Several Governments Testing Remote Health Monitoring for At-Home Senior Care

| March 12, 2012

The elderly population is growing substantially larger on a global level, and some countries have been looking into ways to manage healthcare costs through senior care technology that allows remote monitoring.

Boston Consulting Group, along with Telenor Group, recently released a presentation titled “Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth” that detailed the impact mobile health technology had in 12 countries that ran test or pilot programs.

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At least one country’s government plans to utilize mobile health technology for elder care to avoid a healthcare squeeze.

“With what we know today about the coming increase in the elderly population, what it’s going to cost, and how many hands we need, it’s time to face it—it’s not going to work,” said Norway’s government in an Aftenposten article paraphrased by The Boston Consulting Group. “We have been too focused on building more elderly homes, instead of empowering the elderly to live full lives in their own homes as long as possible… there is a different approach that offers a higher quality of life for the elderly. In addition, it’s cheaper.”

Mobile health technology can enable older populations to live independently through remote monitoring that can send automatic alarms to healthcare professionals, give medication reminders, and perform wireless check-ups and communication, according to the presentation.

Home monitoring, through sensor-powered Home Alert Systems, can improve safety, security, and ability for the elderly to stay independent, and can even save up to 25% of the costs of assisted home care, says Boston Consulting Group, using an example from projects/pilots in Scotland and Norway.

The impact of mobile healthcare technology has enormous monetary potential, and remote monitoring could save Norway €1.5 billion annually, Denmark €1.25 billion annually, and Sweden €2.4 billion annually by reducing elder care costs.

View Boston Consulting Group’s presentation here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace


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Category: Senior Care, Senior Housing, Technology

Comments (3)

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  1. Part 1 of my response- commenting on: “We have been too focused on building more elderly homes, instead of empowering the elderly to live full lives in their own homes as long as possible…

    From the jest of the article I think this person means Continuing Care Communities, Assisted Living etc. Which does take more employees. However, many studies show that living a 'full life' involves having a social component, especially as we age, which cannot be accomplished by staying in their own home and seniors become isolated from contact with others. Isolation like this can lead to depression and using the brain and physical being as much causing many to become the frail senior.

  2. part 2 of my comment-
    Now combining stand alone Independent senior communities (affordable or market rate) with technology could be the answer to the issue. This would combine the much needed social part and the pro-active care to keep someone independent.

    I state this as I’ve have witnessed seniors flourish in our community. LaGrange Pointe combines some traditional aspects of senior living with some new forward thinking features for those who do not want the traditional community with tiers of service in a remote location.

  3. Jane Arthur says:

    I think mobile health technology is a great idea although I do agree with Linda as well that the social aspect must not be left behind. Perhaps a union of the two would be best, as Linda has suggested.