Maybe certain tech for the elderly doesn't make sense.
Tangential to the talk: technology for an aging population. Looking through the agenda of the Connected Health Symposium in Boston, it's apparent in an agenda so densely packed with doctors (not to mention the attendees, with 26 just from Mass General Hospital) that this is not a conference about technology and aging (duh!). And that is despite the fact that the biggest patient dilemma for both the businesses and providers packing the rooms remains the aging and very old patients who fill their offices and hospital beds and run up the largest bills at end of life. Among the sponsors and exhibitors, these vendors stood out for me as important for serving an aging population. In alphabetical order: >>> Read more . . .
Different year, same dream, more hope. Connected Health Symposium in Boston sponsored by Partners Health Care had more than 1000 attendees and an optimistic tone following this past year's congressional investments in health care reform pilot programs that may include the use of telehealth-type technologies. If you were a new attendee with a pesky chronic condition, perhaps you would have been alarmed at the continuing (from previous years) discussions about what to do about you: 'nudge' via incentives or penalties toward healthier behaviors, overcome your underwhelming (10%) nationwide sign-up for personal health records, devise new ways to 'amp up' your compliance with doctor-prescribed regimens, argue whether your favorite social networks will get you to do what the doctor can't -- and above all, get your active participation in harnessing the ballooning cost of care. Lots of talk about payment reform from today's transactional and confounding fee for service to (deep breath): 'outcome-driven, quality-based, global payments through accountable care organizations.' I think that means charge less, pay less, get less of what today costs too much for too little in the way of results: >>> Read more . . .
When aging in place is out-of-place. Aging in place may not be for everyone, as the University of Florida's Stephen Golant noted: 48% of seniors spend more than half their income on housing -- 14% of the 75+ still have mortgages. Separated by distance from adult children, perhaps they suffer from isolation and poor health and other downsides that Dr. Golant spells out in some detail. He recommends that moving out of one's own home need not be viewed as a tragedy, suggesting options like NORCs or village approaches for shared services, moving in with family members, or moving to a smaller home or condo. >>> Read more . . .
Lots of 'health' invention. Next week I am going to Connected Health in Boston, where I will no doubt walk up and down aisles filled with medication management, chronic disease devices, and every type of tech to help doctors do a better job of care of their patients -- and presumably to help patients take better care of themselves. >>> Read more . . .
The Social Network -- an oh-so-modern tale. Who cares about Mark Zuckerberg? The new movie, "The Social Network" tries to make you care. It makes for a good viewing experience, a well-made movie that holds your interest throughout -- not so easy to do with camera shots of young, obnoxiously clueless nerds sitting in front of screens-full of code. It's the story of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and almost-youngest self-made billionaire (apparently one of his co-founders was 8 days younger). What a guy, at least as depicted -- sued by his best and apparently only friend, sneering at his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend online, and who may sue movie makers who placed him in a cynical spotlight. Eh, who cares? The central character/hero of the movie is Facebook itself, with its meteoric explosion from a university-network socializing tool to today's 500 million-and-beyond universal platform for helping everyone in the world share their private information and believe they are connected to something and somebodies -- and now, with ads too! >>> Read more . . .
Boomers everywhere. So there were 22,000+ attendees average age 62.8, according to AARP. They slogged around the mammouth Orange County Convention Center, stopping by exhibits only when they weren't a mile away (same building) listening to the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Larry King, Rob Reiner, Cesar Milan, Dave Barry, and Newt Gingrich. No question -- AARP puts on a great party. >>> Read more . . .
So if you think about an aging 'tsunami' -- doesn't it just make you think of mHealth and iPhones? Rant on. I was on a call yesterday about an upcoming 'caregiving' and technology event -- as the call proceeded, the topic turned toward low-cost mHealth applications, ubiquitious at a Price Waterhouse tolerance level of $5 per month. [Side note -- PWC doesn't like 'mHealth', so they have renamed it 'Healthcare Unwired']. This week's Health 2.0, next month's Connected Health, not to mention eHealth, telehealth, wireless health, healthcare unbound or unwired -- now that's a tsunami. Note the $2.2 billion of new investment into biotech, medical devices and health IT -- just in the 2nd quarter of this year. >>> Read more . . .
On the road again -- manage my expectations, please. Flying is a chore -- and like most passengers, I am amazed that airlines don't do a better job of managing our expectations, whether it is about level of service, delays, additional charges for exit row seats, or credit-card only on the plane. Of course, my expectations are less important than the fiercely competitive and simultaneously predatory airline landscape -- they can do what they like because they own the gates and schedule for many destinations. And of course, in situations where there is competition, the airlines play hopscotch, adding a new charge, waiting to see if the others add it as well -- a new surprise for the unsuspecting consumer.
In my travels, I continue to hear about new vendors, new product and service ideas, some just an entrepreneurial gleam in the eye, some pre-launch, some on the market. Hopefully those who haven't launched yet read and heed this previously-published advice -- now updated. And those already in the market, if your entrant doesn't reflect these updated suggestions, maybe it should: >>> Read more . . .
Nice goal, but how to age in place? In the pendulum swing of all 'aging in place' all the time, a murky target has been set, but the tactics are more like a meandering and treacherous hiking trail than a well-marked pathway. Some of us will pick up and leave for a more service-rich environment in advance of need, usually at an age or level of actual or anticipated limitations. But these service-rich environments, typically Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), represent a relatively small proportion of older age range of the 65+ population. And CCRC moves require sale of a house, downsizing of possessions, and a move that can be a traumatic change. In addition, these 'enclaves' (as described in a recent NY Times article) are not without financial issues. Certainly the word 'continuing' is a misnomer unless one counts a campus change to a smaller space for both person and possessions as not really moving. >>> Read more . . .