Dr Benjamin Cheah, Hacking Health KL co-Leader
Malaysia has a rising aging population. Caring for the elderly is becoming difficult as the social fabric and family structures change. Soon, they will be the forgotten segment of society, being expected to fend for themselves, being in unforgiving and punishing environments. Elderly friendly areas are few and far in between.
Innovative solutions for the elderly is much needed. The challenge is to develop something that is acceptable, intuitive and elderly friendly. Most faculties will decline as one ages, namely, sight, smell, sound and taste. Augmenting these senses and keeping the elderly engaged has been proven to maintain their independence and to slow down degeneration.
Connected solutions via the Internet of Things phenomenon has been touted to improve care of the elderly. Maintaining biometric parameters and controlling the physical environment is now a reality. Communication between individuals is now so seamless that we have forgotten what it was like just 15 years ago. The problem is that many solutions are created in silos and thus requiring very different sets of skills and a process of learning. This makes uptake and usage of these solutions difficult to maintain. The key is to amalgamate them into a cohesive set of tools that the elderly can navigate easily depending on their level of fitness, mental state and acuteness of their faculties.
At Hacking Health, we are slowly embarking on engaging individuals with a passion or an idea that can innovate care for the elderly folks. No idea is too silly nor too big to develop. Facilitating the process of realising this dream is our endeavour as we bring people together for a common goal.