-on-the-blockchain-technology-industry-solutions-security-data-health-records

What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) used to securely record transactions across many computers in a peer-to-peer network without the need of a third party. In the blockchain, every block of data (block) is secured and linked to the next one using cryptographic principles (chain). It's emerging as one of the most promising technologies of the 21st century and is widely applied in healthcare for these reasons:

But despite its potential in healthcare, blockchain remains immature. Gartner's research describes it as a technology in a "hype cycle,” meaning one that's marked with stages of innovation triggers, enlightenment, disillusionment, inflated expectation but ending in a "plateau of productivity." Health blockchain is still in its early days. It cannot be compared to sectors like supply chain, logistics, and financial services that have seen a much faster adoption rate.

Future of healthcare on the blockchain

From biomedical research, to insurance payments and everything in between, blockchain applications will impact almost all healthcare system aspects. This is because the healthcare sector thrives on data generation and sharing. Here is what the health blockchain may look like soon.

healthcare-on-the-blockchain-data-privacy-cybersecurity-private-health-information

Solution for the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)

Blockchain's ability to trace and store time-stamped data across a P2P network makes it perfect in solving DSCSA's traceability requirements. DSCSA upholds drug security standards by ensuring that all drugs are traceable from when they leave the manufacturer to the time they reach the dispenser. This is in a bid to boost tracking, detection, and removal of misbranded, counterfeit, or potentially dangerous drugs from the supply chain. A network using blockchain is uniquely secured and could be effective in drug fraud prevention. Today, various trials are underway as different vendors try to craft solutions that meet DSCSA's requirements.

A possible solution for EHRs

Electronic health record management is an important application area for blockchain technology. It deals with data exchanges across various health sectors and ensures to protect the data's source, integrity, and privacy for accurate analysis and insights. EHR is an excellent example of the blockchain-based privacy-preserving prediction model. Facilities are now applying machine learning to study data in their EHRs and using the learned model to predict patient outcome. But since no facility has enough patient records, there's the need to share various data across organizations. However, they have to apply privacy-preserving prediction modeling methods – like blockchain to avoid re-identification and data breach risks. Blockchain stores medical records securely and allows real-time updates. It can also allow secure access for all permissible users.

Solution for medical staff credentialing

Credentialing can be time-consuming and expensive when done through snail mail, faxes, and phone calls. Since blockchain can be approved and updated in stages, it may be a perfect solution in the credentialing process. Credentialing smart contract is an excellent example of a possible blockchain application. A smart contract is a self-executing contract with terms of the agreement between parties written into code lines. It facilitates trusted agreements and transactions to be carried out among disparate, anonymous parties without the need for a legal system, central authority, or external enforcement mechanism. Smart contracts can be used:

medical-staff-doctor-hospital-personnel-training-privacy-HIPAA-data-security

Solution to the need for sharing and privacy

Many blockchain-based features can help facilities strike a balance between privacy and sharing. For years, healthcare organizations have depended on policy to maintain patient data and siloed. But without technologies to resolve the sharing and privacy issues, these organizations risk compromising data. In the coming years, blockchain will take care of such issues, allowing facilities to share critical data without the fear of breach and arising suits. This is thanks to its ability to audit who, when, and where the data is used.

On top of that, the disruptive technology will enable open health data exchange markets run by patients. These markets will only have valuable, verified, and validated data from treatment outcomes, verified diagnostics, genetics, real-world evidence, etc. Permissioned blockchains will allow patients to decide how they want to use their data in exchange for health solutions and compensation.

Adoption of blockchain in healthcare

The perception that blockchain is fairy a new technology and closely linked to the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, hinders its adoption within the healthcare community. Besides, the technology cost can be high. The proof of work, for instance, consumes a large amount of computational power. Again, blockchain doesn't remove or replace modified records but adds blocks to the chain to represent modifications and deletions, which adds to the storage problem.

