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Boomers Who Can Afford Home Monitoring Systems May Remain at Home Longer
Boomers Who Can Afford Home Monitoring Systems May Remain at Home Longer

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- In the future, sensor technology could provide limitless opportunities for preserving the independent lifestyles of the Baby Boomer generation while preventing illness and injury. Wearable sensor networks embedded in clothing, for example, could monitor a person's gait for irregularity, and address the abnormality prior to a potentially painful fall. Some clothing sensors could also notify a caregiver if the wearer falls or experiences another medical problem, prompting an automatic call for help.

"The aging Baby Boomer population will likely be able to use an even deeper level of this technology," comments Patricia Bomba, M.D., F.A.C.P., geriatrician and medical director for MedAmerica Insurance Company. "If they can afford to install wireless sensor networks in their homes rather than hiring a home health aide for daily visits, they could prolong independent living," she added. The sensor network system will consist of a series of "motes," or tiny battery-powered computers, scattered throughout a home, that silently and wirelessly collect data to monitor light, temperature, humidity and movement. The sensors then interpret the information to create an accurate picture of activity in the home.

In addition to sensors embedded in the home infrastructure, sensors could be placed on everyday items like toothbrushes and coffee cups to infer a person's daily activities, and then determine if the person is following his usual routine. If he is not, the sensor transmission alerts a health care provider or family member so they can check on the patient.

With sensors providing the monitoring information, nurses and home health aides would have more time to spend with patients during their visits, making each visit more thorough and possibly more personal as well. "These sensor technologies have the potential to make visits more focused, specifically addressing the patient's greatest needs and enhancing quality of care," said Dr. Bomba.

However, the expense of using this technology may limit accessibility to all who need it. In the future, more and more cutting-edge technologies will reach the market that are not covered by traditional long term care insurance policies on the market today that require patients to pay for services up front, and then submit receipts to the insurer for approval and, hopefully, reimbursement. That's why MedAmerica developed an affordable new type of long term care insurance policy that guarantees a cash benefit for the insured to use however they decide throughout his benefit eligibility. MedAmerica's CareDirections(R) Simplicity product is unique in that an insured could use benefits to purchase whatever is needed with no restrictions.

MedAmerica Insurance Company and MedAmerica Insurance Company of New York are the long term care subsidiaries of a $5 billion not-for-profit health insurer that finances and delivers health care to more than 2 million people in New York State. With long term care insurance its singular focus, MedAmerica brings a depth of expertise to provide solutions for long term care financing by creating simple to understand and easy to use products, maintaining fiscal responsibility, shaping public policy and delivering on its promises.

Patricia Bomba, M.D., practiced internal medicine, primarily geriatrics, for many years before becoming the medical director for MedAmerica. She is a member of the Review Committee of the National Quality Forum's "Framework and Preferred Practices for a Palliative and Hospice Care Quality" project, the New York State representative for the National POLST Paradigm Task Force, and the Physician's Advisory Panel of the Case Management Society of America. Dr. Bomba served as a New York State delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and is a member of the MSSNY Ethics Committee. She serves on the board of directors of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and is currently on the Executive Committee for the New York State Coalition on Elder Abuse. Highly regarded in her specialty, Dr. Bomba is considered to be a medical expert on the hidden epidemic of Elder Abuse and palliative care.

MedAmerica Insurance Company

CONTACT: Tricia Mooneyhan, of MedAmerica Insurance Company,
+1-585-231-6851

Web site: http://www.yourlongtermcare.com/

About PR Newswire
Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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