HIMSS in Chicago - a finger on the pulse of health tech innovation, not health care.
Senior computers -- not so many winners. Over the past few years, several attempts at creating a 'Senior' computer have been tried, including as noted a pricey Senior PC partnership between HP and Microsoft, the thin-client GO Computer from MyGait, sold through FirstSTREET, which is not extensible -- what you get is what you get, and as a few frustrated comments on the blog post indicate, it's not to everyone's liking when it is time to add devices or additional software. >>> Read more . . .
This rant is not about technology - it's about communicating. In one short week, we have read about a doctor who refused to turn off a pacemaker in a frail and demented man ('it would be like putting a pillow over his head') -- at the request of his wife who was falling apart caring for him. We have learned that doctors now recognize hospital-stay induced delirium among the elderly -- and (wow!) even see that it can lead to dementia or death. And we read an AARP Bulletin 'human interest' story about a woman who escaped from a nursing home, where she had been placed after discharge from a hospital. >>> Read more . . .
When boomers age, tech talks, but VCs are elsewhere. At the SCU Boomer Business Summit, Intel Capital finalist judge, Nancy Kamei, tossed the bucket of cold water onto an audience of entrepreneurs dreaming of VC investors -- she said she and her peers agree that this is the worst of times, the worst investing climate in 22 years. And maybe that is true for those who would seek venture capital to fund their startup. But as the first of the baby boomers turns 65 next year, it hasn't escaped the largest organizations that it is time to think about the intersection of technology, baby boomer aging, and caregiving. Or maybe the iPad has awakened new hope for computer vendors and Internet users. >>> Read more . . .
Pricing matters -- and for senior-housing sales, it's unrealistic. Looking forward today to the Boomer Venture Summit event here in California, where the sun is shining and the San Jose airport is filled with signs of tech this, enterprise that. But I have also heard this week about stalled deployments of tech projects in the non-profit senior housing sector due to low occupancy, confirmed in this May 28 investor report. >>> Read more . . .
Glass half full -- or half empty? Surprise! This new AARP study about Social Media and the Internet overrides previous assumptions about the 50-64 age range and comfort level with the Internet. Let's count just 40% of boomers as a fit with that description:17% indicate they are extremely comfortable and 23% are very comfortable. Only 26% access the Internet via a laptop and only 4% through smart phones or cell phones -- 57% use a desktop computer. Only 27% are using social media sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter -- dominated by Facebook. >>> Read more . . .
Last month I mentioned three new caregiving applications that entered the market recently -- this month, a summary list of other interesting products that have entered the market in recent (roughly the past 6) months, presented in alphabetical order. A number of products are expected to announce in the next few months -- expect another post when there's at least six more. >>> Read more . . .
Big conference, lots of empathy and caring. It's been a while since I attended an event exclusively focused on Alzheimer's -- I wondered if the curiosity about technology potential I encounter at so many other events would be duplicated. The 2010 Alzheimer's Educational Conference in West Palm Beach kicked off yesterday -- attended by professionals and caregivers, exhibit hall filled with senior housing offers (dementia units, respite), hospice and home care agencies, educational programs, local resellers, elder law services, and research programs. The two morning keynotes typified the tone and the theme: Dr. Thomas Kodadek of the Scripps Research Institute talked in great molecular detail about a 'promising' new test for Alzheimer's, and Dr. Louis Benson gave an exhausting and lengthy speech about how to sustain your positive energy in the face of caregiving stress. >>> Read more . . .
Lots of detail about the under-65 crowd. We are a society so consumed by age bracketing and labels, you'd think there was enough data to meet all the needs of marketers. We have Generation X and Y/Millennials ("What, me worry?"), or Young, Middle, and Older Boomers. We know whether they love their iPhone or their BlackBerry, and whether they signal the end of voice calling capability because texting is the beginning, the middle, and the end of their cell phone use. And today's WSJ helped us understand that a 35-year-old could have the arteries of an 80-year-old. >>> Read more . . .
Another week, this time a look at the future of healthy aging. Yesterday kicked off the first of a two-year Think Tank initiative sponsored by Philips through its Center for Health and Well-Being. The purpose of this Think Tank is to consider and flesh out ideas about what it means globally to age successfully -- with implications about future requirements for policy, health systems, and technology use. >>> Read more . . .
Older Americans -- so lucky to have their own month. And the merry month of May has been as hyped up as any: judging by the 4.6 million items that popped up with a Google Search ("Older Americans Month May 2010"). From a Presidential proclamation to an AoA standardized template for creating your own community version, we can rejoice that so much attention has been paid to encouraging us to honor those 60 and older to "Age Strong! Live Long!" But you heard me, 60 and older! On the one hand, it is a good thing every day to find a way to honor the frailest and most isolated -- not just for a month. But beginning at age 60?