Technology That Helps Seniors Live Well in 2022

If you’re wondering how technology helps seniors live well, you’re in luck. Technology has advanced so much and is now so user-friendly, seniors are taking charge and living their best lives. In this article, we will review some of the latest developments older adults enjoy using to stay connected.

True high-tech is easy to use

There’s no longer any need to be apprehensive about becoming tech-savvy. The measure of the most cutting-edge technology is not how complex it is or how powerful it can be. The best technology is easy to use. That’s why it’s so many seniors are engaging technology to maintain and strengthen their bonds with family members.

Get back in the game

technology-that-helps-seniors-live-better-2022-videogames-voice-activated-tech-face-time-whats-app-virtual-assistant

If you can use a keyboard or if you can use your voice, you can get right back in the game with a rich, connected life. Whether you’re in a senior living facility or receiving senior care at home, all you need is an internet connection, and the world will come to you.

For a long time, technology has made it possible to play games, remind you of daily activities and even trigger an emergency response when necessary.

Today, simple-to-use devices can provide fall detection to family members and automatic alerts to the people you choose. Many of these devices are voice-activated and work in real-time as things are happening. The simplicity is a game-changer for everyone.

Face-to-face video chatting with friends and family

Absolutely nothing can replace being face to face with your family and friends. Well, now you can see their smiles up close even when their thousands of miles away. Face-to-face video chatting is easier now than it has ever been. Whether you have an Apple device or an Android device, you have a variety of ways to connect.

senior-tech-quality-of-life-saving-lives-video-chatting-stay-connected-voice-activated-older-adults

How to use WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Google Duo:

FaceTime for iPhone users: Go to settings on your iPhone or IPad and scroll to and tap”FaceTime.” There’s a slide-type switch next to it. Slide it over to activate it. Go back to your home screen and finger tap on the FaceTime symbol. Next, there’s a button in the top right-hand corner with a plus sign on it. Tap it. If this seems too difficult, text your contact and have them initiate a FaceTime call to you. That’s what I do.

Google Duo of Android users: So what, you don’t have an iPhone. You can use an Android tablet or phone to get the same thing. Simply use your browser to go to the Google Play Store. That’s where you can download Google Duo for free. Once you’re there, it couldn’t be more simple to use.

WhatsApp video calls for everyone: It’s the most used messaging application in the world. More than two billion people use it to message each other and video chat. Go to whatsapp.com and download the app for free. The rest is easy. That’s what makes it number one.

How to use a Ring Doorbell:

First things first, you can set up a Ring Doorbell anywhere. It doesn’t need to be at your front door. You can put it anywhere you want 2-way communication that features video and audio. When you use it at your front door, you can see who’s there, and you can tell them anything you like.

Buy one or more of the devices and create an account. If you have trouble with it, ask someone to help. Once you create an account, follow the instructions, and “presto,” you have a virtual butler to see who's at your door.

Hi, Echo, what is the weather forecast for today?

The Amazon Echo has been called a “gateway technology.” Once you use it, you’ll be hooked forever. Use it to set daily reminders, find out what the weather is going to be, or get a recap of the local news. It could not be easier to use.

Pretty soon, you’ll be asking it to tell you a joke or recite a recipe for you. Can you imagine? Just ask it anything. We can’t promise you’ll get the answer you want, but the fun you’ll have is guaranteed to make you smile.

technology-that-helps-seniors-virtual-assistant-Amazon-Alexa-stay-connected-older-adults-fall-detection

Tile: How to never lose anything again:

I don’t care what age you’re at; misplacing things is a pain. Keys, wallets, your passport, a scrap of paper with the combination to your giant safe – you can find anything with a Tile attached to it.

I have no idea how it works. Maybe it’s pure magic. What I can tell you is that it couldn’t be easier to locate whatever you’re looking for when you put a Tile on it and you search on a smartphone or tablet.

The easiest way to track your vitals:

The latest bracelet activity monitor can track your blood pressure. How about that? Of course, you can keep track of how many steps you take a day. It can measure your heart rate, and it can tell you what time it is.

There are quite a few of these products that are available today, so make sure you read the reviews before you buy.

How to get the technology you need

If you’re at a facility, the Executive Director will be more than glad to help. If you’re at home, try searching on Google. At Wytcote, our only goal is to help seniors live their best lives, and we’d be happy to help you find what you need, wherever you are.

The Difference Between Blockchain Technology & Cryptocurrency

It seems like everywhere you look these days, someone is talking about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. But what do they actually mean? And are they the same thing?

This blog post will break down the differences between blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and explain why businesses should be paying attention to both. We’ll also give some examples of how businesses use both technologies to power their operations. So read on to learn more.