With that said, blockchain absolutely is a viable technology. And while it could take years for its practical application across the industry, blockchain adoption has already taken off with financial institutions and in dozens of companies. For instance, IBM is using AI to detect patterns with Block Chains to help find treatments or remedies for specific diseases. Mount Sinai also uses blockchain in AI to rapidly read chest CAT Scans of potential COVID-19 patients. There is no telling what the future holds, but we know that blockchain will immensely disrupt the healthcare sector, perhaps for the better.

 

6 Products To Get You Through COVID Liability

Businesses worldwide face challenges, including lawsuits, as they struggle with the way that the novel Coronavirus has disrupted their operations, supply chains, and workforces. The litigation wave is gaining momentum, and from the look of it, no industry is immune. With that in mind, we will examine some products to get you through COVID liability concerns in this article.

Employers across the country are facing lawsuits by Coronavirus victim and their families. These victims and their loved ones contend that workplaces failed to implement measures to ensure safety on the job. Meat processing plants, nursing homes, and cruise ship operators have been sued the most during the crisis. Other companies like Amazon, McDonalds, Safeway, and Walmart have also faced charges alleging they did not do enough to protect employees.

Of course, most employers argue that they have enforced all the recommended guidelines to ensure workplace safety. They have attempted to educate and promote good hygiene and infection control practices to prevent exposure on the job. Some even remark that it’s impossible to know where or how their staff contracted the virus, considering it is in the community.

But still, COVID-19 lawsuits are ripe, and employers ought to be careful. The last thing that one wants to deal with, on top of the thinning profit margins, is costly legal fees, among other expenses that a lawsuit attracts. Indeed, COVID-19 suits may not form the basis of personal injury cases. After all, the victim may not prove that the employer passed the infection to them. With the virus widespread in so many communities and easily transmitted, this level of proof is nearly impossible.

However, this doesn’t mean that employers won’t face the consequences if they act negligently or recklessly during the ongoing public health crisis. Bad choices during these times of declared emergencies can expose them to legal problems. To minimize the pandemic's impact on workers, businesses, customers, and the public, employers need to plan adequately and integrate effective products, some of which we will discuss in this article. Before we do that, let’s ensure that we are on the same page regarding COVID-19 in workplaces.

Workplace Coronavirus exposure

The COVID-19 virus is a respiratory illness that’s easily passed from person to person. The virus has spread quickly across the US, with 10.4 million cases and 244,044 deaths reported by November 9, 2020. Although many people have lost their jobs, some are left with no choice but to work amidst workplace COVID-19 exposure fears. Employees deserve protection from the virus at work. Employers are required to take measures to protect staff from potential exposures.

With that in mind, let’s now look at how you can protect your employees. We’ll do this by listing 6 products to get you through COVID liability.

1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE-products-to-help-you-get-through-COVID-liability-personal-protective-equipment

PPE supplies are critical for preventing specific COVID-19 exposure – mainly when used alongside other prevention strategies that we’ll discuss in this article. Examples of PPE supplies are face shields, goggles, face masks, gloves, and respiratory protection. Recommendations for PPE specific to job or occupation may change based on current risk assessment for employees, geographical location, and information on its effectiveness in preventing the virus's spread.

As an employer, you should keep checking the CDC and OSHA websites for the latest recommendations of PPEs. In a nutshell, PPE supplies should be:

2. Disinfecting tunnels

wytcote disinfectant portal
wytcote disinfectant portal

Disinfecting tunnels (or sanitizing tunnels) are placed at the entrances and exits of commercial buildings to fog/spray sanitizer or disinfectant onto those entering or leaving the building. So, someone goes through a semi-enclosed area, pauses for several seconds for disinfection before entering the building.

The reasoning behind disinfecting tunnels is that, since the Coronavirus is a contagious illness, disinfecting a person’s clothes and body can protect them from contracting the virus. Spraying helps contain the pathogen’s spread.

