It’s no secret that GPS tracking is revolutionizing the world. Everywhere we look, this quickly-evolving technology is being put to one of its endless potential uses from managing taxi fleets to monitoring temperatures of food during transit and helping families find lost pets. Many of us have a GPS device in our pockets right now. The smart phones that have become so ubiquitous in our society are equipped with this technology, allowing us to navigate the world freely, connect with others, and find new and exciting ways to spend our time.
One use of GPS technology that is seldom mentioned is its ability to monitor and possibly save the lives of our elderly loved ones. As more and more people enter their later years, more care must be taken to ensure their quality of life. A sedentary lifestyle can exacerbate the symptoms of aging, and the social isolation that many seniors feel later in life can be damaging to their mental health. Luckily, with the advent of technologies like smartphones, voice recognition software, and motion sensors, the more able-bodied of us can much more easily care for and communicate with our elderly loved ones.
The quickly-growing industry of “aging-in-place” technology is the latest incarnation of the activity tracker – a small ever-present device that can be used to alert others of emergencies, irregularities, and more. As GPS technology evolves, these devices are capable of relaying more information than ever with increasing autonomy. Some of these technologies include…
- PERS (Personal Emergency Response Systems)
– m-PERS (Mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems)
– Medication management systems
– Communication systems made to link the elderly to family and medical professionals remotely
Many people are already familiar with PERS. These small GPS-enabled devices are somewhat similar to the average GPS pet tracker, but with the press of a button, the device can automatically relay crucial information to emergency services, family members, and more. In the past, these devices left the wearer confined to their own house, as the device was wirelessly tethered to a base connected to a landline, but as cellular technology and GPS tracking devices evolve, m-PERS are gaining popularity. For a monthly fee, these new m-PERS devices will allow the wearer to travel far and wide without fear of being alone. With the press of a button, help can be on the way to wherever they may choose to go.
Medication management systems are also gaining popularity, reminding wearers when to take medication, how much to take, and taking vital information. Some devices can even relay this information the the wearer’s loved ones and medical professionals so that, if the wearer doesn’t take their medication, family members and doctors can respond quickly and effectively to minimize any dangerous outcome.
The technologies on the near horizon are even more exciting. With advances in biological monitoring systems, doctors may soon be able to monitor their patients’ vital signs and mental health remotely in real-time.
What do you think about the role of technology in the prolongation of life? Would you be open to these digital helpers later in life? Let us know in the comments section below!