I recently attended the IT Summit for the Elderly in Sydney, where I moderated a panel discussion on the future of care for the elderly, and many interesting points were touched upon. The role that technology plays in the care of the elderly has been at the center of the debate, emphasizing that technology has shifted from a back office function to a reliable partner.
Digital technologies that connect people
In particular, the pandemic has led to the introduction of telehealth in an environment to help the elderly. Most nursing organizations now offer telemedicine services as part of helping their clients to protect clients from the risk of exposure to viruses and maximize the number of clients that can be evaluated by a physician.
Although we are in the third year of the pandemic, many senior care facilities continue to invest in connectivity technologies to ensure people can stay connected, and provide Internet of Things (IoT) -based practices, such as automated thermal scan when registering visitors points.
While some people believe that nursing is at the beginning of the path to software and data, this sector is also leading the way in using some smart technology. Many nursing homes are considering investing in technologies that allow real-time viewing of customer health statistics and live reports for immediate decision making. Some even consider how predictive analysis based on trend data can be used to predict health outcomes based on patient health data over time.
Communication and security
While many senior care organizations understand that fast networking has been crucial over the past few years, many are now working to ensure that the rapid growth of connected IoT devices in the field of care for the elderly does not put endangered data security. This is not surprising, as a recent IDG survey found that 44 percent of organizations worldwide called security a problem in their IoT deployment. *
IoT and data
The current technological frontier for the Senior Assistance sector is the further implementation of IoT in all organizations to help improve and streamline customer service, and to support a workforce strained by staff shortages, job growth and more needed reporting. IoT or connected devices can support a data-driven nursing care environment. The IoT in senior care can look like anything from connected medical devices such as blood pressure monitors that send customer readings to a centralized database of medical records, to transfusion monitoring, and in a more mature environment – applications such as voice security control.
These applications are available today, however many nursing homes do not yet have the connectivity infrastructure needed to implement these tools.
5G for data-based assistance
Any IoT application that collects and manages data for customer service requires a seamless, secure, and fast connection. Although Wi-Fi is now widely used in the sector, it has limitations once a clinical or elderly healthcare professional leaves the site or works with home clients. The ubiquity of care in a variety of environments and health settings means that Wi-Fi has limitations when it comes to uninterrupted healthcare based on data. Connecting to a wireless wide area network (WWAN) allows older health care providers to use technology for uninterrupted service anywhere. To anticipate the future of their organizations, nursing home providers need to consider fifth-generation wireless technology – 5G will change the game of wireless networks designed to meet the needs of the future. 5G offers higher speed, reliability and security compared to 4G LTE, which has been the WWAN standard for many years. 5G also has less latency and higher bandwidth than older generations of wireless technology, making it a more efficient solution for data transmission and processing.
5G wireless routers are the next generation of enterprise-class wireless routers that will enable nursing organizations to reach a whole new level of communication.
As nursing organizations continue to research and evaluate where 5G may fit into their network plans, they are also asking key security questions. For example, they are concerned about their increased surface attack as a result of the rapid rise in IoT. They also consider the impact of the increasing prevalence of peripheral computing and virtualization.
Improve network security through border strategies
At the frontier, organizations can and should continue to use advanced network security technologies that they probably already used with wired, Wi-Fi, and 4G broadband. It’s also a good idea to explore and try out some of the new strategies and tools that are gaining popularity amid 5G growth, including ЗТНА and SASE to protect network endpoints.
Operators can also provide networking to provide businesses with personalized services as well as a precise level of security that is ideal for each use case. In a nutshell, the network services available in each “slice” are tailored to unique applications, traffic and user needs and are charged accordingly.
ZTNA is a security concept that assumes that anyone trying to access a network or application is a malicious entity whose access should be restricted by constantly checking the user’s identity, location, device, request timestamp, and previous models. use. This robust trust algorithm requires computing power that becomes more efficient and effective thanks to 5G, which ultimately improves the quality of the experience.
SASE solutions use a real-time context based on enterprise compliance policy to identify endpoints, including users, affiliates, cloud services, applications, and IoT devices. If the traffic is legitimate, the SASE edge control allows it to pass. Adding this level of security to an existing SD-WAN solution not only creates a more secure connection, but also helps optimize data flow by reducing bandwidth for unsecured traffic.
The elderly care sector is moving towards more data-based services, and connecting to the 5G network will provide better and more efficient care, which is already being studied by many providers.
* Condition Wireless WAN, IDG Research, 2022