Optimal Design for Home Health Monitoring Given the Gray Tsunami (Part 1 of 4)

Brittany Weinberg & Pete Celano, 3 June, 2015

About one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older by the year 2030, and a major goal of older adults is aging safely and comfortably in place, while still being connected socially, especially if they’re living alone.

We’re in unprecedented times of healthcare invention, regarding wireless peripherals to measure vitals, cloud platforms that can highlight exception data in real-time, and ready Providers who can intervene to avoid “healthcare spikes.”

Better, historically healthcare in America has been all about just face-to-face encounters, and we’re in now an era of Virtual Visits, too, whereby a Patient can see a doctor or nurse via two-way audio/two-way video, 24/7.

Yet all this powerful technology needs to be communicated effectively with the older adult and caregivers and strategically designed into the home in order to be effective, engaging, and efficient. The best hardware and software that is not engaged by the elderly Patient in the home, in a way that includes familial and professional caregivers, is hollow.

Six Universal Principles from Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion to consider when communicating about and designing for the Elder Care technology are:

  1. Reciprocation
  2. Social Proof
  3. Commitment and Consistency
  4. Liking
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity (Source)

What should we consider moving forward? At the core of all designs and technology should be, of course, the patient. Here are three ways to effectively move services to the home:

  1. Account first and foremost for the three primary devices we see and will continue to see used most often in the home
    1. Weight Scale
    2. Pulse Oximeter
    3. Blood Pressure Cuff
  1. Bluetooth is King
  1. Two ways to move Bluetooth data
    • Via a smartphone or tablet
    • Via a purpose built “hub”

Stay tuned for Part 2 of 4: Key Hardware: Considerations when Designing for Aging in Place

Brittany Weinberg and Pete Celano, 2015

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