We're not getting any younger, to state the obvious, and that's why ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies continue to get so much attention. As the ageing population swells, an already creaky healthcare infrastructure will struggle to keep pace. In some ways, that is fine with the patient, who would rather stay home, if at all possible. A blog post by Jason Kohn on the HealthWorks Collective site discusses machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and its applications in ambient assisted living (AAL).
"One of the most interesting aspects of M2M is the ability to improve the lives of people with disabilities or impairments by bringing them network-based tools that were previously inconceivable," writes Kohn. "One of the biggest potential markets for connected devices is assisted living—applications to help elderly people live more independently and function better in their daily lives."
Kohn cites an ABI Research study that predicts home monitoring solutions will grow to more than 36 million units by 2017, up from less than 3 million shipped in 2011. Notes ABI: "this market will bring new players into the market from traditional specialists to established healthcare device players, and a range of new startups. Connectivity suppliers, wearable device and health gateway vendors, online applicaitons and existing vertically integrated players are all ramping their offerings to meet the demands of this growing market."
Kohn also namechecks the AAL Open Association and Intel's Future Lab in this article that touches on a number of aspects of person-centered healthcare.