The Telehealth App market has grown exponentially in recent years and it is expected to reach $55.6 billion by 2025. We know that telehealth is a great source for senior citizens who are looking to maintain their independence and enjoy living at home longer. It is a convenient way to make healthcare easier and more accessible. It includes various technologies such as tracking vital signs with remote monitoring devices, getting on-the-spot care from a doctor through video chat, to communicating without difficulty with a nurse via a web portal, telehealth aims to make life easier.
But a question arises that is telehealth increasing access or creating barriers to healthcare for seniors? How can we design accessible telehealth solutions for seniors and the elderly? What features we must ask our Telemedicine Software Development Company to include that address the specific needs of seniors and age in place?
Below are some helpful tips for all your questions:
1. Technology Friendly
Unlike us, senior citizens are not technology-friendly. So, every Telehealth App Development Company needs to design a telehealth system that is easy to use. For that we must ensure that the instructions are simple, images and fonts are large, and the technology is intuitive. It should also be easy to register, i.e., requiring few steps and senior citizens can access it with no trouble from smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
2. Telehealth App Make the Platform Interactive
Social isolation and loneliness in senior citizens are serious health problems and they are putting a significant number of seniors at risk in regards to physical and mental health deterioration.
According to the survey done by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and approximately one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are suffering from social isolation. Older adults are at more risk concerning loneliness and social isolation because they face various issues such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss.
So, ask your telemedicine vendor to make the solution more interactive and joyful so that whenever they will use the telehealth system, it will bring positivity to them. Also don’t forget to add a communication feature, which will allow seniors to communicate with family members, friends, relatives, neighbors, psychiatrists, and nurses – whenever they want.
3. Introduce the caregiver
You must ask your Telemedicine Software Development Company to include senior citizen’s caregivers because we know that telehealth service will not only be used by the senior, but by his or her caregivers also. While designing telemedicine apps add the section of caregiver team such as family, friends, and neighbors in the communications section. This will make them a part of the care management and coordination conversation.
Include emergency contacts. Any home monitoring platform should be able to access healthcare at a moment’s notice, in case of an emergency.
4. Don’t overestimate mobility of Telehealth App
Include mobility anticipation feature in your telehealth software, so that seniors aren’t hurried or over-extended. If something that includes exercise or strenuous activity, begin slowly and make sure you give seniors the chance to adjust.
Factor in frequent touches. In any telehealth programs that monitor senior activity, be sure to establish a baseline for normal or daily activity, then configure alerts for when that activity passes above or below that threshold. For example, you can check on a senior who isn’t moving around the house or apartment as often as normal, or who is using the bathroom or kitchen either more or less frequently.
The ultimate goal of a connected care platform for seniors, advocates say, is to create an environment at home that enables the senior to live comfortably and safely.
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