Business Week published a special report on how technology is helping baby boomers age in place and how these systems could save billions in health care.
As an example, Business Week describes how Ronald Lang, a 63-year-old patient who suffers from congestive heart failure and multiple sclerosis, was pilot-testing the Intel Health Guide, a device that let doctors monitor his health remotely. According to BW:
Each day after he woke up, he’d step on a scale and strap on a blood-pressure cuff that were attached to the Health Guide. The device collected his vitals and zapped them to his doctor’s office. From there, nurse Marie DiCola scoured the data, and if she noticed anything amiss, she dialed up Lang and chatted with him over Health Guide’s videophone.
It’s devices like these that will enable seniors to spend more time in their home instead of at doctors offices and companies like Intel are helping to make it happen. In April, Intel and General Electric announced they would spend $250 million over the next five years to co-develop products that will help seniors manage chronic conditions from home.
As part of the deal GE will resell Intel’s Health Guide. The partnership also gives Intel access to monitoring technology, which could ultimately enhance Health Guide’s capabilities. GE markets a product called QuietCare, which uses sensors stationed throughout the home to keep an eye on seniors as they go about their day-to-day lives.
What motivated Intel to get involved in this type of technology? Louis Burns, VP and general manager of Intel’s digital health group said that after they examined the demographics, they found an "overwhelming, undeniable" opportunity.
One of the challenges that company’s entering this field are facing is how to pay for the care. Yet another reason, why reverse mortgages will play an important role as more boomers opt to use this type of care in their homes.