IoT Could Improve Lives of the Elderly

IoT Could Improve Lives of the ElderlyThe Internet of Things could offer dramatic improvements to the lifestyles of retirees, according to an article by Joseph Coughlin for The Wall Street Journal. Coughlin essentially argues that the growing array of connected devices will help to monitor and safeguard the elderly as they struggle with diminishing physical and mental capabilities.

Coughlin offers several plausible hypothetical examples, such as sensors embedded in carpeting that can detect changes to a user’s gait, or smart pill bottles that sync with the user’s smartwatch to send alerts and notifications about medication regimes. Coughlin pushes the idea a step further by introducing the integration of such IoT devices with external organizations and services; for example, what if that smart pill bottle could send an alert to a local pharmacy, which could then ship a refill directly to the user? And with new connected service outlets like Amazon Home Services, such possibilities expand even further.

It’s an intriguing argument. As the IoT continues to expand, there’s bound to be some luddite-minded criticism of the frivolity of such systems, but the technology’s benefits could clearly be very important to some segments of society; a similar case was recently made with respect to the transformative potential of wearable tech in the world of physical disability. This isn’t to say that the rise of the IoT doesn’t bring up some serious issues, but it’s worth exploring the good it can do, too.