Given Inverse Tech’s extensive technology experience in the senior living industry, we wanted to share the following article we found online at McKnights Senior Living on 6/1/23. It was written by Christine Birkner. It demonstrates that while the healthcare industry overall is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, the human touch is and always will be important.   

“Technology is no doubt a game changer for senior living and healthcare at large. Telehealth, artificial intelligence and digital healthcare technologies have increased staffing efficiencies,

kept residents safe and monitored their overall health, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. However, technology works better when combined with human touch, one expert argues.  

Telehealth, in particular, boomed during the pandemic, and 88% of Americans favor using telehealth now, with 75% seeing digital solutions as essential to care. However, Joel Landau, founder and chairman of The Allure Group, a long-term and memory care provider in Brooklyn, NY, writes in Provider magazine that since humans are social creatures and crave physical touch, technology works best when combined with human interaction.

By focusing on the human element, senior living operators and healthcare providers can ward off the negative effects of virtual interactions, like loneliness and depression, Landau writes.

Technology use can lead to depression in older adults, according to a Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital study. The study found interactions that used emails and video calls were associated with feelings of depression and anxiety in older adults, while in-person interactions with friends, family and healthcare providers were associated with fewer mental health issues.

There are three major benefits to combining technology with sustained physical interaction with patients, Landau notes. The first is the healing power of human touch, because, as people get older, massage therapy can decrease heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels, according to a study by the Touch Research Institute in ScienceDirect. Secondly, human touch increases patient-doctor confidence, and when healthcare providers demonstrate empathy and compassion, it improves patient satisfaction and can lead to better health outcomes. Thirdly, no matter how accurately technology can predict disease or perform care, patients still trust human providers more.

So, how can senior living and healthcare operators best combine technology and human touch? Landau advises determining which patients can benefit from in-person or telehealth care based on symptoms and medical history; assessing video quality, visit length and overall patient satisfaction in virtual care and connecting with patients who don’t have easy access to virtual care options to make sure they’re getting adequate care.” 

Inverse Technology Solutions is ready to be your one-stop resource for your senior living facilities, from controlled access to unified communications to basic helpdesk service and more to help you protect and care for the individuals in your facilities. Whatever your technology needs, call us for a customized and appropriate solution. Visit our website or call 800-854-2444.  

Source:  McKnights Senior Living; by Christine Birkner 6/1/23