Technophiles should teach technophobes now

Some seniors are left out of the technology tsunami. According to the Pew Research latest numbers, 38% of those 65+ are using the Internet at home. Although it wasn't provided, let's assume that this percentage shrinks by age decade -- until you get down to the optimistic Evercare 100 at 100, with 21% of healthy centenarians admitting that they go online. But of course, this means that the vast majority are not using the Internet at home, or on their cell phones or at all. My take -- the older and frailer they are, the more they are missing out. >>> Read more . . .

MetLife -- Are boomers in the middle...of self-delusion?

Baby boomers born between 1952 and 1958 -- not getting old any time soon.  I've often thought that one end of the baby boomer age range has nothing in common with the other end.  Okay, that doesn't mean that it should be sub-divided into three groups.  But so it goes -- MetLife released its Boomers in the Middle report about the attitudes of this age range, individuals aged 52 to 58 during 2010.  They view themselves, not surprisingly, as healthy and describe 'old' as w-a-a-a-y-y-y out there in the future, when they turn 75 (oddly, age 77 for women and age 74 for men -- no doubt due to variations in life expectancy after age 50.) >>> Read more . . .

GE, Philips, Intel, Mayo Clinic: Why do this telehealth study again and again?

Everybody's doing it - reproving benefits of telehealth. When you put these together, you have to ask why.  What is the reason that large organizations don't cite previous studies rather than spend money to prove the same point? We're not talking about drug trials here, we are talking about telehealth monitoring, a technology that has been around for a decade at least, that has been studied and deployed, but not uniformly reimbursed (which is the real problem here). >>> Read more . . .

Effort beyond task

The dog days of February -- effort beyond task.  I was in a assisted living/nursing home last week and saw the same golden retriever dog (whose master is the ever-cheerful maintenance guy) and down another hall, a snoozing cat. Here's something I've not seen surveyed -- what percentage of senior housing organizations permit and even encourage pets on the premises and in the presence of seniors?  If you know the answer to this question, please contact me! I view the presence of a house pet (and not just the caged birds) as an indicator of effort beyond task -- making me hope that's true of every aspect. >>> Read more . . .

Our future mobile health opportunity, oversized and underdeployed

Apocalypse and opportunity -- the bet is that we're not going to age well.   Our favorite gloom-and-doom source, CNBC, has offered up today's Doomsday Boomer Prediction. Those boomers are going to be a healthcare nightmare: "They visit the doctor more, they consume more services, and they aren’t afraid to use their $7 trillion in collective wealth to improve their quality of life. From physical therapy, to cosmetic surgery, to the latest in life-saving technology, Boomers just aren’t built to grow old gracefully." So inventions of every type are being crafted to help us in our quest to fight this gracelessness and support us as we get old enough to really take that predicted 8% Medicare spending bite out of the GDP by 2035.  >>> Read more . . .

Pump up the boomer volume on tech hype

CNBC wants to believe boomers represent big business. Tom Brokaw says it is so about 'boomer$' -- in a book and a CNBC upcoming TV special. Since baby boomers are 'history's wealthiest and most influential generation', it must have made sense to send CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau chief Jim Goldman out to sniff out boomer tolerance for technology -- especially given the Microsoft-AARP 2009 conversational focus group study about Boomers and Technology (to sum that up -- boomers like technology, but want it to be more intuitive.) >>> Read more . . .

Can innovation push limits of traditional PERS?

Behold the persistence of PERS (Personal Emergency Response System). Like the little engine that could, this product category refuses to exit. Also called Medical Alarms, Medical Alerts and panic buttons, it is most recognizable as the fear-mongering "I've fallen and I can't get up" device. PERS has been around for decades, but has seen relatively little innovation over most of that time. Actually it's worse, when you think about it. The PERS market is saddled with consumers complaints about shady sales tactics (Life Alert), new market entrants with no understanding of seniors, and a widely disseminated worse-than-50% success rate at alerting after a fall, either as a result of the device not being worn or worn but not pressed. >>> Read more . . .

Connected Living Ambassadors of Tech

Outreach to link seniors and computers -- more needed.  Although there are multiple approaches to opening up the vast world of the Internet to seniors, rarely do they reach all the way into the home. These include the FloH Club (telephone service), senior centers or SeniorNet (center-based), online training programs (like Computer School For Seniors), or online tech support (crossloop.com). Consider bundled offerings like IN2L that provide access to seniors in senior housing -- or a la carte software like PointerWare.  All good, but none involve MyWay Village's Ambassador approach. >>> Read more . . .

Smoke signals and caregiving apps -- what should they do?

The year of the 'care'. As one VC executive, Andy Donner of Physic Ventures, noted recently, this is the year of the 'care'. There seems to be a growing list of vendors who are trying to offer some sort of 'keep in touch' product that connects an older person with family members who may live elsewhere.  The basic element is to provide some means to signal 'concerned about you' from family members and obtain the response 'I'm all right' from the older family member back to them -- accompanied by the ability to react in the event that the response is not received. >>> Read more . . .

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