Provider of integrated retirement communities, Retirement Villages, has delved into the potential future of medical care for retirees, employing artificial intelligence (AI) to forecast innovations for the next half-century. Drawing on the wealth of data from historical medical breakthroughs and current advancements, this independent study paints a picture of a transformed healthcare landscape tailored to the needs of the ageing population.
- The rise of telemedicine. In the not-so-distant future, retirees might find themselves booking medical consultations through AI-powered platforms. Virtual reality (VR) will make it possible to have face-to-face meetings with healthcare professionals without ever leaving one’s home. This promises particular benefits for those with mobility issues or those living in remote areas.
- Wearable tech takes centre stage. Gone will be the days of periodic health check-ups. Wearable devices, ranging from smart clothing to implantable sensors, will monitor vital health metrics in real-time. From heart rate to respiratory patterns, these devices will provide a continuous stream of data to medical teams, ensuring timely interventions.
- Preventing falls with advanced sensors. Building on the fall detectors of today, future devices will be equipped with accelerometers and gyroscopes. They’ll not only detect falls but also predict and prevent them, sending alerts to caregivers or emergency services when necessary.
- Diagnostic advancements through AI. The AI systems of the future will sift through our health data, identifying patterns and anomalies. Such in-depth analysis will allow for early detection of diseases, potentially even before symptoms manifest.
- Smart medication management. IoT-enabled medication dispensers will ensure that retirees never miss a dose. By dispensing the correct amounts and sending reminders, these devices will play a crucial role in medication adherence.
- Tailored health recommendations. Instead of generic health advice, AI systems will provide personalised recommendations. Drawing on individual health data, these systems will offer guidance on nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle changes.
- Swift response to medical emergencies. The future might see an end to frantic calls to emergency services. AI will proactively analyse health metrics, triggering alerts for potential health crises, ensuring rapid response times.
- Innovations in pain management. Beyond traditional methods, VR will emerge as a tool for pain management. By immersing patients in calming environments, VR will provide a novel means of distraction therapy.
- Exercise in the age of VR. While online workouts are already a trend, the future promises even more immersive exercise experiences. With the aid of VR, retirees can engage in fitness programmes tailored to their specific needs.
- Harnessing VR for memory enhancement. For those grappling with cognitive challenges, VR might offer a lifeline. By recreating environments that stimulate memories, VR will play a pivotal role in reminiscence therapy, bolstering cognitive function and emotional well-being.
- Emotional support in a digital age. AI-driven conversational agents will be on hand to offer emotional support, resources, and coping strategies tailored to individual needs. Furthermore, mood sensors and VR therapy sessions will provide targeted interventions for mental health concerns.
Reflecting on the study’s findings, Stewart Bailey, managing director at CGI business Virtual Viewing, remarked: “The advancements predicted by AI resonate with our vision for the future. We foresee technology, possibly even cognitive implants, facilitating rich experiences for retirees. The emphasis will be on fostering connections, ensuring that location or mobility isn’t a barrier. We anticipate a surge in demand for entertainment services that strengthen family ties, especially with grandchildren.”