How can technology improve our lives as we age?

  • October 1st is International Elderly People’s Day.
  • This year’s theme is “Digital Equity for All Ages”.
  • We asked members of the World Economic Forum’s tech pioneer and global innovator community how technology can improve our lives as we age.

The world population is aging and we live longer on average. A person aged 65 in the period 2015-2020 on average it is up to 82 years old. By 2045-2050, that number is expected to reach 84 years, with an additional 2 years.

Digital tools and services can play a crucial role in enabling healthy and active aging by promoting independence, enabling social participation and ensuring access to health care. In 2017, the global technology market for caring for the elderly was valued at $ 5.6 billion and valued at $ 13.6 billion by 2022 – a huge market opportunity to develop products and services to support increased life expectancy and empower older adults.

We asked members of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers and Global Innovators how technology can improve our lives as we age. Here is what was said.

Improve the effectiveness of the nursing staff

Tania Coke, Chief Executive Officer, Tellus You Care, USA

Technology can dramatically improve the effectiveness of caregivers and reduce care costs. For example, remote patient monitoring is critical to address rising costs and the lack of nursing staff. But technologies that hit the market shouldn’t aim to replace caregivers or human interactions; Rather, they should aim to make caregivers more efficient while they perform difficult tasks, such as treating patients in rural areas or night shifts.

At Tellus, our mission is to use technology to improve the health of older people while maintaining dignity and privacy. Our device monitors a person’s health and activity in a room without wearables or cameras. Remote patient monitoring will be an important solution to how we can support a growing and aging population. Companies like Tellus will help manage the rising costs of long-term care and caregiver shortages.

Increase accessibility

Sylvana Sinha, Founder, Chair and CEO, Praava Health, Bangladesh

Technology is changing what is possible in healthcare and it can greatly improve our lives as we age. As personal mobility diminishes over the years, just getting to the doctor’s appointment can become immensely difficult. The pandemic has made accessibility even more difficult, especially for the elderly.

At Praava, technology enables us to increase the quantity and quality of health care for older adults. Our patient-centric health platform integrates digital health products – telemedicine, e-pharmacy, and AI / ML-powered virtual primary care – with high quality clinical experiences so that everyone has access to high quality health care anywhere, whenever they need it. In particular, the virtual primary care tool helps reduce unnecessary doctor and emergency admissions to better manage care remotely and predict acute escalations before they occur. We expect results, longevity, and quality of life to continue to improve as technology and remote monitoring tools evolve.

Facilitate healthy aging at home

Charles Bark, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, HiNounou, Hong Kong SAR China

As the WHO found, 80% of chronic diseases can be preventable if we trigger the risk factors. After 12 years of research and development, HiNounou is launching an AI prevention platform in 12 countries that enables healthy aging at home. With the Home Wellness Kit, which contains various Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), we collect five-dimensional data in order to detect chronic diseases at an early stage. It is not enough, however, to collect and monitor data at home. We employ some of the best AI algorithms useful to assess risks for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers to help doctors diagnose.

Today, most of the solutions to aging in the field are very traditional and fragmented. Integrated digital technologies that bundle {Genomic-Med-Insur} TECH solutions can significantly improve medical efficiency and reduce care costs. To facilitate AgeTech adoption for the elderly, HiNounou offers senior-friendly APP that embeds an audio guide for the user with a simple user interface.

Improve early detection and intervention

Nawal Roy, Chief Executive Officer, Holmusk, Singapore

Technology improves people’s lives as they age through a combination of earlier detection and intervention. The risk of metabolic diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders increases with age. To be able to offer high quality care on a large scale, we need to become much more proactive in healthcare. The challenge is that most diseases do not significantly change the quality of life in the early stages, so that high-risk patients are often only recorded much later.

