Researchers including one of Indian-origin have developed a new app that allows older people residing in independent living communities play various brain games and also helps them connect with health care providers for better living.
It helps the elderly connect with care providers by sending concerns and questions as text or voice recordings. Called eSeniorCare, the app also allows health workers to proactively reach out to at-risk seniors when they need help, while still allowing them to maintain their independence.
"It is about personalised health care," said Nitesh Chawla, director of University of Notre Dame's Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) in Indiana.
"It is about the individual. It is about how we can bring data and technology together to help empower ageing population to live healthy, independent, social and productive lives. It is about making a difference," Chawla said in an official statement.
Unlike many available apps for seniors that merely track data, this app, creates a personalised socio-ecological construct around the senior, the researchers said. A physical health component of the app allows seniors to track a variety of health goals.
They can set goals, such as eating less fast food or drinking less caffeine, and maintain a record of various activities in support of such goals and send the records to resident health administrators for guidance, reflection and personal motivation.
The app also features medication scheduling and management, medication history, medication reminders and medication adherence. Medication reminders have textual, audio and video components. Because the app is interactive, caretakers can see when medications are not being taken correctly or renewed on time and can quickly intervene to remedy the problem.
A variety of crossword and Sudoku puzzles and other games provide them opportunity for mental stimulation. The app is being pilot tested at senior independent living facilities in the South Bend area of Indiana and is not yet available to the general public.