Demographic change has long been a concern of healthcare strategists, and of Telehealth & Telecare Aware. However many have recognised that once a user is connected to a monitoring system, that same technology can be used to connect people to enable them to care for each other. Thus an elderly person recently diagnosed with diabetes might learn much from someone who has managed with the condition for many years, so avoiding them needing to take up valuable time with their GP or specialist.
However there can be problems with making this a reality, particularly in this time of privacy concerns and potential litigation. Now a new app-driven service has been introduced called Helparound. Initially focused on diabetic emergency, and now allergic reactions, the service can readily identify those geographically closest who might be willing to help. Currently majoring on the US this is one of what hopefully in the future will be many P2P (patient to patient) apps.
If the challenges can be overcome, P2P will undoubtedly be a major response to the challenge of fewer care professionals and more people requiring care.