From genome sequencing to advanced analytics, we now have the means to combat aging and related diseases early on. The last major technological advancement that will lead to better results as we age is the mapping of disease progression and a deeper understanding of the root causes of disease. The world of aging and related diseases is changing dramatically, and advances in technology are making significant advances in the treatment of aging as a disease in itself.

Ensure ethics and responsibility

Daniel Nathrath, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ada Health, Germany

It is a simple fact of life that our health deteriorates as we age. However, today’s technology has the potential to revolutionize our healthcare ways and experiences and really improve our quality of life as we age. A large part of it is data. Fragments of our health data are recorded everywhere – in medical records, wearables, health apps and more. When this data is combined and used ethically and responsibly, it can come together to provide meaningful insights into our personal health and transform our understanding – and, consequently, our management – of our own health care.

At Ada Health, our goal is to generate accurate, reliable, and trustworthy data insights that can help people identify risks early, empower them to act, and create a proactive, preventive health plan to reduce disease. to which they may be more vulnerable later in life. As you age, this couldn’t be more important, and using technology to manage personal health can not only improve the quality of life in later stages of life, but also increase life expectancy. The discussion about digital health and data insights has accelerated significantly, but we’re still just scratching the surface. To be even more effective, we need more transparent discussions and collaboration on this issue between clinicians, tech companies, policy makers and the people they serve. “

Treatment of non-communicable diseases

Jim Flatt, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Brightseed Bio

Today’s technology can extend life expectancy and improve our quality of life as we age. A key opportunity lies in the prevention and alleviation of noncommunicable diseases, many of which can drastically reduce life expectancy and impair the quality of life. Collector® The AI developed by Brightseed sheds light on bioactive compounds that have not yet been discovered in plants. The discovery of small molecules in the plant kingdom can unearth new connections and skeletal structures that create novel health solutions.

These connections are detected using advanced metabolomics and annotated for likely biological functions using machine learning applied to large biomedical research datasets. With subsequent validation in human clinical trials, these novel bioactive compounds can become part of daily therapies that improve health and “add life to the years of life”. Forager has already identified natural plant compounds that help the body process unhealthy fats. In addition, these natural products can be excellent starting points for new therapeutics for an aging population.

Use AI to predict disease

Eyal Gura, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Zebra Medical Vision, Israel

AI will occupy a more constant place when it comes to predicting disease and the risks associated with it. There is more computing power and more data available, and this is fertile ground for technologies that can monitor our chronic conditions as we age.

For example, as of January 2022, U.S. Doctors (Radiologists) will receive the cost of using AI on regular CT scans suggested for various periodic to detect vertebral fractures (key indicator of osteoporosis that affects 33% of women and 20% of men after the age of 60). This very first CPT code for Radiology AI will pave the way for further future and we will have a much more positive technological impact on our lives as we age

Create a simple user interface

Cyriac Roeding, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder, Earli, USA

Almost all older people want one thing: to stay at home for as long as possible instead of going to an assisted living facility and still stay safe and connected. Imagine a hypothetical scenario: the very first thing your older loved one sees in the morning when she turns on her television is a video message from her grandson that he recorded on his cell phone. At 4 p.m. she likes to play bridge but has no one to play with – all she has to do is turn on the TV and three other older adults who also like to play bridge are available to play a game via TV and voice.

Simply by saying a shopping list, the groceries are ordered and delivered, the television reminds them of the next tablet and in the evening an adult child comes over for a good chat instead of looking at the menu of pills. A companion app told the adult child that everything was fine today, that his mother had moved around a lot and communicated with others. The technology is there – we just need to connect the dots into a simple, beautiful interface.

Scale solutions

Ursula Damani, Ellipse Health

Older people deserve respect, compassion, and kindness – they created the world we know today. We owe it to them and our future selves to make the world better for generations to come by using technologies that fill the bottlenecks and gaps in physical and mental health care.

It is our duty to be better servants of the world by inventing and inventing advances in technology that can scale solutions for faster, smarter ways to help aging populations live longer, healthier, happier lives.