February 2013

What types of firms enable technology innovation for older adults?

For engineers and visionaries – a grandmother inspires. I hear it so often – the entrepreneur’s grandmother, father, mother inspired the inventor to move forward with inventions – that includes long-time players like GrandCare Systems, It’s Never Too Late (IN2L) or Eric Dishman and Intel -- good examples – but it also includes brand new entrants like myLively and Serality. Or an inspired and wealthy founder with a long history of entrepreneurship and business tries something new – GreatCall (from the telecom industry) and now CareZone, founded by an ex-Sun executive. >>> Read more . . .

Hackers heaven - Our devices and software humiliate us

The Chinese military wants to get inside the Times and your devices. Never mind the NY Times – for your own good, don’t open that PDF. A wide variety of hackers want access to our individual computers, tablets, and phones – even Apple and Facebook are not immune. We walk into an office products or computer store and our enthusiasm for the latest gadget is limitless -- they must be fast enough to view video or to surf bloated websites. So we watch a demo and walk out of the store hundreds of dollars lighter. If the sales rep doesn’t tell us what to buy (extra set-up, patches and updates, virus protection software) and we don’t know any better, we arrive home with our virus-ready, hacker-friendly technology, all set to make us look like idiots to our contacts and colleagues as we send fake emails and phony porn links. >>> Read more . . .

Five New Technologies for Aging in Place

Some of these were threaded into the announcements from CES collections, but here is a recap from the companies' recent incoming missives, these five bring this site up to date. All information, is, minus a drop or two of hyperbole, from the vendor websites and releases:

Ambio Remote Health Monitoring System announced.  Announced at CES, the system monitors weight, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels, and was built from the ground up to meet the needs of patients, their families, and healthcare and managed care providers.Ambio Health products assist people with chronic diseases in managing their health, and also enables those who want to "age in place" remain independent. The products automatically record vital sign readings (glucose, blood pressure, weight, etc.) on a health portal and provide tools for members and their care circle to help them stay healthy.. For more information, visit www.ambiohealth.com. >>> Read more . . .

We the people are losing the user interface design war

The car -- the pointer doesn’t point. I have ranted for a long time that because something can be designed, it probably will. Do we need it? Do we want it? Not necessarily. The Wall Street Journal’s Dan Neil describes the new man-machine interface in the Lexus RX 350 F Sport -- the MMI (how cute), a car’s User Interface (UI, or UX/user experience design). His beef is with what sounds like a design-because-it-can-be Remote Touch Controller. He finds it difficult to aim the ‘cursor’ (no back arrow, just a menu selection) to manipulate a menu to back up the selections on an 8-inch LCD display. In a car?? Didn’t AARP say that boomers and beyond have all the spending power?  Good thing, the tested model was $53,000. And isn’t 59 the average age of the Lexus buyer? >>> Read more . . .

Beware the hype, hope and crowd testing of health tech

mHealth -- is it a teaspoon to stem the tide of healthcare spending? So healthcare costs climb to 20% of GDP, and at the same time so climb market expectations and a boatload of silly stuff - like this latest -- crowd-testing of mHealth apps. Don't you love it?  Crowd testing for what flaws may be present in my step or calorie counting app of choice? What if 10 people test -- do we still release? But maybe low-cost or no-cost testing is the way to go. So many apps for wellness! What's a person to think who wants to be well and healthy or maybe an under-35-year-old tech wannabe who wants to be wealthy by getting some wellness crowd-sourced app funding? This new and over-hyped 'industry' of thousands of downloadable health and wellness apps (40,000 apps just in iTunes) must be, one supposes, good for the economy. Why? Entrepreneurship like this helps software developers maintain optimism even in the face of other sour economic indicators. >>> Read more . . .