What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that records transactions in a digital public or private database in chronological order. “Blocks” of verified transaction data are added to the chain, creating an immutable record of all activity on the blockchain.

Blockchain technology can create both public and private blockchain networks. A public blockchain network is one where anyone can join and view the transaction history, while a private blockchain network is “permissioned,” meaning only authorized users can access it.

blockchain-technology-crypto-exchanges-private-blockchain-networks-security-in-cryptocurrency-healthcare-data-security-supply-chain-management

Blockchain is distributed across a network of computers, with each computer or “node” having a copy of the entire database. This makes it incredibly difficult for someone to hack or tamper with the data, as they would need to update the copy on every node in the network simultaneously. In addition, blockchain technology enables users to anonymously record and verify transactions without a third-party intermediary. This not only makes transactions more secure but also reduces transaction fees.

Blockchain technology came to the surface with Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper in 2008. It has vast applications, including in cryptocurrencies supply chain management and voting.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. Most cryptocurrencies are decentralized and not subject to control by the government or financial institutions. They’re often traded on decentralized exchanges and can be used to purchase goods and services. Some popular cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

The organic nature of cryptocurrency is its most defining feature. It is not issued by any central authority and is therefore immune to government manipulation or interference. Cryptocurrency is based on blockchain technology.

Blockchain constantly grows as “completed” blocks are added with a new set of recordings. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. Cryptocurrency nodes use the blockchain to differentiate legitimate crypto transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere. This can’t be possible with a credit card.

Essentially, blockchain provides the backbone for cryptocurrency transactions by allowing for a decentralized ledger of all crypto exchanges. Cryptocurrency is built on blockchain and allows for digital currency transactions without a third-party intermediary.

What Are The Key Differences Between Blockchain Technology And Cryptocurrency?

There are a few key differences between blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

Nature of blockchain vs. cryptocurrency

Blockchain is a decentralized technology with no central authority that controls it. On the other hand, Cryptocurrency can be decentralized or centralized, depending on the currency. Bitcoin, for example, is a decentralized cryptocurrency, while Ripple is a centralized cryptocurrency.

Use

Blockchain is the underlying technology that powers cryptocurrency. It is a digital ledger of cryptocurrency transactions. Cryptocurrency is built on blockchain and is primarily used for digital financial transactions (storing wealth, making payments, or investments).

Blockchain has a wide range of other potential applications beyond powering cryptocurrency. It could be used to create a decentralized database of medical records or track the movement of goods through a supply chain.

Value

Blockchain doesn’t have monetary value and, therefore, cannot be used to measure wealth. On the other hand, cryptocurrency has monetary value and can be used to measure wealth.

 

Potential Security Risks Associated With Blockchain Technology Or Cryptocurrency

As with any new technology, there are always potential risks associated with implementing blockchain or cryptocurrency into business operations.

a.    One of the biggest concerns of security in cryptocurrency or blockchain is the possibility of hacking. Because blockchain is a decentralized system, it is less vulnerable to hacking than traditional systems. However, there have been cases where hackers have been able to access wallets and steal funds.

b.    Another risk to consider is the volatility of cryptocurrencies. The prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can fluctuate wildly, making them a risky investment for businesses.

c.    Finally, businesses should be aware of blockchain and cryptocurrency's regulatory environment. In some countries, such as China, ICOs are banned outright. In others, such as the United States, regulations are still being developed.

 

How Businesses Are Already Using Blockchain Technology Or Cryptocurrency To Power Their Operations  

healthcare-senior-care-data-security-privacy-protections-supply-chain-management-solutions-speed-WytCote-Tech-California-USA

While still in its early stages, blockchain technology is beginning to be adopted by businesses across various industries. Here are a few examples of how businesses are using blockchain to power their operations:

Get Blockchain Technology for Healthcare

Blockchain technology is something that is often misunderstood. However, it has the potential to revolutionize how data is shared in a secure way between different parties. If you are looking for a way to use blockchain technology in your business or industry, please contact us. We have experience implementing this cutting-edge technology and can help you get started on using it in your organization.

Why Turnkey Installation is the Smart Choice

A turnkey is a type of computer software system built, supplied, installed, or designed to be sold to any customer as a completed solution. It's compared to build-to-order, where the provider customizes the solution to the buyer's exact specification or when an incomplete project is sold with the assumption that the buyer would complete it. In a nutshell, turnkey refers to a solution that's ready to use. It is a reference that the customer, upon receiving the product, only needs to turn it on to make it operational.

