What one new technology product do you think would be the biggest help to older people?
What do we mean by senior? Well, it depends on where you stand and what you are reading. Seen through the Google Glassy lens of young adults, it’s everyone aged 50+, that is, the AARP market demographic, who might be considered a senior. Or perhaps it is age 65, when Medicare eligibility and public transit discounts appear. Age 65 is also the statistical baseline for longevity projections – 20 more years of life expectancy, with one in four projected to live past 90. Now mull over a new Pew global survey about attitudes on aging -- the US stood out as "one of very few countries where a large plurality of the public believes individuals are primarily responsible for their own well-being in old age." Consider that point and read on. >>> Read more . . .
How do elderly patients and their caregivers leave the hospital? Apparently with reams of paper that include post-hospital care instructions and medication lists. In addition, a patient receives detailed verbal instructions from a nurse, perhaps for wound care, plus reminders to follow up with the doctor. Note the 'best practice' outlined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality -- more paper. Yet in the age of smartphone adoption by boomers – more than half of Pew responders were in the 35-44 age range, 39% were 55-64 – something seems odd about this document-intensive process. Consider a scenario in which an elderly person is going home, driven by a family member, or perhaps they are going to a rehab facility/nursing home. >>> Read more . . .
Unable to leave well enough alone – it’s UPGRADE time! Rant on. Perhaps you were one of those who just encountered Samsung/Verizon's pushed Android 4.3 – charmingly tagged 'Jelly Bean' --last week? You stared at the message 'Accept Upgrade Now' and murmured to yourself, how bad can it be? Ah, stupid. Multiple problems. Should have read the forums – something your average consumer does not do. If you did, it would not be reassuring, believe me. Verizon – the only direct and very well-paid participant in this fiasco -- reacted with their usual aplomb: Maybe the customer will shut up if we just send them another phone. >>> Read more . . .
A long holiday stretch ends. No, I’m not talking about Christmas decorations in shopping malls. The media frenzy that was CES 2014 may soon wane away, although post mortems and predictions persist. So let’s review: there were Silvers Summit exhibitors (6) and then there was Digital Health (77). For CES health-related overall, count 170 per Mobile Health News – and that includes "e-Cigarette makers that categorized themselves as Digital Health." See one of a few cynical posts – where we can find a new word -- track-a-holism -- and a new slogan -- "sitting is the new smoking." But in the Digital Health exhibit list, note the presence of GrandCare and Independa – two long-standing players in what could have been categorized at a different event as senior technology. >>> Read more . . .
Last year, CES in Pajamas, this year CES from the kitchen. Everyone who is anyone in the tech world wants to be at CES…well, almost everyone. Remember a 2012 health tech article called CES in Pajamas? Check out TelecareAware's analysis of write-ups in The CES of Health or MDDI's note about Aging in Place. And this year, the Forbes article, I, Robot Journalist: Beaming into CES 2014 was a great use of the Beam (from Suitable Technologies) telepresence device, "a motorized stand that looks like an iPad glued to a Segway." The Forbes writer 'wanders' around the International CES show and sort-of elbows her robotic way around to view various booths. The CEO of Suitable Technologies wants to see 10,000 Beams at CES 2015. Let’s try to imagine that scene -- I bet CES introduces a Beam registration limit to minimize violence on the show floor. (Seriously, Yyou read it here first.) >>> Read more . . .
Do designers of new products seriously consider ease of use? As the December buying frenzy fizzles, we are often reminded that 70% of the US economy is driven by consumer spending. We are not reminded too often about the Longevity Economy -- that 90+ million people are 50+, have most of the money, own most of the homes and cars, and thus buy the most of everything, including technology. And even the growth of social media shifts older - the fastest growing segment of Facebook users are aged 65+, Facebook has apparently saturated and/or bored teenager segments who have moved on, at least for now, to other stuff. So as some of you head off to CES exhibit halls this coming week, please consider the product user interface of what you see. Look at the TV, 'white hot' wearables, fitness devices, car tech, the ironically-titled not-so-smart phones, tablets, the health apps that apparently will eclipse the TVs. Count the demos you see of products you could characterize as simple, elegant, easy-to-use designs for all ages, including those who need to put on their reading glasses to read the manual or the 70% of adults who suffer eye strain peering at their devices. >>> Read more . . .
2013 was a year in which issues percolated all around the world of older adults – health insurance and Medicare media interest dominated, but senior housing also made the news, caregiving received some exposure, and new tech to mitigate hearing and vision loss emerged. In terms of trends that could, would, and should impact the technology worlds of older adults, much has happened and more is ahead. From specific initiatives to government policy implications, the markets (money, innovation, and consumer interest) show signs of aligning in ways that can only benefit boomers and seniors. Here are trends that signal change: >>> Read more . . .
One word to describe 2013 -- mobile. Like the word "plastics" in The Graduate, if you asked investors what made them empty their piggy banks in 2013, this was the year of the Mobile Self. If it is smartphone-like and/or moves with you on your body, to mangle Arnold Schwarzenegger, why not invest a billion or so. But a not-so-subtle change also marked the year -- what was once mHealth has migrated to become healthcare (maybe because those downloaded apps were a bust) and then Health IT by the end of the year. Health IT is where the real budget and money are. To date, no one has figured out how to make money off smart phone apps except smart phone new-every-two carriers. In that light, here are the most read blog posts from 2013: >>> Read more . . .
Senior housing organization set a survey baseline that worries leaders. At a 2011 presentation at LeadingAge’s conference in DC, not long after the organization dropped the AAHSA moniker, a technology adoption survey was presented and prefaced with an apology about the low (18%) participation rate in the survey. A month later, the organization published a series of case studies about early adopters ("Pioneers in the field") -- several of them presented at that LeadingAge conference. Okay – these were tech enthusiasts -- the Evangelical Homes of Michigan stood out then and does even now -- but overall, not too much was happening at the time. >>> Read more . . .
Ice, snow and healthcare at your fingertips. The mHealth Summit was acquired by HIMSS in February 2012. The summit was billed at that time as "the largest gathering focused solely on the intersection of health and mobile information technology." This year, the glossy for the mHealth Summit event was subtitled "Healthcare at your Fingertips" – a play on the mobile health device innovation and investment hype. During an icy and snowy few days, there was the usual gnashing of teeth about whether mobile healthcare delivery is a broadly adopted reality and will really be at your fingertips any time soon. The conference tackled some thorny global issues – obstetrics and women in developing countries, new ventures/investment and helping developers think about wireless innovation. Surprise -- the event had at least three scheduled sessions (Yayyy!!!) about older adults, aging in place, and the presence/absence of apps for seniors. >>> Read more . . .