There are many concerns about the effectiveness and safety of these tunnels. A WHO report even warned against their use because of the chemical disinfectants used. According to the report, spraying people with chlorine and other dangerous chemicals could lead to skin and eye irritation. Luckily, not all disinfecting tunnels are created equally. Some use a specially formulated solution that sanitizes individuals without affecting their physical or physiological health.

3. Sanitizing lighting

Sanitizing lighting is a great product that can help save you from potential COVID liability. It uses nanometer light to deactivate and destroy bacteria and other micro-organisms. The UVC lights (or LED in some cases) excites certain molecules in disease-causing micro-organism through photo-activation. This produces reactive oxygen species that destroy and kill the harmful cells.

UVC, a type of Ultraviolet light, is effective at killing viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2. A study by the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) revealed that exposure to UVC light completely inactivated the Coronavirus in nine minutes.

4. COVID test kits 

COVID-19-coronavirus-test-kit-antibody-testing-healthcare-industry

The COVID test kits allow you to perform routine internal Coronavirus testing. This means that your employees won’t have to go to the hospital to get their tests done. Having test kits handy can ensure that any case is discovered on time, thus avoiding further spread. This is especially critical during an emergency.

The good thing about COVID-19 test kits is that they are first, accurate, and convenient. You only need to be careful to find a trusted dealer – one who’s kits have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), been independently validated, and with specificity and sensitivity of at least 95%.

5. Check-in kiosk

wytcote-kiosk-COVID-19-liability-protection
wytcote kiosk

check-in kiosk is a fully automated hands-free self-check kiosk designed to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. For instance, in an airport or booking office situation, the booth allows people to scan and print their tags without touching anything other than their phones. A self-service kiosk in any environment can minimize in-person interaction, lowering the risk of transmission of virus between employees and guests or patients.

Before the pandemic, clients would walk right to the reception or front desk. But this is considered a risky practice now. A check-in kiosk minimizes the risk by negating the person-to-person interaction. When a client walks in, their first stop becomes the kiosk. They can then scan their ID or insurance card or even update information like email, phone number, and address at the booth.

Installing a check-in kiosk is a great way to show your team and other related parties that you have strengthened your hygiene protocol. These kiosks also allow you to monitor everyone who enters the facility and ensure that the workplace remains COVID-19 free.

6. Wellness kits

Wellness kits provide your employees with items for well-being. The kits include hand sanitizer, face coverings, stress ball, sleep kit, and more. Note that these items may vary depending on where you got your kits from.

 

How Can Technology Help Improve Elder Care?

The use of smart, internet-powered devices is becoming the way of life among the young and old alike. For the elderly, advanced technology and smart devices make everyday tasks easier. It also improves their overall quality of life. Technologies like wearables, implants, cameras, GPS, and smartphones allow seniors to be free and more independent. So, how can technology help improve elder care?

Today, companies are coming up with vast care options to cater to the growing elderly population. In 2019, about 16.5% of the US population was 65 or older, and the number is set to reach 22% by 2050, according to Statista.

According to Pew research, of seniors 65 years or more:

Understanding technology

elder-care-assisted-living-quality-of-life-senior-living-community-IoT
Seniors are more connected to technology than they ever have been before.

Technology involves the use of using scientific knowledge to solve practical problems. It draws upon such subjects as applied science, pure science, engineering, and industrial arts. In senior care, technology solves problems like lack of mobility, loneliness, losing hearing or vision and memory loss.

Rapidly emerging technological advances hold great potential for the seniors and their caregivers in navigating the physical, cognitive, and social changes that come with aging. Here are some ways technology help improve elder care.

Assistive technology can take over some parts of human care

The elders who have difficulty communicating, getting around, or handling routine tasks can benefit from assistive technology. Assistive technology is a tool or service that helps the elderly with safety, mobility, and daily schedules. It can be a magnifying glass that assists with reading or an amplification device for better hearing and so on. Other examples of assistive technologies include:

For the elderly, assisted devices mean the difference between being able to live independently and having to get long-term home care or join an assisted living facility. These devices play a big role in helping older adults perform simple day-to-day activities like going to the bathroom and bathing.   