Turnkey solutions are reasonable when a business needs a ready-to-go solution that does not need customization. For many small businesses, this is often all they need. For example, turnkey solutions can match the needs of a company whose digital transformation plan revolves around upgrading its technology infrastructure. Instead of doing everything in-house – design, layouts, installation, support, and training – they let an expert company do it for them. This does two things:

 

turnkey-software-as-a-service-SAAS-small-business-applications-technology-WytCote-Tech

An example of a turnkey solution

 SeniorSense by Wytcote is an excellent example of a turnkey software program meant to address the daily needs of senior care homes efficiently. With such a technology, senior care facilities can address all the issues surrounding resident care, staff quality, compliance laws, and legal exposure. It allows these facilities to solve most of their problems in one place. When facilities implement the Wytcote turnkey solution, they can achieve the following in one place:

Things to consider before getting a turnkey solution

Before opting for a turnkey solution, you should:

Benefits of implementing a turnkey solution in your business

business-software-turnkey-implementation-saves-money-tech-support-fully-integrated-quick-and-easy-integration-computer-systems-workflow

Reduced implementation time

Turnkey solutions are ready-to-go full package solutions that are easily implemented or deployed in a business. Building proprietary computer programs can take a lot of time to complete successfully. Turnkey solutions help you bypass many of such issues. That’s because the implementation time is faster. Besides, the best providers will offer an effective training program to demonstrate how the software will enhance the business operations.

Higher savings

Project fragmentation not only wastes time but money as well. Using senior care homes as an example, a company specializing in fall prevention technology will charge full price for their service. So will a company that does the tracking.

A full-service turnkey software developer will save you money in such aspects. Additionally, since all solutions are handled by one company, you benefit from quicker lead times, discounts, upgrades, and the fact that the invoice is coming from a single company instead of several.

Besides, turnkey solutions are generally more affordable because the development cost is often distributed across several clients. The economies of scale tip the balance in favor of the end-user, providing great value at a low cost.

Consistency in the quality level

You're likely to get consistency in the quality level of your solutions if you're working with one provider than when you fragment solutions. That's because processes, quality assurance, expertise, experience, and infrastructure vary from company to company.

A turnkey provider can set the level of quality needed for your project and guarantee that all their teams will provide the same level of quality. They are often held to a higher degree of accountability because they're fully responsible for any problem that may arise. Moreover, turnkey providers often provide end-to-end service and support to guarantee a smoother process throughout the project's lifetime.

Know what you are getting

Turnkey solutions are tried and tested options that let you know precisely what you are getting. Unlike a custom made solution that’s specifically crafted for a company, turnkey is often designed to cater to a wider scope of clients. This means that it’s easy to seek other people’s opinion regarding the effectiveness of the solution. There are also plenty of reviews and case studies for the solution, which give you a glimpse of what you’re getting.

turnkey-software-program-implementation-tech-support-easy-to-install-computer-systems

You don't have to worry about support.

Technology is complex. When you're using different service providers for different applications, and a hitch happens along the way, who will you call? Even when you know who to call, it's likely the providers will point fingers, and you'll end up wasting lots of time and effort trying to get to the bottom of it.

Turnkey services consolidate all the parts into one solution. In case there's an issue, you have one throat to choke. Think of turnkey as a way to ensure your peace of mind.

High consistency in quality level

Turnkey providers always ensure every moving part in their solution fits and compliments the other for a seamless experience. When you use a turnkey solution from a reputable vendor, you don't have to struggle with merging different parts.

That's because everything is already done for you, and all you're left to do is implement it in your business. Turnkey solutions are easy to install; you need no prior knowledge. To make sure things are easy, we train you.

Easy integration with other technologies

As your company grows, you may need to integrate different solutions into your turnkey computer systems for better service deliverability and workflow. Quality turnkey solutions can allow for a quick and easy integration with other commercial software. This is a great benefit, considering technology keeps shifting from time to time. With turnkey solutions, you never have to worry about being left behind.

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.

Can Blockchain Technology Be Used For Things Other Than Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is perhaps the most publicized use for blockchain technology. Perhaps this is why most people assume that cryptocurrency and blockchain are the same. In this article, we will show you that blockchain can be used for more than just finance and banking. This exciting, new technology has a wide array of applications that extend far beyond the implementation of digital currencies.

 

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and others, merely use the blocks on the blockchain as a means to transparently and securely record a ledger of payments. Blockchain can also be used as a secure way of keeping data about other types of transactions.

 

In theory, people across various industries can use blockchain to store different data points immutably. This could be in the form of votes in an election, financial transactions, titles to properties, product inventories, and much more.

 

blockchain-technology-data-security-industrial-application-fintech-technology-solutions
Blockchain can be useful in any application where data security is paramount.

