As they age, many older Americans are turning to technology to enable them to stay in their homes longer than ever before.
From smart pill bottles that track when they are taking medicine to sensors throughout their homes that can alert family members of caregivers of a change in behavior or an emergency, technology is revolutionizing the aging experience, writes the Washington Post this week.
But concerns have also arisen as the technology becomes more commonplace.
“The market is small, but could explode as more people enter retirement, analysts [say]. The devices could provide independence to some elderly, but also raise familiar questions about how to best ensure their privacy is protected,” the Post writes.
From startups to big name tech providers such as Qualcomm, many companies are entering the market and are working to address the questions the devices raise.
“Honeywell and Qualcomm say their products comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s privacy and security protocols so a hacker cannot not tap into confidential records,” the Post reports.
“No devices are inherently HIPAA compliant,” Stacey Force, a spokeswoman for Honeywell’s HomMed patient monitoring service, told the publication. “But the process by which you use that device, the way we handle our patient information and all the security levels that we’ve wrapped around the software are some of the components that help with that compliance.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker