Improving care for the elderly through digital health technology



As health systems around the world learn to deal with an aging population, many are turning to digital health technology to help improve care for the elderly.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a digital health technology tool that helps healthcare workers and social workers improve care for the elderly.

The innovative interactive digital app known as the WHO ICOPE Handbook App provides practical guidance to address priority issues including mobility limitations, malnutrition, vision and hearing loss, cognitive decline, depressive symptoms and social care and support.

Used in conjunction with a set of tools including a new manual, the app will speed up the training of health and social workers to better meet the diverse needs of older people.

Digital tools to help healthy aging

The world’s population is aging at a rapid rate. By 2050, one in five people will be over 60 years old. The number of people over 80 is expected to triple, from 143 million in 2019 to 426 million in 2050. Although every senior is different, physical and mental abilities tend to decline with age.

Dr Anshu Banerjee, Director of the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Aging at WHO, said: “It is essential that services for older people are available. included in universal health care packages. At the same time, there must be good coordination between health and social services to provide optimal care when needed. The toolkit supports healthy aging through a coordinated, person-centered model of care.

Dr Islene Araujo de Carvalho, Head of the Aging and Integrated Care Group at WHO, said: “Such an innovation will allow older people to continue doing the things they enjoy and prevent them from being isolated. social and care dependency.

“Intervening close to where the elderly live, with the active participation of the community and the elderly themselves, is essential for a personalized care plan. “

The Integrated Care for Older Persons Toolkit is the result of two years of in-depth consultations with leading experts and stakeholders, including representatives of civil society.

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals recognize that development will only be achievable if it includes people of all ages. Empowering older people and enabling their full participation and healthy social inclusion are ways to reduce inequalities.

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