This explains blockchain’s wide adoption in vast industries like healthcare, supply chain, cloud storage and so on. We'll expound on these and other applications of blockchain in this article. But first, let's look at the technology, as it relates to cryptocurrency.

 

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain

While people use cryptocurrency and blockchain interchangeably, these two aren't the same thing. Bitcoin was the first example of blockchain in action when it was introduced as an open-source code.  

 

Cryptocurrencies serve as an exchange medium. They are a disruptive fintech designed to make international transactions secure, faster, and easier, by putting control straight into the concerned parties' hands. These digital assets use cryptography and proof-of-work to create global currencies, secure transactions, control rate issues, all while removing aspects of government control.

 

The immutable, decentralized feature has fueled blockchain's adoption beyond its original use of supporting Bitcoin transactions. Here's how blockchain technology can be used for things other than cryptocurrency.

 

Blockchain Uses in Monitoring Supply Chain Data

 

The supply chain industry is challenged with enormous complexity, utilizing vast amounts of data. Information is often fragmented, inconsistently formatted, making it difficult to access or analyze. Blockchain technology seeks to address these and many other challenges.

 

Blockchain integration in the supply chain allows businesses to record a wide range of information effectively from date, price, location, certification, quality and other forms of critical data. This enables a more accurate and transparent end-to-end monitoring. It can also reduce disputes, as well as blockages of assets throughout the entire supply chain. By eliminating paper-based trails, companies can quickly identify inefficiencies and locate the assets in real-time.

data-security-supply-chain-management-IoT-blockchain-technology
Blockchain integration in supply chain management will help save time and money.

 

Most companies agree that one of the biggest benefits of using blockchain technology for supply chain management is cost reduction. The ability to use real-time tracking in supply chain management proves to be one of the largest sources of cost-reduction.

 

Plus, there are other incredible benefits such as increasing automation through smart contracts, the provenance of tracking, scalability, and security.

 

Blockchain Uses In the Internet of Things (IoT) Systems

IoT is changing the way businesses run through the use of sensors and other edge infrastructure and devices. While a great thing, this poses a unique challenge for companies that have to protect data at all levels of the IoT environment. And with the ever-growing number of connected IoT devices, the need for data security has never been this complex. Blockchain technology is helping businesses resolve the security challenges in their IoT systems.

 

Blockchain combines with IoT to facilitate the machine-to-machine transaction. This blend also provides a range of potential benefits, like allowing smart devices to run autonomously without a centralized authority. It can also monitor how IoT devices send and receive information. The distributed ledger technology with IoT applies in automotive, agriculture, and banking sectors while, also, extending to smart homes, logistics and smart contracts. Blockchain application allows businesses to manage information on smart devices in an IoT system. This lowers costs linked to data transfer and IoT device maintenance.

 

 

Blockchain Uses in Smart Contracts

 

smart-contract-blockchain-technology-data-security-finance-healthcare-industrial-applications
Smart contracts are transactions that are secured by a distributed blockchain network.

A smart contract is a transaction protocol or computer program meant to automatically execute, document, or control legally relevant actions and events, as per the terms of an agreement or contract. It aims at reducing the need for external enforcement or a central entity as well as fraud losses.

 

Smart contracts use blockchain to capture, verify, approve and enforce agreements between parties. Blockchain-based smart contracts are irreversible, traceable, and transparent transactions. They are immutable, secure, and exist across a distributed blockchain network. Once recorded, it becomes impossible to change, delete or lose an agreement. The uses of smart contracts are vast, but they are common in property ownership and cross-border financial transactions. Other uses include: monitoring origin and the path of goods, banking and credit card services, among others.

 

Blockchain Uses in Cloud Storage

 

Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail are great examples of cloud storage. Many companies are using these and other premium cloud storage services to streamline their operations. Data in the cloud is easy to access, edit and share. It also cuts out the need for physical storage and security. 

 

Blockchain applied to cloud storage breaks down user data into small chunks and adds an extra layer of security before distributing it across the network. This is thanks to its features like transaction ledgers, private/public key encryption, and hashing function. Blockchain stores these chunks of data in a decentralized location. So, when hackers try to access the data, they’ll find encrypted data that’s only in parts. They will never be able to access the entire file.

 

Blockchain Technology in Healthcare

 

There are vast applications of blockchain in healthcare. Uses include protecting healthcare data, point-of-care genomics management, managing electronic medical record data, electronics, and personal health record data management.

 

healthcare-data-management-personal-information-security
Protecting personal health information is one of the main ways blockchain tech can be used in the healthcare industry. It can also be used to track disease outbreaks and enable doctors to monitor patients, remotely.

