Elders are interested in using technologies that allow them to stay more connected socially, with family and friends.
That clanking you hear is media drum-banging and robots walking. While the robotics world is literally rocking industries from manufacturing to surgery -- as caregiving robotic technology, there is still nothing much in our time, Paro, Jibo, and other media magnets not withstanding, still on the drawing board or at a price point that only a grant-funded pilot could love. Stated convictions that robots will be here because 'we need them' -- are just that -- stated. As every single article about robots and caregiving has concluded for the past oh-so-many-years, these marvels are in the future and when the caregiving variants do finally arrive, will be accompanied by an interesting set of challenges. Like electric and self-driving cars, the concept precedes the reality of distribution and resellers, battery charging configuration, maintenance and repair processes, rent or buy? And actually, consumers put caregiving robots in the same skeptical category as Google Glass and drones, which means even if they were available, marketing may be a challenge. And while robots as a concept keep popping up in senior housing publications -- nothing much has happened beyond the talk and the concept. >>> Read more . . .
I, for one, am tiring of the Apple iWatch. And it is not even out yet. A Morgan Stanley analyst predicts that the $300 iWatch will sell between 30 and 60 million units, but wisely, like the 50-50 chance of rain, also notes 'there is a chance that the iWatch will fail.' Apple is bringing in multiple athletes to test the thing, including an unnamed player from the Red Sox (unnamed is probably for the best, these days.) So who will buy a $300 smart watch, will they leave their iPhone and their iPad home? What will they use to take a picture? Hopefully it will be of good quality and look less awkward than photographers holding up iPads to point and shoot. Though will we hold our wrist up before our eyes and look like we are blocking the sun? Out from our arm and look like we are signaling a left turn? >>> Read more . . .
What's new with startups in the boomer-senior market segments? We often note that the boomers have all the money. Yet they are not always the recipients of thoughtful product design or effective marketing strategy. But consider the media interest in the boomer-beyond topic, especially in the health-related segments -- where there's news, there's innovation. And where there's innovation, let's reflect on the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit in Santa Clara, a business plan competition and series of events organized by Mary Furlong and delivered at Santa Clara University. The tone of the event was energetic and entrepreneurs were eager to discuss their offerings and insights. Here are just a few of the companies that were present: >>> Read more . . .
Online -- the bad, the worse, and the ugly. We want 100% of older adults to have access to the Internet. It's a big place with lots of useful information, educational materials, loaded with discounts, pictures of family members from far away, and on and on. But who keeps up with recent, uh, upgrades? Please, to those of you helping folks with these tools, training and caution is required: >>> Read more . . .
Everyone wants to see more innovation in health care delivery. Not to miss the remote healthcare visitation party -- a relatively recent employee benefit -- Verizon just announced its new Virtual Visits platform, expanding medical access for patients who may wait " an average of 27 days for to schedule an appointment." That’s a 2010 statistic, in case you were wondering. By 2013 the average wait time was more like 18 days. But perhaps the wait time is beside the point – what if you don’t live or happen to be near a doctor? Would you use a remote visitation service? If you’re elderly, do you NEED a remote visitation service? Yes, perhaps. For some – it can enable access to a doctor’s advice without the hassle of traveling to the office. But does it matter if the oldest adults would not benefit - what if only 34% of those aged 75-79 and 20% of the 80+ seniors have access to broadband? No remote visitation for them. >>> Read more . . .
PERS devices and wearables – what will bring them together? Now that the Washington Post has declared that Apple and Google will solve our health problems, aren’t you relieved? Oh, you’re a bit concerned about your privacy, the fact that all of your outside-of-Facebook web searches are by default accessible to Facebook – that you have to opt out on a completely separate website in order to terminate tracking of this activity? As you wander around Google, Yahoo or through iTunes, your searches about health topics, those are all now relevant for advertisers as provided by Facebook! And extra-special, what do you think about the fact that Apple lobbied away any need for FDA approval for anything health-related? Feeling safely healthy now? >>> Read more . . .
What's new and tech-related for helping older adults? Every few months this site attempts to sweep up and refresh a few of the announcements about technology in the market that can be helpful both to older adults and to those that care for them. These five announcements meet the criteria older adults remain safe, healthy, secure, and well-connected in their homes of choice. The information in this list (alphabetical order) comes directly from the websites of the individual companies themselves and includes: >>> Read more . . .
Seriously – are people aging? Rant on. Yesterday's WSJ article on technology was so Groundhog Day. But it must have shocked the Wall Street Journal reader – 72 million Americans will be 65 and older by 2030! Well, actually, those are the Wall Street Journal readers: average age of 57 today – who will be 73 by 2030. So we’re not talking about Grandma, sports fans. The excitement? Technologies for a concept called 'Aging in Place.' Well, maybe it’s not all that new. Scientists at universities – where else – are 'sparked on a quest' to research technologies to help people get help in their homes if they fall, since it turns out that 1 in 3 seniors age 65 fall each year. Actually, when it comes to falling and injury like hip fracture, it’s those WSJ readers who will be over the age of 75 by 2030 who will be at risk of falling. They want alternatives to 'wearable alarms' and web cameras – which, according to the article, are so…yesterday. The 'new' technology incorporates – get ready – radar (Villanova research), motion sensors, and cameras. Ah, but really, it looks like they were all around, yesterday. >>> Read more . . .
Software is smarter – maybe piecemeal hardware will be just a memory. What if devices were marketed just like paint color palettes? You know, those strips of colors that go well together, samples you can easily assemble as examples of how the trim will look with the walls and the color of the doors? What if you had the same experience buying a device in the store or online – and the items that went together were presented as selectable – beyond just memory and storage? >>> Read more . . .
Smartphones – no buyers left? In February, the lack of 'innovation in the Samsung Galaxy S5' revealed to a Forbes writer that this points to saturation of the smartphone market. What is 'saturation'? Turns out it doesn’t mean that everyone has bought a smartphone, just that the era of double-digit growth rates may have ended. (Now we know that bank savings interest rates must be 'saturated.') Or not, a few months later, sales of the S5 are good and globally helping Samsung 'regain momentum'. Did they ever lose market share? Only IDC knows for sure. >>> Read more . . .