Many veterans leave military service with wounds that impact their lives long term. Statista reviewed service-related injuries reported by veterans in 2020. They found 70% of recorded health issues were musculoskeletal. Additionally, 65% of veterans reported cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Both physical and mental illnesses require different aspects of care; the good news is, advanced technological devices and systems provide extra assistance to those veterans dealing with daily medical concerns.
After an injury, many veterans need to reevaluate their physical or mental capabilities. Usually, individuals will have to make changes to their former routines. Mobility issues can affect a person’s ability to get around comfortably in their own home or carry out basic personal care tasks. The adjustment period from healthy to injured can be difficult to navigate. Community support services, healthcare services, and alternative therapies allow individuals to thrive and live independently.
Tech devices available for veterans
Family can play a critical role in an injured person’s recovery and long-term independent living goal, but they cannot always be around. Electronic health services can provide peace of mind to veterans and their families. Medical alert systems are an alternative to full-time help. With the push of a button, individuals have access to medical assistance if an accidental fall occurs. These tech systems provide peace of mind to users and their support groups.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) funds LiveLife Personal Mobile Alarms and MedEquip Alert. The former provides a wearable device that alerts five contacts when pressed or when an automatic fall occurs. In contrast, the MedEquip Alert grants access to a 24-hour emergency center where the device wearer can speak directly with a trained operator capable of dispatching the appropriate medical care.
Veterans who could benefit from an alert system should contact their VA doctor about starting the application process. Communicate to your doctors your specific need for the device. The doctor will consult with the recommended alert system and requisition the personal alarm. When the process completes, the alert company contacts the veteran for delivery of the device.
Tech for better mental health
Many veterans come out of military service with PTSD and depression. These mental health conditions can lead to premature death if not addressed and monitored. Receiving psychotherapy is critical in dealing with aspects of these conditions, but it may not be enough. Often PTSD patients deal with sleep deficiencies because of intrusive nightmares or insomnia. Lack of sleep can lead to poor decision-making and declining mental health. For this reason, it is essential to address sleep deficiencies in veterans diagnosed with PTSD and depression.
One way to deal with sleep deprivation is through tech devices like the NightWare watch. The device uses apple watch sensors to record a person’s heart rate and movement throughout their sleep cycle. The smartwatch can determine when the user is experiencing a nightmare. The watch vibrates to awaken the dreamer and stop them from reliving a traumatic event. In 2021, the NightWare smartwatch will be available for free through the US Defense and Veteran Administration health plan via prescription. The watch can help treat PTSD, but it is not a replacement for regular therapy and medication. It is simply an aid that can contribute to a better quality of life.
The right piece of technology can add value to a vet’s life. It is crucial to keep abreast of tech changes to improve mobility and mental health. Without current advancements like the alert systems, veterans will be able to have a better quality of life.