By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be older than 65, the equivalent of 73 million people . Yet industry-wide efforts to cater for this older generation continue to lag behind its exponential increase. With COVID-19 affecting elderly communities at disproportionate rates , it is more imperative than ever before to think critically about how to serve the older demographic. Old age often brings with it chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). In America, nearly 80% of older adults suffer from one or more chronic diseases . Today, those demographics are served by a range of Philips telehealth-enabled innovations ranging from home monitoring solutions based on unobtrusive wearable biosensors to advanced therapeutic devices for COPD patients.
This topic of how to best serve the aging population was the focus of a recent Fortune Global Forum virtual panel discussion, which explored how businesses can tap into the opportunities these changing demographics present, and what challenges those in the senior care industry should proactively prepare for. As an invited panelist, Cindy Gaines, Chief Nursing Officer and Clinical Transformation Leader for Connected Care at Philips, shared insights on how providers can tailor healthcare delivery towards a senior population that largely wishes to age in place . Her insights focused on telehealth solutions, something that has become especially relevant in a pandemic where the aging population represents one of the groups most at risk. She also debunked stereotypes about older generations’ desires and capabilities when it comes to technology, offered ideas and solutions for how hospitals and healthcare systems can serve older populations, and pointed to policy changes that will help aid the adoption of telehealth.