Gadgets and Technology Advances to Change Seniors’ Lives for the Better
Technological advancement serves to benefit humanity, and the rising senior population is definitely in need of a lot of help. Fortunately, the future seems optimistic, as new technologies emerge to improve the lives of our elderly loved ones. Let us take a look at the recent developments in gadgets and tools that offer a more promising retirement life to seniors.
Google’s Self-Driving Car Project
Mobility is a freedom that seniors have to give up when they no longer have their driver’s license. They become dependent on others for getting from point A to point B. However, Google’s new project aims to give seniors the ability to go around without having to ask another person for help. “A fully self-driving car has the potential to have a huge impact on people like Florence and my mom,” John Krafcik, chief executive officer of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project, said. “Mobility should be open to the millions around the world who don’t have the privilege of holding a driver’s license.”
The Edema Stocking is a wearable device with a strain gauge that monitors and measures changes in leg volume for people who are suffering from edema (fluid accumulation or swelling) of the lower limbs. This product is especially designed to possess a similar compression rate as a regular compression stocking while at the same time instantly measure all changes of leg expansion. The measurements are sent to a mobile phone that shows the actual changes of swelling in the legs, and this information is then automatically sent to clinicians for observation. The Edema Stocking allows seniors to adapt to everyday life while living with their condition, helps save frequent trips to the doctor, and gives a sense of security because of its monitoring features.
SmartSox for Seniors with Diabetes
Generally, seniors with diabetes lose the sensation of pain so they become unaware of any developing foot ulcers. Smartsox are made from cutting-edge, intelligent textiles that use fiber optics and sensors to monitor temperature, pressure, and joint angles in the feet. If there any problems developing, the wearer of the socks as well as medical professionals are immediately alerted.
Dr. David G. Armstrong, a professor of surgery at the University of Arizona, director SALSA, and iCAMP scientific director, said intelligent textiles “are like a security system for your body”. He elaborates, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and we are getting better at it with intelligent textiles and garments. This is the future of medicine. We are empowering patients to get feedback outside of the doctor’s office and outside of the laboratory by developing an epicenter of mobile, personalized health.”
Fall Prevention Shoes
B-Shoe, which is short for Balancing Shoes, is equipped with pressure sensors, an embedded integrated motion device, a microprocessor, smart algorithms, and a rechargeable battery, so when there is imbalance detected, the shoe rolls slightly and gently backward until balance is regained. The smart algorithms guarantee the early detection of imbalance and that the shoe will only operate when necessary. These shoes are a great way to restore confidence in seniors, knowing that they can move about without having to worry about falling.
Shirts That Can Administer CPR
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is currently working on creating a shirt that can sense a heart attack and administer CPR. Although the actual product is not yet available, similar smart clothing technology is already on the market and used primarily by athletes.
Japan’s Riken Brain Science Institute and rubber manufacturer Sumitomo Riko collaborated to create an experimental robot bear nurse that can lift patients and gently transfer them between beds and wheelchairs. Robear’s mechanical arms can carry up to 80kg of weight. It is powered by software and advanced actuators (a type of motor that controls mechanisms), and has three different types of sensors, including Smart Rubber capacitance-type tactile sensors entirely made of rubber. This care robot also has roller legs that can extend and retract from the base when bending to lift a patient or when maneuvering through tight spaces like doorways.
These recent advancements indeed look very promising, something seniors can look forward to in the very near future.