An ageing population leads to an increasing reliance on technology
The ageing of the population is a real and unavoidable phenomenon which calls for a multi-sector joint expert strategy. The WHO (World Health Organisation) estimates that between 2015 and 2050 the global population aged over 60 will increase from 900 million to 2000 million, moving from 12% to 22%.
Social developments have made it evident that there will be no demographic renewal created by more births from younger generations. This makes it both urgent and necessary for companies to be aware of opportunities for growth in this area. The ageing population and increased life expectations in particular, along with other demographic trends, are creating a demand for projects and policies linked to the adaptation of buildings, public transportation and telecommunications services, all of which are relevant to various different industries.
By 2050, the number of older people that will require assistance in performing their everyday activities will have quadrupled (WHO source), which makes the need for comprehensive chronic support systems even more pressing. Highly implicated in this not-so-distant reality, many companies have come to focus their activities on systems that improve the functional abilities of individuals. ALCAD ELECTRONICS, a company based in Irún (Gipuzkoa), has launched a new IP communication system called Accuro, which, as its name may suggest, is a system that has been designed to care for people. The social involvement of telecommunications services is not only focused on patients that require urgent assistance: it is also centred around improving, and assisting, the work of health care workers in hospitals, care homes and community health centres where the Accuro system is fitted. Accuro is a safe and resilient 100% IP solution which optimises response times and prevents unnecessary visits. It also includes the option of providing personalised assistance and optimising investments undertaken.
The health services that cater to this older section of the population must adapt to the needs that patients of many chronic illnesses and geriatric syndromes may present. Independently of the country, the main causes of death among elderly people are heart disease, strokes and chronic neuropathies (WHO source). These ailments require immediate, urgent actions which can be successfully provided by hospital or care home staff if they are supported by a communication system such as Accuro that directly responds to the patient or user.
The financial element of this social issue is highly relevant to the health and technology industries and to political regulation. Investments in the integration of telecommunication products and services which contribute towards improving the experience of individuals in hospitals, care homes, community health centres and clinics have received positive recognition despite the fact that there have been doubts about the sustainability of the public-private partnership model.
Despite the emergence of new types of interpersonal relations and social bonds, we are increasingly becoming a society which faces old age alone. When we consider the greater vulnerability of older people, especially those that are more isolated, and the more complex health and emotional care that they require, practical technological support becomes essential. Hospitals, care homes, health centres and specialist clinics require a support system that includes efficient communication systems which enhance professional responsibility and the quality of work undertaken. Although the government provides services and assistance that aim to improve the autonomy of dependent people and provide them with care in their usual surroundings, as those individuals’ health deteriorates or they become more isolated, it no longer remains possible to address these needs in the home, leading to a reliance on the resources of care homes, hospitals or community health services which makes the use of communication systems such as Accuro even more essential.
What is indeed certain is that future business management in this area must be based around involvement. It is important to be aware that this social issue will continue to increase in magnitude, and that the assistance provided by systems such as Accuro is merely the beginning of the development of a global solution that companies such as Alcad Electronics are ready to step up to the challenge of providing. This is the time to move forward towards a future backed by the Internet of Things (IoT), which includes safe solutions which meet social needs. There remains no doubt at all that the ageing of the population is one of the most serious demographic challenges of the 21st century, and it is one that will impact upon the business activities of many different industries.