Tackling dementia with IoT

With average life expectancy in the UK increasing markedly in recent decades, Philip Mason explores how the Internet of Things is helping to monitor and treat age-related illness

According to the Office for National Statistics, recent decades have witnessed life expectancy in the UK rising incrementally year-on-year. Statistics suggest that average longevity peaked in the middle of the current decade, at somewhere around the age of 80.

There are a variety of factors explaining this increase, not least the democratisation of healthcare in the years following the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948. There have also been continual advances in medical science, something which has been picking up increasing speed for the past 250 or so years.

The latter is something that continues today, with medical technology increasingly incorporating cutting-edge digital comms. As might be expected, these modern-day advances help doctors in terms of diagnosis and treatment of their patients. At the same time, however, they aid patients in the monitoring, and even the management, of their own conditions.

Most terrifying issue
The opportunity to live longer clearly has its advantages, the most obvious of which being that people now have more time to enjoy their lives. The other side of that, however, is that as the body becomes inevitably more frail with the ravages of age, the quality of life can decline.

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