3/ Monitoring Health: Choosing the Technology
Here’s what I have identified for Bob that is working with the goal of being as proactive with healthcare as is possible. Remember that what you need is likely to be different since each person’s medical needs are unique. Always speak to your loved ones doctor(s) before making any tech decisions.
Best App for Seniors (and their loved ones)
Connected Care app by far is the most comprehensive way to collectively track your loved one’s care and well-being. Manage doc appointments, medications, medical history and more in a way that helps everyone feel connected knowing your loved one is good. Created by a physician for families. Download Connected Care app available in both Apple iOS and Android versions.
Best Devices for monitoring daily health stats
AliveCor KardiaMobile Wireless EKG Monitor. I stick this on the back of an iPod Touch and iPad Mini and launch the Kardia app to do a daily measurement of Bob’s heart rate and rhythm. 30 seconds is all it takes for a medical grade EKG that is then stored and data automatically shared back the cardiologist and anyone we choose. Our goal here is to make sure Bob’s heart is in normal sinus rhythm and to detect irregular heart activity as quickly as possible.
Withings Health Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is used in the morning and night. Free downloadable Healthmate app records and shares the data with Apple Health which is connected to our doctors. At any moment, we can look at trending data about Bob’s heart to help understand his health better.
Wireless Oximeter called Masimo MightySat measures the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. This is critical for anyone with a heart condition and the brand I found is the same one used inside most hospitals. We use this once a day and the data is also combined with other medical monitoring data that points into Apple Health and onward to the hospital.
Apple Watch can accurately detect atrial fibrillation, a heart condition which is the leading cause that triggers a stroke responsible for 130,000 deaths a year and 750,000 hospitalizations in U.S. It can detect irregular heart rhythms with 97% accuracy and is 85% accurate at detecting diabetes.
The Apple Heart Study app is available in the US App Store to customers who are 22 years or older and have an Apple Watch Series 1 or later. What Apple is doing in the realm of Health, Research and Medical advancements is remarkable and promising. Apple is by far the most health and wellness focused company of all tech leaders.
I recently was offered an afternoon to see how their accessibility team is making Apple products some of the most incredible tools for those of us living with challenges that benefit from a tech foot upward. I was literally moved to tears as met an Olympian who remains a physical athletic threat to competitors because of the commitment Apple has to making each of their products work better for ALL of us.
An alternative to spending as much for an Apple Watch is the Withings Pulse HR Health Tracker which automatically syncs activity data first to Withings Heathmate app, then Apple Health and on to our doctors systems.
Withings Body Cardio wireless scale. This does a lot more than just take your weight. It also has sensors that read the energy and impedance between each foot when stepping on the scale to provide data such as muscle mass, heart rate, body fat and water. The best feature is how it passively updates to Apple Health so that your loved one never has to manually do anything for you to know.
JitterBug Lively Flip Cell Phone. Greatcall is now the name of the company behind JitterBug. You remember the commercials showing a flip phone with giant buttons?
Yup, this is it, except it also has a powerful app and an even more powerful single red button called the 5 Star button. Press it and the urgent care call center on the other end knows your loved one’s health status, background, GPS location, doctors names, and where they normally spend their time so that an odd address might single distress to them.
This is the most assuring device that also allows me to log on to the GreatCall app anytime to see that Bob is safe and sound. There is no other platform built for those who are looking after loved ones than Greatcall.
Add this into your phone: Uber for Seniors
Inside the JitterBug is a quick and easy speed-dial list with GogoGrandparent there for rides. Imagine an Uber app without the app! For Bob, he can click the GogoGrandparent speed-dial number to hear these three options.
- Press 1 to be picked up at home.
- Press 2 to be picked up where we last dropped you off.
- or Press 3 to be picked up at a new address.
It could not be easier for someone who does not ever plan on launching the Uber app.
Food Delivery Service
Set up easy and reliable on-demand sources like Amazon Fresh grocery delivery, Instacart, Doordash for rush deliveries. It’s good to know who will deliver to your loved one’s zip code.
Is this right for my loved one? Will it make their life better? You need to look for all of the questions that ask if you are on the right track with your loved one. That is at the center of every single action. Without you, the owner of your loved one’s health, no one will care as much as you. And there will seldom be any other thing you do in life that means as much.