By simply using their voices, older adults can ask their devices to call a relative, read e-mails, find recipes, set medication reminders, order a taxi or food from a favorite restaurant, and add items to a shopping list.
Also, voice-controlled technology is a big advantage for someone in a wheelchair or for people who don’t have good use of their hands, such as someone with Parkinson’s, and find smartphones too small.
Last year, for example, a home health care agency installed Amazon Echo devices in the homes of several patients. Users can contact caregivers, receive medication reminders and other health activities and schedule appointments.
Another company found in a pilot study that diabetic patients were more likely to stick to eating and exercising regimens by having a voice assistant in their home. Interacting with Alexa, patients set daily goals, completed daily health assessments and reported health problems to suppliers.
Reminders could be scheduled to request a response. For example, Alexa may ask if the elder has taken his medication.
Remote caregivers can check a daily report on the user’s activities, such as requests for music and responses to reminders.