Protecting elderly populations from the dangers of COVID-19 is exacerbating the sting of loneliness and social isolation. According to research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), AARP and others, such adverse events are linked to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions including heart disease, depression and weakened immune system.
Staying socially connected is critical to combatting such conditions. However, remaining connected is a challenge during times of limited physical interaction. Digital health technologies are showing promise in guarding against and reversing these affects. In this discussion, we explore some of the solutions that have proven to promote mental health and wellness.
- Understand the prevalence of loneliness and the severity of its impact on health
- Discuss the impact on vulnerable populations, including low-income communities, visual and hearing impaired individuals, and elderly citizens
- Examine the correlations between staying connected and maintaining well-being
- Explore digital health solutions, including AI and voice-enabled technologies, being used to support connectedness
- Review clinical evidence which has demonstrated connected health technologies’ ability to improve behavioral health outcomes
- Frances Ayalasomayajula, MPH, MSMIS, PMP, Head of Population Health, Worldwide Healthcare, Strategy and Solutions, HP Inc.
- Nancy Green, Co-Chair, PCHA Aging & Tech Task Force President; Founder and President of The SAA Group, LLC
- Vicki Nolen, System Director, Clinical Excellence and Virtual Care, CHRISTUS Health
- Nathan Treloar, President and COO, Orbita, Inc.
- Charlotte Yeh, MD FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, AARP Services, Inc.
The views and opinions expressed in this content or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.