Specific applications of blockchain in healthcare include:

· Research

 

· Collecting data

 

· Interoperable electronic health records

 

· Mobile health apps and remote monitoring

 

· Tracking outbreaks and diseases

 

· Safeguarding genomics

 

· Health insurance claims

 

· Tracing and securing medical supplies

 

· Data security

 

Blockchain Uses in Privacy and Security of Chats and Media

Media companies are now adopting blockchain to secure intellectual property rights of content, minimize costs and eliminate fraud. Blockchain in Media and Entertainment Market report 2021 by MarketWatch reveals that the sector will reach USD 1.54 billion by 2024. Messenger services are also not left behind. With billions of devices and users, there's an inherent danger of hacks, social engineering, and so on. Blockchain technology prevents identity theft, fraud, and data tampering while also protecting critical infrastructure.

 

How Secure is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain is spreading across all industries far beyond its initial fintech applications. Companies in different sectors are expanding and diversifying their blockchain initiatives. Indeed, blockchain appears to be entering a new era of broader, more practical adoption, even as those who were skeptical start to grasp its long-term potential. So, how secure is blockchain technology?

The demand for blockchain is soaring at an alarming rate as companies see it's potential. Blockchain promises transparency, scalability and, most importantly, security. Let's take a look at the challenges and vulnerabilities of this burgeoning field of technology.

Security by the blocks

The term blockchain refers to a chain of digital blocks with transaction records. Each block connects with other blocks on either side to form a chain. This makes it hard to alter a single record as one would have to change the block with the record and those connected to it to avoid detection. In addition to this, blockchain has other built-in characteristics that offer extra security. These include:

how-secure-is-blockchain-technology-data-security-cryptography-consensus-decentralization-code

Cryptography

Cryptography seeks to prevent third-parties from accessing data from private messages during a communication process. Blockchain uses two types of cryptographic algorithms: hash functions and asymmetric-key algorithms.

Asymmetric cryptography (or public-key) securely encrypts messages between two computers. Anyone can use another person’s public key to encrypt a message. However, one can only use a corresponding private key to decrypt an encrypted message.

Paired private and public keys let users send and receive payments. Private keys generate digital signatures for the transaction. Network members then use the wallet's public key to confirm the signature’s authenticity before adding the transaction to the blockchain. After approval, the transaction is immutably recorded into the ledger, and balances are updated.

On the other hand, the Hash function receives data input of any size and returns an output with a predictable and fixed size. Irrespective of the input size, the output will always have the same size. So, for as long as the input remains constant, the resulting hash will be the same. Hashes are used as unique data block identifiers in the blockchain. Each block's hash is created in relation to the previous block's hash, creating a chain of blocks. If someone changes a block, they will also have to change the entire history of that blockchain. The hash identifiers are what make blockchain secure and immutable.

Decentralization

Blockchain technology relies on a decentralized, digitized, and distributed ledger model. Meaning, it distributes data to nodes (users) on the blockchain network. When a user makes a change, the network validates it; then, miners add the transaction into a new block that’s then added to the blockchain. Miners are users rewarded for updating the blockchain.

Decentralization makes blockchain more robust and secure than proprietary centralized models that are currently in the market. If a user attempts to change a single block, they'd need to change the previous blocks before any new blocks could be mined. If not, the nodes would detect the fraudulent behavior and discard the changes. And since thousands of nodes confirm new blocks, it's less likely for anyone to beat their computing power to add a bad one.

Consensus

Consensus is another attribute that makes blockchain technology secure and fault-proof. It involves all peers of a blockchain network coming together and agreeing about the distributed ledger's present state. Consensus ensures that every new block added to the chain is the only version of the truth agreed upon by all the nodes in the blockchain.

The consensus protocol is reliable as it bases on goals like mandatory collaboration, cooperation and participation of every node. It also ensures that every node has equal rights and that a joint agreement is achieved. Consensus is the brain of blockchain. Without it, blockchain would fail. A good example of consensus is the Proof of Work (PoW). In PoW, 'miners' in a network have to provide the computing power needed to verify transactions and maintain the blockchain – which is a lot. They also need to ensure the network's immunity against hackers. Miners compete to chain the blocks together and can achieve that if they get 51% of votes from the nodes.

But the 51% vote is perhaps the biggest threat to this model. If a minority of colluding nodes own more than 50% of the mining power, they will control the network. They could prevent other nodes from adding new blocks. They'd also expose the network to fraud. But the good thing is that consensus is too expensive. It needs lots of energy and computing power to succeed.

