Auxiliary Cloud: How The Cloud And Big Data Can Help The Elderly
Growing old can be challenging, confusing and most certainly frustrating. The ongoing economic development will account for lower birth rates worldwide and, subsequently, an increase in demand for auxiliary technologies that assist the elderly. There are already many cloud-based tools that help the elderly live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
To counter diminished reflexes and weakening eyesight that leads to impaired driving ability, a variety of car monitoring tools are available on the market to keep senior citizens safe on the roads. Apps such as Automatic measure driving ability by assessing the speed, acceleration time, number of hard stops, swerves, etc.
On average, more than 500 seniors are injured every day in car accidents (Source). The Cloud can help reduce this stat.
While using this information to revoke a driver’s license of a loved one may seem cruel and heartless, it is much better than needing to use the app’s built-in emergency-response feature. However, the cloud can also be used as a tool to help seniors live on their own for longer periods of time.
Cloud-based programs such as medication reminders, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) and GPS tools ensure the safety and general well-being of seniors living on their own.
Not only that. Researchers have come up with ‘magic carpets’ that notify the emergency services if an elderly resident falls; but in the Nordic countries, and recently the UK as well, a company named Abilia is offering home systems that cater to people with disabilities. The home systems are connected to caretakers and doctors via Skype, and, along with improving communication, provide people with the tools required to care for themselves—and their loved ones with a direct link to put them at ease.
What about eating? How can the cloud help manage their food? There are cloud-connected refrigerators that notify the owner when certain foods are in low supply. Your fridge can send a message to you or anyone else informing them it’s high time to go shopping. It is expected that these fridges will soon be able to place an order for you and have the food delivered to your house.
The knowledge of cloud-based computing is going to take this one step further.
Currently researchers are creating a framework for a ubiquitous health care system that will allow the elderly to live alone for longer periods of time. This system will interact with the home resident, providing medical assistance, family interaction and emergency services.
The auxiliary cloud
These are just a few of the ways cloud-based computing is changing the lives of elderly and disabled everywhere. Because of cloud technologies, life will become a little safer for people living on their own.
Do you know someone who already uses the services or devices discussed above? What do you think about this, in moral terms? Let us know in the comments.
By Lauris Veips