New application will simplify care process for caregivers

 In Medical Product Design

The U.S. population is aging. Baby boomers are inching closer and closer to retirement, and with that also comes a greater need for more, better prepared caretakers.

Currently, there are nearly 44 million caregivers in the U.S., with around 34 million of them providing care to adults aged 50 years old or over, according to a study of 1,248 caregivers conducted by AARP. None of these caregivers are paid.

With such a large amount of caregivers, what's being done to support their efforts? Not enough. And that's one of the reasons the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and the USC Family Caregiver Support Center partnered with Care3, a mobile health technology developer, according to Beth Newcomb of USC Davis School of Gerontology.

Together, they'll be providing an app to FCSC clients that will allow them to better manage their services and make their lives a little simpler. It'll also cut down on visits to FCSC providers for simple needs.

"This can be a tighter way of measuring what's going on at home, without caregivers needing to travel to us," said Donna Benton, director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center. "This will hopefully make caregivers' lives less stressful and will help them better adhere to their loved one's care plans."

With the new technology, caregivers can book activities, instantly talk with FCSC professionals and schedule reminders.

More and more, mobile technology is becoming a critical part of the health care industry. Not only is it allowing patients to become more active participants in their own medical lives, it's also giving health care providers instant access to their patients' health status. Right now the FCSC's app is in a pilot program.


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