Supporting Canada's Elderly During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Digital technology addressing aging population needs.
Updated March 31, 2023.
Sadly, the elderly in Canada have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as the disease has spread especially quickly inside long-term care homes.
In addition to being more vulnerable to the disease, seniors can suffer from underlying conditions that weaken or threaten their health. Even seeking out treatment can create real risks because it can remove them from their protective isolation.
In addition, many older patients manage numerous conditions, which are treated with multiple drugs and treatments. This can decrease the effectiveness and increase adverse drug reactions. It may also contribute to patients not properly taking their various medications.
How We Are Solving It
Supporting Canada’s Elderly project uses technology to help older patients achieve better medication adherence without having to leave the safety and comfort of home.
The project is led by 3D Bridge Solutions in partnership with Careteam Technologies, MedStack, SnapPea Designs, Wellness Pharmacy Group, Wescana Pharmacy Group and CenseoPharm.
The project team has developed AlthaRx, a digital hub that controls a biometrically controlled and tamper-resistant e-dispenser. AlthaRx limits who can access the medication in the e-dispenser and when they can access it. It delivers alerts to the patient and authorized third parties if the medication is not accessed as prescribed. This is a technological equivalent of a health professional delivering and administering medication.
This new tool allows the elderly to access their medications wherever they are living, with remote support from caregivers and medical professionals who can monitor their medication intake in real time. The system also allows healthcare practitioners to determine if there is a pattern of not taking their prescriptions.
This project led to the development and proof-of-concept deployment of a unique digital hub to control a tamper-resistant e-dispenser allowing the elderly to access their medications wherever they are living, with remote support from caregivers and medical professionals who can monitor medication intake in real-time. The system also allows healthcare practitioners to determine patterns of non-compliance, and significantly reduces the amount of time nurses spend on administering medications that in turn allows for more time caring for patients.
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