Originally Posted by youbet
Geeeee...... I hope they have that feature interconnected with the smoke alarm!
Black humor notwithstanding, that's a good point. It's not intended to necessarily replace the human presence as much as it's intended to help everybody spend more time being more productive. Doctors and caregivers are expensive and spend a lot of time standing around looking for signs of trouble... or even worse, trying to figure out how to get the data they need. Elders don't want to be unsafe or isolated in their own homes but might not be able to afford an alternative, let alone want to live in a group home.
A local company sells a number of these systems to help senior stay in their homes longer. It sounds like "1984" or "nanny cam" but it can eliminate a lot of hassles for everyone. For example an elder with congestive heart symptoms might have to closely monitor their weight and their BP. Current practice is to nag them to weigh themselves every day (plus write the data in a black composition notebook on the kitchen table) and to either have a health aid visit to take their BP or for them to go to the clinic several times a week.
An alternative is a weight scale and an automated BP cuff-- both wirelessly connected to a laptop which uploads the data to a website where doctor, caregiver, and family all have their own logins/passwords. Nobody has to nag anyone, no one has to lie or be passive-aggressive, and people can spend their time doing more important or more enjoyable activities.
One elder who had chafed under the old system decided to have a little fun under the new one-- he'd weigh himself every few minutes and then check his BP, sometimes dozens of times a day. While he was cackling with glee at the extra work he was imposing on the caregivers/doctors, they were actually just watching the data pile up on the website, automatically graphed and summarized for their review...
Here's a couple links. The MP3 starts with a news summary and gets into the Ho'okele interview around minute 19.
Patient Education: Future Family: Life In The Digital Age part 2 : Video : Discovery Channel
Episode 117: Ho’okele Health
Personally I want a robobutler that can pick up bunny poop and run a vacuum cleaner.