Intel and AARP are offering help with a simple-to-use tablet.
How the mighty app has crumbled into a tiny, trashy bucket of bits. Yesterday I spent time wading through smart phone and tablet app descriptions that sounded like they are for caregivers on iTunes and the Google Play Store. That is, the word 'caregiver' could be found in the description. The reviewers and links of many of these so-called apps are revealing: "this app crashes my phone" or "server error" and other less printable descriptions forced me to move on. Looking for a link to a developer website? Hmmm. Are you looking for a phone # to call about a so-called service? There’s only a Contact Us Form – no e-mail address, no phone # -- really, what we mean is don't contact us -- we have no budget for answering e-mail or the phone. At the end of the day, a few were found that will be in the 2013 Market Overview published later this week on this website. These are firms that I believe are reachable, are not trashed in reviews and oh, they just might run on smart phones or tablets! >>> Read more . . .
Studies are the pre-requisite for product introduction and change. One of the conundrums of our society is that institutional change is typically made possible by the presence of studies cited to verify that the change should be made. These studies can demonstrate that a product is safe until it is proven otherwise. For example, studies of drug efficacy by drug companies (even with overstated favorable outcomes) are the basis of approval and introduction into the market; studies about automobile safety (funded by car manufacturers) have preceded introduction of safety features, and so on. Other studies about older adults, however, raise the question of whether studies are structured (or at least described in the press) to embark on proving that our common sense is, well, sensible. For example: >>> Read more . . .
Caregivers could see the future of mobile apps – and it came to pass. A few years ago, the National Alliance for Caregiving and United Health Group published a study, conducted during 2010, called the e-Connected Family Caregiver: Bringing Caregiving into the 21st Century, which surveyed family caregivers about their propensity to use any of 12 different technologies to help them with their caregiving responsibilities. The conclusion: "two-thirds of family caregivers who have used some form of technology to help them with caregiving believe web-based and mobile technologies designed to facilitate caregiving would be helpful to them." But as KHN noted below, it's the wild west for (40,000!) smart phone apps -- doctors are suggesting, but not yet prescribing apps for the e-Connected caregiver: >>> Read more . . .
Online searches – not always helpful -- underpin the caregiving role. The latest Pew research about health information and family caregivers reinforces what we know. Family caregivers search online for information to help them provide care. Information about medical problems, treatments and drug information top what they seek – and I bet they find. The Internet has become a 'neighborhood' for asking what might be difficult to ask your next door neighbor. In this online neighborhood, you find that others have symptoms like yours, experienced relief from medications or found a cheaper pharmacy. Yet these resources are not quite like the neighborhood of old: Given that 84% of family caregivers have gone online seeking information, only 59% of caregivers with Internet access indicate that online resources have helped them with caregiving, and only 52% indicated that they help with caregiving stress. >>> Read more . . .
Connecting through glass by older adults – forward, but slowly. The Pew numbers are out and offer confirmation that -- as consumer devices -- feature phones are nearly dead and laptops may be dying. But smart phone ownership among seniors is marginally up from the previous 13% – now 18% of the 570 surveyed adults aged 65+ and 39% of boomers aged 55-64. What’s different is the dominance of the device among younger adults – 55% of those aged 45-54 and 69% of those aged 35-44 have smart phones. Meanwhile tablet ownership among the 65+ has progressed to that same 18%. (Uh, could those be the same folks that own smart phones?) And tablet ownership, a newer category and less dominant than smart phones, fits an older crowd: 49% of adults aged 35-44 own one, and 38% of those aged 45-54 have them. >>> Read more . . .
For med management – are blister packs the state of the art? Recently I heard about a presentation in a senior housing provider family meeting that should not have surprised me. A pharmacy exec was presenting the benefits and savings of switching residents from pill bottles to blister packs - warning of the sizable penalties associated with continuing with labor-intensive pill bottles. Wal-Mart is deploying this cardboard packaging for a multi-drug regimen across 4600 stores. Medication management is a big issue for senior housing (AL and SNF) and there are state-by-state regulations for its proper oversight. But just like the presentation I heard about, is technology use for its dispensing and management considered? Perhaps seeing that, check out how Philips is bundling several technology-enabled services for senior housing organizations to deploy… in private homes, that is, for the folks who may never move in. >>> Read more . . .
Groundhog Day --the future resurfaces regularly. The UK media just discovered the granny pod, four years after a similar granny cottage concept appeared, And this new discovery comes three years after AARP discovered MedCottage, which AARP described as a portable alternative to nursing homes (seriously, folks?). Ditto on companion robots (including the ever-popular Paro) from the same UK article. Can you believe it? Companion robots are just around the corner, and the future is just ahead. Says the Financial Times writer: "People are living longer and the result, according to the UN, is that there will be two billion people aged over 60 worldwide by 2050." Let’s see, doth a projection 37 years from now a market make? Even if you buy that being over 60 constitutes a candidate customer for a MedCottage or companion robot (seriously?), it must be just too hard to find a number of how many would benefit today. That’s because caregiving robots of today are still in the experimental stage (even though nurses may prefer them to people). >>> Read more . . .
MetLife Mature Market Institute work is done. It’s been a bad year for losing the stalwart icons of life and thought. Car Talk stopped producing new shows because Tom and Ray had had enough and that means that all those Saturday shows are repeats. Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker) passed away. Then recently I received a note recently from Dr. John Migliaccio at the MetLife Mature Market Institute: “As of June 1st, 2013 the MetLife Mature Market Institute will cease to produce new research and materials, or have the MMI team available. MMI content will continue to be available for use on the MMI website for a period of time.” This is the MetLife that segmented the ridiculously broad boomer population into younger, middle and older boomers and produced that gut-wrenching report “Buddy Can you Spare a Job?” in 2009 about baby boomers looking for work. MMI sponsored Aging in Place 2.0 in 2010 that looked at the challenges to actually realizing the AARP responder vision of remaining in their home. >>> Read more . . .
Directory of tech offerings -- is there one? Are you often asked the question – where is the list of technology products for older adults – is there one Consumer Reports-like resource that reviews and will help me figure out what is available that could be useful for an aging relative or client? Unfortunately, there really isn’t one source, but there are some resources that could be useful – here is a getting-started list that you can feel free to augment with comments: >>> Read more . . .
May 30 marked the beginning of the AARP Life@50+ National Event in Las Vegas – and it also marks the results of the Health Innovation@50+ event sponsored by the Thought Leadership team led by Jody Holtzman at AARP. The finalists are noted below, with their descriptions drawn from the AARP website. Not noted are two firms, Lively and CareMerge, that we have described following the 2013 What’s Next Summit in Chicago. Here are the other eight finalists, all information is from the AARP site: >>> Read more . . .