09 2015
April

Knowing the challenges faced by elderly, an affordable home healthcare system should be implemented, says Sridharan Mani, CEO and Director, American Megatrends India Private Limited, in conversation with Elets News Network.

In a few decades to come, you and I would possibly be one among the 1.53 billion elderly living in this world. According to Census Bureau International, by 2050 around 1.53 billion (16%) of world's estimated population of 9.53 billion will be 65 years and over. Based on rough calculations, it is estimated that population of age group of 60 years and over would be 2.43 billion (25%) by 2050. In the same time period (year 2050), the estimated working population between the age group of 20 and 60 would be around 4.73 billion (56% of total population).

The Big Challenge Ahead: Growing ageing population, proportionately reducing workforce and increasing self-reliance for healthcare and wellbeing.

A hefty amount of geriatric population is living alone because of the disintegration of the joint family system. According to the report published by United Nations Population Fund and HelpAge India, it is estimated that India had 90 million elderly persons in 2011 and the number is expected to grow to 173 million by 2026. In the 90 million, close to 30 million (33.33%) are living alone. It is also to be noted that number of elderly women is more than that of elderly men. Around 3 out of 5 (60%) single older women are very poor, and 2 out of 3 (67%) rural women are fully dependents.

Though our country is zooming fast on healthcare highway lane, a dedicated healthcare system for the elderly remains largely non-existent. It is well known that 45 percent of older Indians have chronic diseases and disabilities. The common diseases affecting the elderly are heart disease, hypertension, strokes, diabetes and cancer. Some of the health statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on elderly are as follows: Compared to developed countries, elderly in developing countries lose twice as many in stroke and five times as many to chronic lung diseases. 25 percent of men and equal number of women suffer from high blood pressure in India. 75 percent of men and 80 percent of women have abdominal obesity in India that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. 65 percent of elderly suffer from a chronic ailment. 33 percent of elderly suffer from multiple chronic ailments. The current geriatric services market in India is about US$ 250 million, but is expected to grow to US$ 1 billion by 2012 and US$ 2 billion by 2017. The Indian home-healthcare market stands at US$ 1.5 billion.

Elderly Care – The Way Forward After long tiring days of work and when people retire, they expect their quality of life be to improved and enjoyable. Senior citizens deserve peace and support. They have put in dedicated efforts to build nations & support the infrastructure. It is time for them to have a pleasant retired life. It is unfortunate that the cost of healthcare for simple vital check-up is increasing, and with mobility constraints, increasing costs and dependency on others put elderly in difficult and delicate situations. Knowing the challenges faced by elderly, an affordable home healthcare system should be implemented.

B.O.L.T – An AMI Wellness Initiative is a patent pending unique solution that supports elderly with their wellness initiatives B.O.L.T helps senior citizens to take the vitals periodically at their home comfort and shares the details of the same with their physicians, specialists, near and dear ones at a click of a button. B.O.L.T has built-in scheduler for periodic vitals collection and can build custom alarm reminders to regularly take medication on time. With the mobile interface, one can extend it to provide facility to order medication and food online, have video chat with doctors and dear ones. With mobile having built-in support for Internet, email and entertainment system to listen to music and watch videos, senior citizens can relax at home and have all the facilities at their fingertips.

Healthcare institutions like Astermed City, Portea Medical Center and several others have integrated AMI B.O.L.T with their healthcare applications to provide the best care possibly for the elderly.