Worldwide, the population of people considered to be of retirement age is at an all-time high. In the United Kingdom alone, as reported in The Telegraph in 2012, the results from the 2011 census show that the percentage of the population over 65 had increased by 30 percent in one year. With the population of the country, and the rest of the world, steadily rising and life expectancy getting longer thanks to modern medicine, it means that there are more elderly individuals in the world today than at any point in history. With this knowledge, there is the important question of how can the medical industry best help care for this ageing population? Through the creation of various safety critical medical devices, Triteq can enhance the quality of life for an ageing population with the development of their client’s medical device products.
Sustainable healthcare is at the forefront of the medical devices market, and with many hospitals on the verge of breaking-point due to lack of space, it would be best to give elderly individuals the option to stay in their own home while their needs are looked after. The practical application of medical monitors and regulators within the domestic sphere would be an excellent place to start. In an article published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law by Jessica Cocco, it is reported that “even though elderly persons and their families are aware of the risks, more and more of the elderly population choose to live independently and privately. Almost ninety-two percent of older Americans live alone in apartments, houses, or in independent living and assisted living facilities.” (Cocco) These risks include falling, burning oneself, or poisoning because of adverse medical reactions. Currently, the healthcare sector is working to ensure a balance between the health and safety of the elderly population and ensuring they still maintain a sense of independence. Many technologies have been developed to preserve that balance, which are called “Smart Home Technologies”. These technologies use basic analytical and monitoring devices to build an environment where these devices can share data and “collect physiological, locational, and movement data” (Cocco) which can then be used for early intervention by health care providers.
There are many types of “Smart Home Devices” that Triteq develops in order to support the demand of an ageing population. These include active-intervention sensors, which passively monitor residents and alert first responders if a person has fallen and is unable to get up. Smart clothes are equipped with sensors that monitor behaviour and physical conditions, such as detecting vital signs and measuring blood flow. Reminder systems are useful devices that notify elderly individuals what the date and time are, what tasks must be performed, and upcoming appointments and events, as well as providing guidance in emergencies. The other most prominent type of “Smart Home Device” is medication assistance. These devices include automated pill dispensers and sensor pads positioned underneath medicine bottles to calculate when medication is taken. Some Smart Home technologies scan prescription bottles to determine if it is the correct and remind elderly people to take medication.
The benefits of the development and implementation of Smart Home technologies are numerous, such as reducing the number of dangerous incidents, as well as providing support and intervention for conditions such as chronic illness, dementia, falls, and medication problems. Smart Home technologies enhance a user’s quality of life and reduce health care costs through injury and disease prevention. With Triteq’s focus on engineering and technology, the investment in the production of Smart Home devices is the best option for assisting the elderly population.