How technologies like Alexa can empower the elderly and persons with disabilities to live a healthier life

How technologies like Alexa can empower the elderly and persons with disabilities to live a healthier life

As we celebrate World Health Day on April 7, it’s essential to recognize the role of technology in fostering healthier lifestyles in today’s dynamic way of life, particularly for the elderly and people with disabilities. From setting reminders to staying on top of a medication schedule, practicing mindfulness, dietary recommendations to lifestyle modifications, voice AIs like Alexa can offer assistance tailored to diverse health needs, empowering individuals to take control of their health and make informed decisions. With Alexa-integrated Echo smart speakers, users can have a companion that provides access to a wide range of tools and resources to help them prioritize their well-being.

Alexa facilitates the management of daily tasks, fostering smoother mornings, heightened productivity, and overall well-being. Control smart home appliances with simple voice commands such as “Alexa, switch on the geyser at 8:30 AM”. Commands such as “Alexa, remind me to take my medicines at 9:00 PM every night” or “Alexa, send me reminders for my doctor’s appointment this Friday”, can help users to stay on top of their routines. Additionally, users can look up products and groceries on Amazon, enjoy stories, jokes, and music, and set reminders for various tasks, further enriching their daily experiences.

Here are some ways technologies like Alexa can empower the elderly and persons with disability to live a healthier life:

  1. Empower healthier living through informative insights on nutrition: Alexa serves as a comprehensive resource for promoting healthier lifestyles by offering a plethora of resources and guidance. From accessing recipes, offering healthier ingredient substitutes, checking calorie counts, and nutritional information, users have a repository of health-related information. Just ask “Alexa, how many calories in an aloo paratha?” or “Alexa, share Quinoa recipes” and make healthier dietary choices. Users can set reminders to stay hydrated, ensuring optimal water intake throughout the day by saying “Alexa, remind me to drink water every hour”.
  2. Assist users in maintaining a consistent workout schedule: Alexa offers exercise tips and curated workout playlists from various music providers, adding variety and motivation for getting physically active. Users can request quick workouts, set timers for exercises like planks, and even practice yoga through various skills. For example, just ask “Alexa, give me an easy yoga exercise for building strength”, “Alexa, set a timer for three minutes” to hold a plank or “Alexa, play the workout playlist from my Amazon Music.”
  3. Provide support to manage stress and mental well-being: Isolation and loneliness are common issues faced by the elderly with families living a distance away. Users can access meditation and mindfulness resources, including the Audible sleep series, by simply asking “Alexa, help me sleep” to play Audible podcasts. Commands like “Alexa, play guided meditation” or “Alexa, play healing sounds” can foster a serene bedtime ambiance, facilitating the establishment of a regular sleep routine.
  4. Strengthen connection and bring loved ones closer: Alexa can help users to stay connected and socialize with friends and family, further enhancing their mental well-being. Through commands like “Alexa, open Bingo” or “Alexa, play the game Tic Tac Toe”, fun games can be played with loved ones, fostering quality time with family. Furthermore, it enables users to drop in on elderly relatives using screen devices to video call them, via commands such as “Alexa, video call grandpa.” This not only combats feelings of isolation but also promotes a sense of belonging and social engagement, contributing to their overall mental and emotional health.

On this World Health Day, let us recognize the collaborative role that technology can play in improving the health and lifestyle of people, catering to their diverse needs and preferences.