August 2008

Videophones and elders living alone

So one-third of elderly adults who live outside of institutions live alone. Many who live alone have no living children or see their children rarely. And 60 percent of those older than 75 years report being lonely. So says a textbook called “Aging: The Healthcare Challenge” by Carole Bernstein Lewis. So what about the videophone? Wouldn’t it make sense that there is a market in videophones for elders? >>> Read more . . .

When will a business make money at providing aging in place technologies?

I think the answer to this question is both simple and complicated — and the complicated part is why it is taking so long to see clear results.

Simple — when there is agreement about the urgency, payment model, and target audience among the triumvirate of category providers.

That’s where the complexity surfaces. We’re talking about Home-related industries (interior design, architect, building contractor), information technology providers (like Intel, Microsoft, Honeywell, Cisco), and the health care supply chain. >>> Read more . . .

Healthcare dimension — untapped potential

Forrester analyst Elizabeth Boehm just wrote last week about the Fifth Annual Healthcare Unbound Conference — her conclusion, that attendees are frustrated at the lack of market uptake on all of these cool new products, among them wearable diagnostic offerings (CardioNet). >>> Read more . . .

Let’s talk about robots - ready to help seniors?

I have to admit it, but iRobot’s Roomba is just the coolest thing to watch. I love how it circles around the same location over and over, how it plays a tune “Charge!” as it heads for its charging unit, and how clean it gets the areas it tackles. Fun for me — and my geek husband — who figured out where to place the sensors so it wouldn’t crash into my grand piano. And particularly appealing to have it run around under our bed, where we never push a vacuum cleaner. And from reading the reviews, it is endlessly interesting to cats and dogs. >>> Read more . . .

E-mail device — where are the vendors?

Today’s WSJ’s Mossberg column mentions a device, the only one on the market today, called the Mailbug, which is a text-only terminal for sending and receiving e-mail over a dial-up connection. Costing $125 plus $100/year service, it doesn’t permit exchange of photos (check out Presto and Celery) for that. >>> Read more . . .

When doctors do their jobs, the elderly fall less

Yuk. A study in today’s NY Times reports that percentage of elderly people who fall drops by 11% if the doctor actually asks them if they are prone to falls — then takes their blood pressure lying down and standing, treats it properly, and then reduces their other medication. How ironic that the doctor who did the study notes she can’t estimate the cost of this ‘prevention’ program because it ought to be part of standard care. Exactly. >>> Read more . . .