Assistive technology can also lower the cost of care for seniors and their loved ones. Although families may need to pay a monthly fee for some tools, the cost is still much lower than that of nursing home, assisted living, or home health care.

GPS devices can prevent seniors from wandering and getting lost

From bracelets to necklaces and key chains to watches, and everything in between, GPS trackers allow caregivers to monitor seniors in real-time. GPS trackers made for the elderly emphasize on functions that improve safety, including health metrics and emergency buttons

A GPS tracker can be a lifesaver for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, or other mental health conditions that make them prone to wandering. It provides peace of mind in knowing that you can find your loved one if they get lost or go astray. And the best part is that the latest GPS devices come with some incredible additional features. Most of them double as fitness devices. Others have audio monitoring, reminder alerts, safe zone alerts, two-way calling, and SOS emergency buttons to make the senior’s life easier.

Virtual assistants (VA) for helping in daily activities

Although robots can't give hugs yet, they can be a nice companion for seniors who lead independent lives. Robotic assistants enhance senior lives by enabling them to enjoy positive and meaningful interactions without limitations like getting tired or being unavailable.

virtual-assistant-robotics-senior-elder-care-technology-IoMT-internet-of-things
Virtual Assistants may be able to perform various physical functions in the very near future.

Smart devices like Google Home, Alexa, and Apple HomePod can help seniors in all facets of their daily lives, from searching something online to compiling a dictated grocery list and much more.

In homes fitted with smart devices like smart locks or thermostats, a VA can increase security or regulate temperature through voice commands. Seniors can also contact their loved ones without having to dial or memorize their numbers. What’s more, virtual assistants let seniors to listen to weather forecasts, audiobooks and stay up to date with current events.

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and remote monitoring

Analysis shows that people aged 85 plus years cost almost seven times more to care for, than those in their 30s. But thanks to the Internet of Medical Things and robotics, it's possible to nullify some of these costs.

IoMT technology is not only enhancing the seniors' experience by minimizing the need for in-person hospital visits; it is also reducing costs and strain on our nation’s hospital systems. Estimates by Goldman Sachs indicate that IoMT will lead to a $300 billion savings in yearly healthcare expenditures. According to the forecast, the cost reductions come from:

IoMT systems and apps, including virtual home assistants, tracking wearables, personal emergency response, and portable diagnostics devices, can offer better care and non-intrusive remote monitoring tools.

Portable diagnostic devices allow seniors to perform urine or blood tests from the comfort of their homes. These devices are user-friendly and intuitive, which makes it easy for seniors to understand and share results with doctors.

elder-care-technology-data-security-helathcare-savings
Portable diagnostic devices allow seniors to transmit data, securely from the comfort of their own homes.

Again, most seniors have one or more non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases. For heart patients, heart vital-tracking wearables like heart monitors can track arrhythmia and other issues and notify the doctors immediately, should there be a concern. IoMT devices can also monitor blood glucose, heart rate, urinary frequency, bed exits, steps, sleep cycles and other vitals.

The capabilities of IoMT will lead to fewer mistakes, more accurate diagnosis, and an overall lower cost of care. Coupled with smartphone apps, IoMT technology allows the seniors to send their personal health information, securely to physicians to better monitor diseases and prevent chronic illnesses.

Smartphones for communication and emergency alerts

Smartphones make it easy for the elderly to keep tabs with their loved ones – whether through calls, messaging or even social media. Smartphones come with many different applications that can make your loved one's life convenient and enjoyable. They have larger screens and apps for voice capabilities, internet banking, maps, and music/videos to meet their different needs.

There are also a couple of senior safety applications that you can install in these smartphones. These apps make it easy to track their activities/inactivity, low battery, high ambient noise, location, and medications. Some even send fall alerts in real-time, allowing you to know when your loved one is in trouble. 

