A California scientist by the name of Michael Snyder made a breakthrough discovery while studying how smartwatch technology can be used in medicine. While conducting his research, Snyder discovered that the watch showed an elevated heart rate and higher skin temperature than usual. He found it extremely odd because he felt just fine. But only a few days later he caught a low fever which prompted him to see the doctor. He was given an antibiotic which helped cure the symptoms before they became more serious. Snyder went on to write a paper about his findings, including more people in his demo.
While more research is required to prove this method actually works, his paper made us think how Smartwatches can help senior citizens and make homecare in Beverly Hills much easier for them and their caregivers. Smartwatches can without a doubt have a huge impact on seniors’ quality of life as the technology evolves.
Smartwatches designed for seniors
There is a wide variety of smartwatches already available on the market, as all major league companies entered the race ever since Apple presented the first Apple Watch back in 2015. But some companies have started developing smartwatches designed specifically for seniors. Some of these companies include Lively, Limmex and Omate. These include features such as a simplified user interface and a built-in 3G and GPS connection with the idea that they can function without a smartphone connection. They also boast handy features like an SOS button and allowing their family members to track their location.
However, with a few apps designed for seniors, even the generic watches can be useful in keeping track of your senior loved ones and making their life easier. In this article, we are going to cover how these devices can improve your senior loved one’s life.
The smartwatches of today have the potential to replace devices with a similar function already in use, with a panic button attached to a bracelet or a necklace. While these are very useful for obvious reasons, many seniors forget to wear them or downright refuse to. Most of the later don’t want to wear them because of their appearance or out of fear that they will come off as helpless.
The design of these devices evolved from robust calculator-like gadgets to perfect replicas of luxurious watches with all the functionality of their 21st century counterparts. Smartwatches are great for seniors who forget to wear their panic buttons, as these devices can be set up to detect if they are being worn and alert their wearer to put them on or alert their caregiver otherwise.
While the interface of a smartwatch is a bit more complicated than a panic button, with new breakthroughs like pattern or voice recognition they will become easier and easier to use, even for seniors.
Finally, the biggest advantage smartwatches have over panic buttons is that they allow seniors to communicate with the other party, whether it’s a loved one, a caregiver or the emergency hotline. Finally, the GPS tracker allows you to get a hold of your senior much easier than ever before.
Smartwatches can be set up to warn a caregiver if a senior falls and hurts themselves. They can be set up to detect a fall and call a specific number if the alert is not dismissed. Other alternatives that help detect such falls are often expensive or impractical, but smartwatches are certainly going to change all of that.
Heart Rate Monitoring
Often used by fitness enthusiasts, one of the best features smartwatches have is the ability to monitor your heart. All of these devices have this feature built in and coupled with an accelerometer that warns the wearer that they have to move. Furthermore, this can be used to track seniors’ heart condition over time which may be extremely useful to caregivers and medical personnel.
When talking about reminders, the potential of smartwatches is limitless. It can be used to remind seniors to take their medication, to hydrate or eat, to get out of bed or go to sleep, to check the stove etc.
Smartwatches can help forgetful seniors get around easily. All they need is to punch in the street address or the desired location and the smartwatch will provide audio instructions how to get there. They can also track if a senior has left a safe zone, usually their neighborhood, and warn them to turn back or alert the caregiver.
For seniors with impaired hearing, the vibration alerts on the smartwatch mean that they will never miss another phone call or a message.
This aspect of smart devices is being perfected with each new release, and has come to the point where seniors can easily talk instead of typing. While there are some factors that reduce the voice recognition software’s efficiency like noise, developers are finding new ways to overcome even those issues.
Drawbacks of smartwatch technology
While they are a great asset for any senior and their caregivers, smartwatches are not without flaws. First and most obvious being they have to be charged every night so they can be used during the day. If a senior forgets to charge it and uses it extensively, the watch might fail them when they need it the most. Fortunately, the charging technology has evolved as well and now allows wireless charging for smartphones. This will soon become a norm for the smartwatch as well.
For people with impaired sight, smartwatches may be hard to deal with as they normally feature a very small screen. They might find the texts unreadable or the features inaccessible. There is a way around this issue as well, as there are smartwatches with a bigger display already on the market and others with features like Apple’s digital crown; an external dial that controls navigation.