Security challenges

Blockchain produces tamper-resistant ledger transactions that make it immune to fraud and hacks. But people with bad intentions can manipulate the known vulnerabilities in the blockchain infrastructure. In fact, they've been successful in a range of scams and hacks over the years. Some common examples include DAO's code exploitationBitfinex's stolen keys, and Bithumb's insider hacks. These security issues have been a point of concern for many businesses that want to explore blockchain technology. Blockchain creates unique security challenges for a range of reasons:

Blockchain security threats

how-secure-is-blockchain-technology-security-challenges-cybersecurity-data-privacy

Blockchain security threats fall into three main groups:

Endpoint vulnerabilitiesthis is where technology and humans meet. Think devices, digital wallets, private key and password, breach, client-side of the application. A hacker can gain access to an account if any of this endpoint is compromised. But the threat is only limited to a victim's account and nothing further. Besides, companies are now using cold wallets along with hardware security models (HSM) that are difficult to compromise.

Untested code: the original code by Satoshi Nakamoto that resulted in the creation of Bitcoin Blockchain is unbreakable. But the same cannot be said for all code in apps built upon the blockchain. Developers who are in a rush to outdo their peers risk producing inadequately tested code on the live blockchain. Considering the decentralization aspect, the risk is higher because of the irreversibility of blockchain.

Ecosystem/third-party risks: the security of this technology relies on the entire ecosystem. This includes other solution providers like smart contracts, payment platforms, fintech, wallets, etc. With other parties in play, a blockchain application's security is only as strong as its weakest link within the ecosystem.

blockchain-cybersecurity-technology-data-tech-hardware-engineer-healthcare-industry-solutions-senior-care

Does this mean blockchain is not immutable?

No network is 100% secure. And blockchain is not any different. But since the nodes in a blockchain network are distributed, it is almost impossible to alter the chains. It takes a consensus of more than half of the nodes in the same distributed ledger to make any changes. And the fact that all this has to happen within 10 minutes makes it virtually impossible for a hacker to make changes.

Security and privacy

Blockchain technology resolves the security and privacy issues that most organizations struggle with today. Its public key infrastructure maintains the ledger size and prevents any ill-attempts from changing data. Inasmuch as the large and more distributed network makes blockchain more secure, there are concerns around various aspects. For example, by default, the blockchain design doesn't have confidentiality. All data on-chain is visible to all peers in the network.

Blockchain is hard to crack

The blockchain is still in its infancy stages. And like any technology, it is bound to encounter hurdles along the way. But the good thing is that the security issues are addressed quickly. Developers are also coming up with new versions of blockchains to ensure security. Besides, when compared to other technologies, blockchain does a great job storing and exchanging digital value. This explains why health care, supply chain, Wall Street companies, etc., are all adopting the technology.

 

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.

 

10 Crazy Christmas Robots

Christmas is here with us, and there is no better time than now to spend time with loved ones. It is also a great time to explore fun things that trigger those childhood emotions, like the crazy Christmas robots. Speaking about robots, here are the 10 crazy Christmas robots.

An evil Christmas robot from the TV show Futurama

If you've watched Futurama, you are no stranger to the four-ton antagonist Robot Santa Clause. You probably even recall some of his crazy lines, "You DARE bribe Santa, I'm gonna shove coal so far up your stocking, you'll be coughing up diamonds."

Initially, the robot version of Santa was designed to judge whether people were nice or naughty and sort out presents accordingly. But a programming error set its morality standards too high. So, the Robot Santa sees everyone as naughty, save for Zoidberg.

So, every Christmas Eve, Evil Santa rides his robot-reindeer-sleigh to Earth to judge the naughty. And that scares everyone. Like when Fry, a character in the movie, tries to find a perfect gift for Leela, he has to hurry before the robotic, homicidal Santa finds him, chops his head off, and fills his neck with toys from his sack of horror.

evil-Santa-Christmas-robots-technology-tech-innovation-electronics-gadgets-robot-artificial-intelligence

Santa Suit from Invader Zim

Zim, a character in the Christmas series, Invader Zim, creates a robot Santa Suit, an elaborate disguise to make himself look like Santa Clause. He uses sophisticated technology to make the suit, and hopes to control the Earth's population. But Zim ends up losing control as the Santa Suit grows a conscience and believes itself to be the real Santa. So it goes around the Earth and comes back every Christmas to destroy cities – and people try to keep him out using various creative methods.

Buddy 3000 from Netflix's Jingle Jangle

Everyone is obsessed with Buddy 3000, the Christmas robot from holiday musical Jingle Jangle. Buddy, a charming little robot, plays a crucial part in the film’s storyline, and fans cannot get enough of its magical charm. It has quickly become a huge fan-favorite because of how adorable it is and how it provides answers to Jeronicus's money worries.