Virtual reality escapes to prevent social isolation

Virtual Reality (VR) technology is easily assessable, affordable, and equally effective. Currently, some companies are working with senior living communities to build positive shared experiences through virtual reality. This will allow seniors – particularly those who can't leave their houses due to critical health issues – to experience the fun, awe and freedom by simply wearing a headset.

How are Cloud Computing & IoT Related?

Cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two very closely-related internet technologies that complement each other. The convergence of these two distinct technologies has derived numerous benefits, including better infrastructure, enhanced performance, and increased scalability.

Cloud computing and IoT have a complementary relationship and work best as inseparable cohorts. Cloud-based IoT allows for smart usage of information, applications, and infrastructure cost-effectively. But to understand the relationship between IoT and cloud computing, we’ll need to look at each technology separately.

What’s IoT

IoT is an ecosystem of connected devices that are accessible through the internet. With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020 – and more than 75 billion projected to be in use by 2025 globally – IoT is a top consideration for forward-thinking enterprises.

IoT features different components, including:

The devices are fitted with actuators and sensors that gather data from the environment and transfer it to the gateway for pre-processing. The gateway serves a security level for the network and transmitted data. Once the data is collected, it is sent to the cloud, which is often a set of serves linked to the internet 24/7. The information then undergoes processing and becomes available through different user interfaces.

IoT bases its model in smart devices which intercommunicate in a dynamic infrastructure and global network. It facilitates ubiquitous computing scenarios. The Internet of Things is characterized by widespread devices with limited storage and processing abilities. These devices are prone to issues regarding privacy, reliability, performance and security.

cloud-computing-machine-learning-IoT-medical-field-healthcare-industry-2020

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is an on-demand delivery of computing power, applications, database storage, and IT resources. It allows companies to use computing resources, like a virtual machine, rather than deploying a computing infrastructure in-house.

Cloud computing is characterized by aspects like:

Cloud computing comprises an extensive network with unlimited computational power and storage abilities. It offers a flexible and robust environment that facilitates data integration from different data sources. Cloud computing has the potential to resolve almost all IoT issues.  

Cloud computing has four types of deployment models: Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and Community Cloud. Since businesses have varied needs, they may have to choose a cloud computing service that fits their preferences. Examples of these services include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

internet-of-things-cloud-computing-IoT-industry-technology-healthcare-Wytcote-Tech

A closer look at the relationship between cloud computing and IoT

The Internet of Things (devices, machines, and sensors) produces extensive quantities of data per second. And as we discussed, cloud computing helps in the analysis and management of this data so that companies can reap the most benefit out of their IoT infrastructure. The goal of IoT is to connect and enable communication between people, processes, and things. Cloud computing facilitates this collaboration to create greater visibility.

The fundamental idea behind cloud computing and IoT is to optimize the daily tasks, without affecting the quality of data stored or exchanged. Since the relationship is symbiotic, the two complement each other successfully. The IoT becomes the source of information, while the cloud becomes the destination for the data to be stored.

Cloud computing, with its vast models and implementation platforms, allow enterprises to analyze and manage data, improving overall efficiency and working of the IoT system. It also allows data storage and transfer through the internet or with a direct link that facilitates uninterrupted data transfer between applications, devices, and cloud.

This explains why almost most companies (96%) use cloud computing in one way or another. And with the rise of cloud platforms like Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services, we can only expect to see a surge in the uptake of IoT solutions. Experts believe that we’ll see lots of growth in cloud services for devices in the coming years, much of it from Google, AWS, and Microsoft, along with purpose-built clouds that device makers may share or use exclusively.

A successful partnership between IoT and cloud computing

IoT is powered by the cloud, meaning that the collection of sensor-enabled devices depends on the strength of specific cloud computing techniques to thrive. This need makes IoT a critical element in the adoption and growth of cloud infrastructure, and vice versa. Companies need to employ a cloud strategy that enables them to support IoT development if they want to leverage the new applications that will be created and delivered through cloud-based platforms.

How cloud computing augments the growth IoT 

healthcare-senior-care-technology-industry-solutions-Wytcote-Tech

Increases efficiencies

One of the main ways cloud computing complements IoT initiatives is by increasing efficiencies in daily tasks. IoT generates large amounts of data, and the cloud offers a pathway for this data to travel.

