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How connectivity is helping keep the elderly healthy and safe

From blood-pressure monitors that alert your doctor if it becomes too high, to pill bottles that send a reminder to your phone if the lid hasn’t been opened and you’re due to takes your pills, connectivity is revolutionising the health industry.

With many countries around the world dealing with an ageing population, one particular area where we’ve seen some interesting advances is the development of products that specifically help the elderly, and incapacitated, maintain their mobility safely.

The launch of Navistar’s GPS Shoes last year was one of the first examples. The shoes have an in-built tracking device, using GPS technology, which ensures that Alzheimer’s and other dementia sufferers, who have a tendency to wander off and then become lost because they can’t remember where they are, can be easily located.

The shoes are simple and effective but more advanced solutions are now becoming available. This year’s Mobile World Congress saw Fujitsu demonstrate a prototype connected walking stick which uses a number of different technologies, including GPS solutions and Wi-Fi, to help elderly people find their way, as well as monitoring their health by measuring their temperature and heart rate. The stick has an LED display on top of the handle which vibrates and shows an arrow when the user should change direction. Carers are able to follow their location online and can be alerted by email if the elderly person seems to have fallen over or there is a change in the person’s health.

We’re heading towards a truly connected world that will not only benefit the young and fit but also help improve the quality of life for the elderly and infirm. We’re looking forward to seeing more solutions, such as the Fujitsu walking stick, that use technology such as GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart, to keep innovating and, potentially, save lives.

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