The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 exhibited a number of exciting things to come in the field of caregiver innovation, with a strong emphasis on recognising the role of caregivers and their importance in the lives of those they care for.
Caregiver recognition and the importance of their role
This year, a stand-out theme by various technology companies across the board at the CES show was the very clear and heightened recognition of caregivers and the important role they play. Rather than simply focusing on the needs of the elderly or ill, these companies have begun to show a focus on the needs of caregivers as well.
During the course of the exhibition, tech companies reiterated their awareness of the caregiver role, most especially of family members who become an integral part of the caregiving journey. It was made clear that future innovation will also focus closely on how to further aid caregivers in their role, making life a little easier for both parties.
With the role of the caregiver in mind, a company known as Seniorlink have developed a collaborative model, combing human touch and technology to assist in the realm of caregiving. The model is based around a caregiving team, where a family member is the ‘team leader’, supported by a number of technological innovations to assist in everyday caregiving tasks.
Technological innovations to look out for
- Autonomous vehicles
The advent of the self-driving car is fast approaching, with the aim of restoring independence for seniors and taking the pressure off caregivers.
At CES 2017, developers highlighted their plans to work on not only autonomous vehicles, but autonomous transit options, including smart cities, smart busses and more, with the overall aim of accommodating seniors, both frail and able-bodied to go about their daily lives with a little more independence.
Accessible Olli is one such autonomous vehicle to look out for in the near future. A project supported by IBM, Local Motors and CTA Foundation, Accessible Olli is set to be one of the most accessible self-driving vehicles for seniors on the market.
- Voice control and connected homes
At CES 2018 voice control devices and the connected home was a highly popular theme. These voice controlled, connected homes allow seniors to control simple functions throughout their homes with their voice. Just some of these functions include the locking of doors, adjusting lighting, controlling electronics such as TVs, radios, kettles, and more.
This voice control feature is available via ‘personal assistant’ devices manufactured by Google, with Google Assistance and Amazon, with Alexa. These voice controlled devices have the ability to turn a senior’s home into a place of convenience and accessibility, without having to lift a finger, aimed largely at frail or immobile seniors.
- Fall prevention innovation
Generally, the first fall for many seniors is one with life-changing effects, which can lead to long periods of recovery time, immobility and in some cases, even death. This is why fall prevention and technological innovations are a high priority for many innovators in today’s day and age. While there are already a number of technologies available on the market for fall notification and alerts for first responders, fall prevention technology is still limited.