Are you wondering which technologies would be best for your organization? The director of the Center for Aging Services Technologies, Dr. Majd Alwan, recently shared his insights on best technology investments. Here are his top ten to watch in 2012:

Intuitive computer interfaces: Touch screens and graphic user-interfaces have made computing devices accessible not only to frontline staff and other people who have typically not been computer users.

Wireless data communication networks: Going wireless allows staff to document at the point of care, and you know longer have to worry about tripping on cables.

Electronic health record (EHR) systems: EHRs can help staff access and document information about residents and their preferences. EHRs reduce medical errors due to difficult to decipher handwriting and clinical decision support can help ensure that care is evidence based.

Electronic records sharing: Interoperability of EHRS allows providers to document electronically and share across care settings. This can facilitate care transitions and allow physician orders to be received even before an elder arrives at the facility.

Telemedicine/telehealth: Telemedicine and telehealth allow specialists to provide consultation through video interfaces, and also allows providers to receive imaging and diagnostic information remotely.

 Behavioral/activity monitoring systems: Behavioral and activity monitoring systems can help carers keep track of what is elders are doing without intruding on the elders privacy.

Fall prevention/detection systems: Bed and chair alarms, and user-worn automatic fall detectors, have the potential to “reduce rescue time, reduce the severity of the ensuing injury and improve the outcome of a fall.”

Tracking/wander management systems: A number of technologies address wandering. “You need to balance the safety of the individual and the concern of the caregiver with the privacy of the individual,” says Alwan.

Medication adherence systems: Electronic Medication Administration Records (eMAR) are software and storage systems that allow pharmacies to electronically track inventory and staff to match patient and medication with automated medication profiles. For seniors living independently, automated medication dispensers can help with medication reminders, and prevent accidental overdose through time controlled access mechanisms.

Brain and physical fitness technologies: Intuitive technologies allow seniors to engage in virtual games and activities, stimulating their physical and mental activity on a daily basis.

Still not sure what technologies would be best for your organization? Sign up for our technology study tour and see these technologies in action.

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