INFOGRAPHIC: How Older Populations Benefit From Smart Tech

September 24, 2018
seniors and smart tech

Artificial intelligence has come a long way in the last couple of decades. We see it in the applications that we use every day. Take that virtual assistance on your phone, for example. That is a prime example of artificial intelligence at work.

We started out with them being able to handle a basic internet search. And, to be honest, in the early days, they weren’t even very good at that. If you didn’t use the right keyword, or your accent was a bit too strong, you wouldn’t get very accurate results.

That’s all changed now. AI is better at understanding the language we use, and its functionality has improved. Need to book a flight or a doctor’s appointment? No problem, let your virtual assistant handle it for you.

Smarter Technology at Any Age

There is no question that smart tech can be helpful for most of us. However, it can be especially useful when it comes to seniors. Before you trot out the tired old stereotype of seniors being befuddled by tech, check out an interesting infographic about the connections between the elderly and the World Wide Web above.

As the infographic shows, seniors are a lot more engaged when it comes to the internet and related tech than most of us realize. It’s not a stretch to believe that voice recognition software might ultimately transform the way they use technology.

If you look at how seniors currently use the Internet, and what they use it for, you will notice that they make good use of particular apps and sites. Their predominant use of the Internet is to gather information, check emails, and conduct banking operations. Not many seniors will try to find funny cat videos, but they still spend time online nonetheless.

Voice Recognition Could Improve the Uptake of Tech

A lot of useful information is available online if you are developing applications or possibly smart technology for seniors. Combine new tech with voice recognition software, and suddenly the whole process of learning to use the tech becomes a lot easier.

Instead of having to figure out what buttons to press, seniors would need to tell the tech what they want. People of all ages find this feature extremely useful. That’s why so many of us end up barking orders at our phones – why fiddle with buttons when you can just ask?

Voice Recognition and Artificial Intelligence

The combination of voice recognition and AI could be a powerful one, especially for seniors. Say, for example, that we take something simple, like dispensing pills up a notch. Perhaps build in a timer, and an alert system so that the person is reminded to take their pills at the right time.

That’s not exactly something mind-blowing or even innovative. But let’s get smart. What if the dispenser was synced with a  heart monitor or something of the sort. Readings could be sent automatically to the dispenser and dosages could be adjusted as necessary.

And while we are at it, why not send a copy directly to the doctor, ensuring that it becomes a part of the patient’s file? Or perhaps call for help if there are potential issues, request a refill of the prescription at a pharmacy, or demand a repeat script. All without our senior having to lift a finger.

Alternatively, perhaps the mechanism could be linked through to readings that the senior needs to take themselves. All the patient would have to do would say the text out loud, and the dispenser could record it. There are a lot of potential possibilities when it comes to this smart use of tech.

More Than Just Practical Uses

But we don’t have to stop at practical uses for AI and seniors. What about getting them more socially engaged? Their AI could be taught what the senior’s preferences are and keep an eye out for events that the senior may be interested in.

It could help them make bookings, invite friends to go along, book a taxi to get them to an event, and then post reminders for them that the event is coming up.

Conclusion

Technology has been advancing at a high rate. Thanks to artificial intelligence and voice recognition software, it is also becoming a lot easier to use. Smart homes and advanced technology could provide some compelling benefits for seniors, and we can't wait to see what the future has in store for us!

This infographic was originally published on medalerthelp.org.

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