The common perception is that technology and the elderly do not mix. But the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, the once-a-decade gathering that spurred initiatives such as Medicare and Medicaid, has invited a number of technologists in the hopes of finding new ways to scale and increase efficiency of senior care.
Just last month, the United States Senate Committee on Aging held a hearing in which a panel of researchers laid out all the ways that tech tools could help prevent things like falls, which disproportionately impact people over 75 and which cost billions of dollars to treat each year. Medicaid also recently reported the results of a year-long study that showed house calls can reduce the cost of care for frail seniors by an average of $3,070 per beneficiary. But Steinmetz says the real thought leader in this space has been the Veteran’s Administration, which has successfully run a telehealth program for veterans for more than a decade. One VA study showed that this technology has led to a 35 percent reduction in hospital readmission and a 59 percent reduction in “bed-days.”