Can technology ease the burden of care?

The findings of recent research, eConnected family caregiver study, conducted by United Health and National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) show that seven out of ten technology-using caregivers would be receptive to using smartphones to assist with care of an older person. There are, however, some barriers to be overcome before this uptake is widespread.

Perceived barriers to using assisted living technology are:
· expense
· does not solve all care issues
· person receiving care or using technology could be resistant

Barriers can be overcome by:
· explanation by health professional on how it can be of use
· simple ‘how–to’ demonstration on how technology can be installed and how it works
· extensive warranty

Of the 12 technologies evaluated, the three which appeared to have greatest potential were:
· personal health record tracking
· a caregiving coordination system
· a medication support system

The full findings of the study can be found at www.unitedhealthgroup.com.

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