Robots/Robotics in Healthcare

Pepper

Bernadette Keefe MD

Introduction

Robots, through their combined “otherness” and “sameness”, capture the human imagination. However, the purpose of robots, and use of robotics, has always been, essentially, practical. Humans have used robots to do work since ancient times. It’s the capacity of robots to produce, on a consistent basis, over and over again, which makes them valuable. Now, with sophisticated software, robotic applications have shifted from the purely industrial uses, to include the service industries. With elegant algorithms, speech and facial expression abilities, and recognition, robots are increasingly interacting with us, on a more personal level, in everyday life.

The healthcare industry is under significant pressure from many sides. The major causes include: out of control costs and prices, labor shortages throughout the ranks, a continuous explosion of information and technology, and an increasingly sick and aging population. The promise of robots and robotic applications to help ease the labor gap, and improve efficiency and safety, has captured the attention of many in the healthcare sector.

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Aging: It’s A Good Thing!

adventure-is-out-there

 Honoring Active Aging Week 2015, September 27th– October 3rd.

From Active Aging Week website,

“This year’s Theme: Live Your Adventure!  Led by the International Council on Active Aging, Active Aging Week celebrates aging and active living. Each year event organizers engage participants in wellness activities in a safe, friendly and fun atmosphere.”

             my-adventure-book

 

Each day of active aging week has a corresponding theme, thus the “adventure book” has 7 Chapters, each devoted to a specific aspect of wellness in aging. Chapter details follow:

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Falls Prevention Day 2015: Will the real ______________, please stand up!

              National Falls Prevention Awareness Day ~ September 23, 2015

                                        “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls” 
fallPrevention

 Bernadette Keefe MD

 “One of every three older adults falls each year, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.” – Lawrence Z. Rubenstein MD, MPH Chair Geriatrics – U. of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

 Introduction

Tomorrow, September 23, 2015, the U.S. will celebrate the 8th Annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day. The announcement on the National Council for Aging (NCOA) Falls Prevention Day website reads:

“The 8th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day (FPAD) will be observed on September 23, 2015 – the first day of fall. The event seeks to raise awareness about how to prevent fall – related injuries among older adults. The 2015 theme is Take A Stand to Prevent Falls and the official twitter hashtag for this year’s event is #FPAD15 Continue reading

losing our marbles – the dementia epidemic

The marble saga continues! This shot was taken in our back yard. I must say the marble is a remarkably patient model...

I think my favorite part of this one is how the lines from the tall grass in the background seem to echo the swirls inside the marble.

By Bernadette Keefe MD

All of us have personally known or heard the familiar drill. Dad couldnʼt find his way home. Mom didnʼt recognize her best friend. More and more memory lapses are occurring. Thereʼs a kitchen mishap. Finally the trip to family doc with the dreaded questions: Is It Alzheimerʼs? Is It Dementia?

The answer is yes, and they have a lot of company.

4.5 Million in the US are currently living with Dementia. The estimated prevalence of dementia among persons older than 70 years in US was nearly 15% in 2010. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 13 Million people in the US living with dementia. There was hope that the incidence might be tapering off and even declining (from data comparing 1993 to 2002), however with the recent sharp increases in prevalence of diabetes and obesity over the past decade, it is feared that the numbers may rise precipitously.

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The 100 Year Lifespan.

aging-fashion

The quality, not the longevity, of one’s life is what is important.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

100 Year Lifespan: The coming reality

The 100 Year lifespan is coming. As of 2014 there were 72,000 centenarians (U.S.) and projections of as many as 1 million by 2050. In the industrialized world, people over 90 years of age are the fastest growing segment of the population. By the end of this century the average life expectancy is expected to be 100 years. Notably, Japan’s centenarians, who number about 30,000, have quadrupled in the last 10 years.

Now there are 43 Million Americans over age 65 years age. By 2050 that number is expected to rise to 108 million. The number of those over 85 years could increase five-fold by that time.

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