According to industry consulting firm Wireless Healthcare's principal analyst Peter Kruger, there are more than 30 million people in the US that are caregivers for a family member, typically an older family member. Wireless Healthcare believes that providing this "hidden army" of healthcare workers with the right tools could help reduce the costs of healthcare expenditures.
Wireless Healthcare is a UK-based firm -- it estimates that 20 percent of adults in the UK are looking after elderly parents and providing care worth £39 billion ($63 billion) per year.
The group believes that a range of health applications and care services could be brought together on the mobile phone to equip these caregivers, which Wireless Healthcare calls "Alpha Daughters" because they are typically the daughters of the elderly parents.
Kruger also presented at the Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit earlier this month. During his presentation Kruger explained: Caring for the aging population is more complex, more disruptive for the family and can be heart wrenching in some cases. “Given that this challenge is so complex, perhaps we shouldn’t be looking at the person who is being cared for but rather take another look at the person providing the care,” Kruger said. The care these care givers provide is relatively standard, despite how complex the medical situation is for the aging relative. The key activities for care givers are shopping, managing insurance, house repair and transporting their relative to and from the hospital.
Those are the types of services Kruger aims to bundle together as mobile phone-based service.
For more on Wireless Healthcare's latest industry analysis, read this press release