Data storage

Data storage in the cloud allows IoT enterprises to adapt quickly and distribute resources in different areas. And with the emergence of big data, the cloud is now an appealing option for many companies.

Providing infrastructure

Integration of IoT and cloud enables public cloud services to grant third-parties the power to access infrastructure. This, in turn, helps IoT data or computational modules running over different devices.

Augmented performance

Big data generated by extensive IoT devices need robust performance to interact and connect with other devices quickly. The integration of IoT and cloud can offer connectivity that’s vital to share data between devices and obtain quick meaning from it.

Enhanced scalability

IoT devices need plenty of storage to share data for critical reasons. Cloud services like IBM Watson, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, etc. are some of the IoT-based cloud systems that provide consumers with greater storage that can be increased or decreased accordingly.

Remote computing power

Thanks to this technology, enterprises can expand their infrastructure and network without deploying extensive hardware. And with faster networking technologies like the 5G, teams can now accelerate the creation of real-time applications and access remote cloud computing services with a few clicks.

Pay-as-you-go

Pay as you go (PAYG) is a cloud computing payment method that enables consumers to pay for the data they store. The PAYG model allows businesses to expand their usage according to need. They also won’t have to spend money to buy provision servers or other infrastructure, thus saving on cost.

Conclusion

IoT devices generate a massive amount of data, putting a strain on internet infrastructure. Cloud computing comes in to help store, process, and transfer data in the cloud rather than connected devices. IoT and cloud computing technologies are closely associated, and when combined, can deliver powerful innovation that will continue to change the way we interact with our devices, with each other as well as how we store, manage and consume information.

10 New Medical Technologies for 2020

The medical industry has grappled with inefficient processes, rising healthcare costs, poor quality of care, poor healthcare access and lack of patient-specific treatment for far too long. But the consistent advances in medical technologies have created huge shifts in the way solutions are rendered.

Today, physicians are able to diagnose and treat patients better. Patients, on the other hand, can access quality, affordable and timely care, sometimes, from the comfort of their own homes.

According to industry analysts, increased accessibility of care is one of the most tangible ways medical technology has changed healthcare. But still, areas like patient care, research, education, and disease control are also seeing massive transformation, thanks to technology.

Healthcare is ever-changing and we expect to see further evolutions in the coming years. But here are 10 new medical technologies for 2020.

1. 5G capability 

5G is a new medical technology trend that’s set to transform medicine and healthcare delivery. Although still in its infancy, 5G is set to transform the healthcare sector by boosting capacity and speed while reducing latency. 5G networks will facilitate telemedicine initiatives, support remote patient monitoring tools, transmit large medical images, and enable more sophisticated uses of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Additionally, it will allow for faster communication and downloads on smartphones and tablets used in healthcare settings. Ericsson predicts a $76 billion revenue opportunity in 2026 for those addressing healthcare changes with 5G networks.

2. 3D printing

3D printing is a way of converting virtual 3D models into real-time 3D objects. This medical technology is widely used in the manufacturing of medical devices like prosthetic limbs, orthopedic and dental implants, medicine educational models, and surgical instruments. Additionally, 3D bioprinting is used to develop personalized and precision pharmaceuticals as well as living human tissue or cells for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Patient-specific 3D printed models are becoming increasingly useful in today’s practice of customized treatments and precision medicine – which explains its uptake. The healthcare 3D printing market is estimated to surpass the $5.5billion mark by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.5% within that time.

medical-technologies-3D-printing-organs-training-surgery-doctor-hospital-United-States-advancement

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI-powered medical technologies are quickly transforming into applicable solutions in the healthcare sector. Deep learning algorithms can handle the increasing amounts of data delivered by smartphones, implants, wearable devices, and other mobile tracking sensors in vast areas of medicine. At the moment, experts are using AI to detect epilepsy seizures, atrial fibrillation, hypoglycemia, as well as diagnose diseases based on medical imaging or histopathological tests. AI and machine learning will play an even bigger role in the coming years, helping healthcare experts with everything from note-taking to oncology screenings. In fact, it is projected to grow from $4.9 billion to 45.2 billion from 2020-2026 at a CAGR of 44.9%.