One subscriber took to Twitter, saying that Netflix should to send all Jingle Jangle fans their very own Buddy for Christmas. Another one said that they better make a Buddy doll. And another added, “I have five siblings asking for the robot. Do something about it, please.”

robotics-electronics-toys-gadgets-innovation-tech-technology-artificial-intelligence-automation-saas

Sadly, no Jingle Jangle robot is currently available at the time of writing. But there's a Buddy in the market – an emotionally intelligent robot that can serve as a personal assistant and playmate. It can even sing jingle bells and other Christmas songs.

Toy Santa from the Santa Clause 2

The toy Santa is the main antagonist of Santa Clause 2. Curtis, the Keeper of the Book Elf, created it to replace Scott while he was away against Bernard's wishes. At first, the Toy Santa did his work pretty well. But as he understood everything about being Santa from the handbook, he went a little too far with the rules.

After confirming the nice-naughty list, he ruled that all children around the globe were naughty for one reason or the other. So he went all-out, building an army of toy soldiers and made it known that he would give all children a lump of coal.

When Scott came back to stop him, the Toy Santa flew in his sleigh. Scott followed him on Chet the Reindeer. The elves caught him and turned him into a small toy.

Santa-Claus-holiday-tree-technology-Wytcote-Tech-gadgets-software-AI-virtual-reality

Dancing Santa

Dancing Santa robots come in different shapes, sizes, and heights. They can sing, dance, and even offer holiday greetings. Unlike most of the Christmas robots listed above, the dancing Santa is friendly and is sure to make you smile.

Big Tex

Big Tex, a Texas State Fair icon, is one of the most iconic Christmas robot Santas of all time. But it met its untimely death after six decades of entertaining the locals and foreigners alike. Big Tex was a 52-ft-tall Santa made out of iron and paper-mache meant to attract shoppers and tourists to Kerens, TX. But it was destroyed after a purported electrical fire.

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands is all about the power of Christmas. Edward, an artificial humanoid, is an unfinished creation with scissor blades instead of hands.

Turbo-Man from Jingle All the Way

Turbo Man, a red-and-gold rocker-powered robot, is the new and hottest toy in the US. Every father worth his son's adoration secured it early before it's sold out. But one workaholic dad forgot. So he tries to do everything within his power – beg, borrow, buy, or even steal one to make his 7-year-old Christmas dream come true. In the end, he turns himself into a Turbo Man – and the special effects are shockingly cheesy.

Turbo Man is a fictional superhero character, toy, and franchise within the Christmas film Jingle All the Way. It is one of the most sought-after toys that kids wanted under their Christmas tree.

Robots in WALL.E

WALL.E is the last robot left on the planet, programed to clean the Earth, one trash cube at a time. But he later grows conscience and becomes highly curious and inquisitive, and somewhat lonely. Along with WALL.E, there's also EVE the probe-doid, M-O the cleaner bot, and Auto. While not a movie centered on Christmas, the robots are sure to breathe the fresh air you need this holiday season.

Wall-E-Christmas-Robots-robotics-AI-artificial-intelligence-technology-tech-company-industry-holiday-season

Aeolus robotics

Last but not least is the Aeolus robot. This is not a Christmas robot per se, but one that you can get for Christmas. It is an adorable, intelligent robot that can do a little bit of everything around the house. It can deliver food or even find lost items within the house. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to learn from people and their surroundings. It is designed to help enhance home safety and help move furniture, clean the house, and even mop floors. Imagine how handy this robot can be this Christmas – delivering presents around the house and cleaning after people. Besides, you could use some entertainment – much of which robots offer.

 

 

 

What is the Future of Nursing Home Businesses?

The Coronavirus has changed the way we do things, albeit temporarily. Soon enough, things will settle down and life will pretty much go back to the way it used to be – at least for other industries. The senior care industry, however, may never return to the old normal. With that being said, what is the future of nursing home business going to be like?

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt significant blows to the senior care industry. According to an ABC News analysis of the latest public health data, nursing homes in America have persisted as one of the pandemic's deadliest environments. As of May 31, 2020, there were a total of 95,515 confirmed and 58,288 suspected cases of COVID-19 in 88% of 15,400 Medicare and Medicaid eligible nursing homes. Of this number, 31,782 succumbed to COVID related complications.

Today, many nursing homes across the US remain on lockdown. The devastation, advocates and experts say, underscore longstanding problems with a system that, even in normal times, struggles with neglect, poor infection control, and understaffing. Now, the pandemic has fuelled calls for more drastic solutions, some have called for abolishing nursing homes altogether.

