Intel chairman urges U.S. to address healthcare for aging society through technology innovation
New computer-based technologies and innovations in sensors, software and wireless technologies can allow such vital information as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and sleep patterns to be tracked remotely
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 12, 2005 –Intel Corporation Chairman Craig Barrett today urged U.S. government leaders to seize the opportunity to apply technology to help solve the economic and social challenges faced by the country due to skyrocketing healthcare costs and a growing wave of aging citizens.
Speaking at the White House Conference on Aging, held only once a decade, Barrett said, “This is a golden moment to bring government, healthcare professionals, industry and academia together to accelerate innovation and investment for this critical national issue.”
With nearly 35 million senior citizens in the United States, the country already spends 16 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare. Forecasters estimate that 25 percent of the nation’s GDP will go toward healthcare as the number of senior citizens doubles during the next 20 to 30 years. Barrett said the country’s economy cannot keep pace with the soaring costs of caring for an aging society.
“We can make the healthcare system more cost-efficient while simultaneously improving the quality of care and life for our nation’s aging population,” said Barrett. “No company, no industry, no country can afford to ignore the economic and social impact this wave of aging people will create.”
Developing technologies to keep people well and moving care from the hospital to the home are central to transforming the healthcare system, according to Barrett.
“A broad range of personal health technologies designed to go into the home hold hope for seniors to ‘age in place,’ maintaining their independence and deferring costly institutional care,” he said.
He pointed to new computer-based technologies and innovations in sensors, software and wireless technologies that can allow such vital information as heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and sleep patterns to be tracked remotely. Broadband Internet connectivity allows the data to be shared real-time between seniors and healthcare professionals, as well as amongst family members and friends who deliver the majority of care to seniors.
Intel is a founding member of the Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST), a coalition of more than 400 technology companies, aging services organizations, research universities and government representatives collaborating to develop and deploy emerging technologies that can improve the aging experience in America.
The CAST Technology Pavilion at the White House Conference highlighted dozens of promising technologies from more than 30 companies and universities aimed at helping seniors.
Intel researchers showed prototypes of home systems to help with medication prompting, social support, disease management and exercise.
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