4. Surgical Robots

Surgical robots are computer-controlled, self-powered devices that can be programed to help in the manipulation and positioning of surgical instruments. Surgeons use robotic surgery because it offers greater visualization and precision. It gives them better flexibility, control, and accuracy. Unlike traditional surgery with incisions, robotic surgery allows for shorter hospitalization, minimal scarring, reduced pain and discomfort, and faster recovery times. In 2019, the surgical robot market was valued at $4.97 billion, but it’s projected to record a CAGR of 21.9% from 2020-2025 (forecast period).

medical-robotics-surgical-robot-tech-AI-VR-healthcare-industry

5. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in healthcare

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the healthcare market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 30.2% over the period 2018-2023, according to a new Market Research Future report. These new medical technologies for 2020 offer feasible solutions to many challenges in the healthcare industry, including patient diagnosis, medical student training, surgery assistance, and body mapping. AR & VR are broadly used to improve surgical processes, treat neurological and psychiatric conditions, and also as part of hospice care.

6. Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

IoMT is a group of medical devices and applications connected to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. The medical devices “things,” which are internet-enabled, allow machine-to-machine communication, that’s the basis of IoMT technology. In 2016, IoMT revenues amounted to $24 billion globally, with the number estimated to rise to over $135 billion by 2025. IoMT not only makes patient care personalized and cost-effective, it also decreases hospital admissions since medical professionals can monitor and even treat patients remotely. The rise of implantable and wearable devices in healthcare has made preventative care accessible to patients around the globe. Please check this website to learn more about IoT.

7. Cloud computing 

The cloud provides on-demand computing by leveraging cutting-edge technology to access, deploy, and use network data, resources, and applications. The broad adoption of cloud computing in the medical sector goes beyond storing data in the cloud. Healthcare professionals are now using this medical technology to optimize workflows, gain efficiencies, offer customized solutions, and lower the cost associated with service delivery. Driven by the increasing adoption of IoT and big data analytics, research shows that the industry is expected to reach $35.0 billion by 2022.

8. Telemedicine

Telemedicine involves the use of digital data and communication technologies like smartphones, wearables, and computers to access healthcare solutions remotely and manage health conditions. This medical technology is widely embraced for a range of reasons, including making health care accessible in remote areas and making services more convenient and readily available for those with limited time, mobility, or transport options. M-health also improves communication and coordination of care among doctors and patients and offers support for self-management of healthcare. According to the Market Research Future analysis, the global telemedicine market is estimated to reach $16.17 billion, with a 22.74% CAGR from 2017-2024.

telehealth-telemedicine-5G-medical-technologies-artifical-intelligence-machine-learning

9. Chatbots

Chatbots have become prevalent in recent years, mostly because of dramatic technological advances in machine learning and natural language processing. Today’s bots are more responsive, smarter, and more useful, and the best is yet to come. Chatbots mimic spoken or written human speech to simulate interaction or conversation with a real person. These powerful tools can take care of client engagement, lead generation, dispatching information on drugs and medications, and even help with medical equipment. In the face of the Coronavirus, chatbots have been a natural choice for disseminating critical health information to vast populations.

10. Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is a medical technology that uses past data to make future predictions, customizing patient care. An experienced medical expert can use a person’s demographic, recent medical history, and behaviors to predict the future. For instance, they can identify patients with an increased risk of developing a condition and address the precursors before it’s late. The predictive model also allows providers to react quickly to changes in the patient’s vital and detect deterioration at an early stage before the symptoms are apparent. The global predictive analytics market was worth $2.2 billion in 2018 and is estimated to reach $8.46 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 21.2%, according to Allied Market Research.