Ensuring older adults take necessary medication is one of the most important facets of senior care, and a new innovative approach may help. The process, known as "automated hovering" makes use of existing technology to monitor whether seniors are following medication regimens, eating the proper diet and other healthy-conscious behavior.
The proposal comes from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, who believe their approach is not only cost-effective, but also targets what motivates older adults to follow certain behaviors. Electronics such as cell phones, elderly alert
devices and electronic pill boxes may all help patients better manage chronic illnesses.
"Even patients with chronic diseases might spend no more than a few hours a year in front of a doctor or a nurse. But they spend over 5,000 waking hours a year doing everything else - and that 'everything else' often has a big impact on their health." said lead author David A. Asch.
The study monitored the success of electronic pill boxes by tying them to a lottery system that offered the patients money for taking their medication. By creating a reward system, scientists found they reduced the rate of incorrect doses from 22 percent to 3 percent.