As the years pass, the issue of being able to live at home comes up. While many seniors enter assisted-living facilities in their later years, they don’t always wish to. In a number of cases, they don’t have to, especially with a little bit of help.
The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation is collaborating with Mayo Clinic’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Center for Aging and the Charter House in creating the Healthy Aging & Independent Living (HAIL) Lab to support ‘aging in place’ — helping seniors remain at home, healthy and independent. The HAIL Lab will be a place for focus groups, as well as for designing, prototyping and piloting new services and technologies with voluntary participation from Charter House residents and other community agencies.
This sort of project is wonderful to hear about. The loss of independence is something that most people fear, and exploring ways to help people keep theirs is a laudable goal. Not only that, but this project could, if effective, relieve some of the strain on our medical system.
The lab will be funded by a consortium of companies and organizations, the first of which is Best Buy. Click the link below to hear Dr. Noseworthy’s announcement on the subject: John Noseworthy, M.D. and CEO of Mayo Clinic on Best Buy Involvement.
Best Buy’s participation is hardly surprising. The company has an expanding portfolio of health-related products, including blood pressure monitors, pedometers, fitness watches, and other connected devices. Wireless devices like these are potent tools for enabling patients to age in place. With the data wirelessly transmitted, the need for many trips to medical providers should be greatly reduced.
The development of products and devices like these is a field in its relative infancy. Still, the devices already out there — bath seats, lighted canes, and personal medical alarms — are only the beginning.
Source: “Mayo Clinic Creates Healthy Aging and Independent Living Lab,” The Mayo Clinic News, 09/12/11
Source: “Best Buy thinking medical tech,” The Post-Bulletin, 09/13/11
Source: “Mayo Clinic Creates Healthy Aging and Independent Living Lab,” Business Wire via MarketWatch, 09/12/11
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