Advocates question the need for nursing homes, especially since many believe seniors aren't receiving proper care in these facilities. Their effort to deinstitutionalize nursing homes – which has had some success – pushes for in-community and home care options for disabled adults who need long-term care.

future-of-nursing-home-business-senior-care-lockdown-pandemic-regulations
Along with new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the senior care industry is changing in major ways.

But the pandemic isn't the only problem facing the senior care industry. There are also some daunting economic and policy challenges that arise due to the growing baby boomer population. Again, many facilities were struggling with thin profit margins before the pandemic. Others were struggling to offer quality care or to stay afloat, and so on.

Of course, with all these things happening in the senior care industry, it only makes sense to wonder what the future holds for the nursing home business. This is especially true if you are considering investing in the industry. In this article, we will dive deeper into what's happening now and what the future looks like to give you an idea of what to expect.

What is a nursing home?

A nursing home is a place where those who don't need to be in a hospital but can't access home care go. Most of these nursing homes have skilled nurses and aides on hand 24 hours a day. They offer custodial care, like helping the elderly get in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, and even feeding. They also provide skilled nursing services like medical monitoring and treatment to improve older people's quality of life.

Estimates indicate that the number of Americans aged 65 and older will almost double from 52 million to 95 million between 2018 and 2060. By this time, the older adults will account for 23% of the population. With more seniors living longer than ever before, there has been a rise in the number of seniors needing nursing home or assisted living care. This explains why investing in senior living facilities is a good idea - but with a catch.

The state of nursing home business today

Nursing homes fulfill a need that is never going to go away – caring for the elderly. For as long as there are seniors, there will be facilities to help cater to their needs. But as we mentioned earlier, the pandemic has exposed the inherent flaws in these homes. Up until now, the country is still struggling to contain the outbreak. So we may not be in the best position to predict the actual backlash and the regulations that will be in place to ensure that these facilities are well prepared to handle any infectious disease outbreak in the future.

senior-population-boom-elder-care-healthcare-industry-solutions
As the senior population is expected to boom in the coming decade, the importance of safe, effective elder care is paramount.

As we mentioned earlier, many nursing homes were struggling with thin profit margins before the pandemic. But now, they have to spend more money on protective equipment and technology to connect residents with loved ones who can no longer visit. They also have to redesign their spaces to optimize infection control, and for some, this may mean losing beds. Add that to the rising demand to increase staff and pay, and it becomes expensive for these facilities to operate efficiently.

The revenues have also gone down because facilities are only enrolling a few residents to reduce the risk of infection. This spreads the already thin profit margins even further, making it hard for some to pay bills without government help. And even with government programs like Medicaid, operators still have a hard time because these payments don't always match up with care costs.

The future of nursing home business

Nursing homes play an essential role today, as they will in the coming days. Many seniors stay in these facilities because of various reasons. Some have an underlying health care problem that needs skilled hands. Others don't have a family member close by to help with daily tasks. But the trend is quickly changing as more families and their elderly loved ones start to opt for in-home care.

According to one report, residents are moving out of senior living homes faster than those moving in. Seniors and their loved ones are responding to at least three trends:

healthcare-technology-senior-care-nursing-home-tech-devices
In-home care is becoming a popular option for many seniors and their families as technology bridges the gap between patient and effective medical care.

This shift to home care will see many people embrace vast health care technologies to monitor and care for their loved ones at home. The Internet of medical things is widespread today. It allows people to do a range of things, including monitoring vital signs, routine tests, exercise, and even sending alerts in case of an issue. A good example is a wearable device that lets senior adults monitor their heart rate, sugar levels, and so on. Such tools allow older adults to send real-time medical alerts, making it easier to receive timely care. Motion sensors are another excellent example of modern care technology that's transforming the senior care world.

Owing to these trends, analysts predict that the nursing home sector will see a massive ownership shakeout, with some even going out of business because of the thinning of profits. There's a bit of conflict, though, as to whether this will lead to a net decline in beds or ownership consolidation – or both.

While the pandemic did not create the challenges facing nursing homes, it did expose them in a “not so good” way. Both federal and state governments made steps to help weather the storm; as the pandemic's depth became more evident, the federal government polished its policies and increased resources for facilities and states. The makers of policies should now review the entire strategy to see what works and what should be included in the long-term systemic change. All of this will greatly affect the future of nursing home business.

With an increasing elderly population and looming state budget cuts, the system is at risk of continued deterioration – including limited oversight, less access to essential services, and worsening of the understaffing situation. The pandemic placed the system on trial and despite all the effort to keep everything afloat, that system failed. Whether the system will stand the test of time or not is all dependent on responsible parties to make bold and lasting changes.