June 2009

Vendors: capitalize on boomer/senior age attitudes and broadband adoption

Not so surprising, and despite the Beatles and the under-30 set, the Pew generation gap study observes that for those in middle age, old age begins at 70, but that when you're over 64, you think old age begins at 74. Moreover, 60% of those over the age of 65 feel younger than their actual age. Cool. >>> Read more . . .

PERS device for mobile seniors -- or cell phone in the pocket? Go with the phone

So let's say you live in an isolated location, leave the house to go out to a garage or walk the dog, how useful is a PERS pendant or watch? I am not impressed with how forthcoming PERS vendors are with little details like how far from the base station the wearer can travel. Here's the big player, Philips Lifeline: "Works from anywhere in or around the home, including basement, garage and yard. [Note: Range may vary due to construction of your home and distance from the Lifeline Telephone or Basic Unit.]."  So what is that range, anyway? Not stated.

>>> Read more . . .

Communication about change matters more than the technology

A while ago I considered the question of monitoring a person (wearable devices) or monitoring the place in whcih someone resides (remote sensor-based monitoring). From that entry:  "Each requires someone to educate seniors on the role of the devices on or around them so that they can actively participate -- and opt in to the idea of being monitored." I am glad that I wrote that. Here's an example where that did not happen: >>> Read more . . .

firstSTREET and MyGait release the "GO" Computer -- Demystifying PC, service by seniors for seniors

At the 2009 Boomer Venture Summit event June 17, 2009, senior catalog company firstSTREET and partner MyGait announced the GO Computer -- described, quite confusingly, not on the First Street Online site, but on a separate The GO Computer site (in itself mystifying), as a landmark breakthrough. The description: a "failure-free and fear-free" computer especially conceived for and by seniors over an eight-year period of hands-on research at senior centers and assisted living communities around the country." >>> Read more . . .

Five intriguing vendors from the 2009 Boomer Venture Summit

Just wrapped up a fascinating day at the Boomer Venture Summit at Santa Clara University.  High point for me was listening to the top guru of the age-related media world, Ken Dychtwald -- who sees our future as a series of life cycle changes that marketers have yet to understand and correctly target -- not the least of which is the 'tipping point' of retirement (Huffington Post). >>> Read more . . .

Whew, so many dementia-avoiding activities, such uncertain result

I am exhausted thinking about my later years. So many studies -- it makes you breathless -- show a correlation between reduced incidence of dementia and certain behaviors. Do people who remain sharp choose these activities? Or do these activities help people remain sharp? Oops, sorry. Nobody really knows.

But as we anticipate the future, and newspapers capitalize on their and our impossible-to-calm fear of dementia, prepare to hustle. >>> Read more . . .

EMMA - Remote Medicaton Management by Pharmacy

The medication reminder world has had three tiers of product offerings -- telephone-based reminders, reminders linked to emergency response offerings, and electronic pillboxes. And medication errors, including those from incorrectly filling pillboxes, continue to be vexing. >>> Read more . . .

As funding for aging tech rises, are near-term solutions elusive?

Please tell me I am wrong. As the economy sinks, funding for health IT has grown -- and of course, the National Institute on Aging continues to fund research on global aging.  Meanwhile Intel researches and invests, along with GE, in sensor-based monitoring technology. But I am uneasy. >>> Read more . . .

Jitterbug J -- LiveNurse phone app tests the health care water

Jitterbug announced a new phone this past week -- the Jitterbug J -- that I find striking -- simply because of its newly announced LiveNurse capability, offered as an additional service. Base service rate plans have risen from $10/month to $14.99 (50 minutes).  The $147 phone (not cheap!) is Bluetooth compatible, sleeker looking, with a speaker for hands-free/headset use. >>> Read more . . .

Let's help seniors engage -- beyond social networking

It's a great move forward for seniors to connect to the Internet and find purpose in their lives, as this Times article describes.  The 14 hours a day spent on Eons and PoliceLink.com -- I guess that's good. >>> Read more . . .

Are these dimensions or drivers of home health technologies?

It's always hard to tell whether something is observation or insight (or just plain wrong). But I've done 13 interviews in the past few months about home health technologies, with vendors ranging from A (Advanced Warning Systems) to Z (Zume Life). I am beginning to see a pattern about product offerings that seems to have three dimensions. These may be related to product success long term -- cost, capital, clinician involvement. >>> Read more . . .