Blogs

Configuring the baseline of activity for older adults

Less movement and non-movement matter.  The Washington Post ran an article recently about GreatCall's partnership with an AI company so that patterns and changes in behavior could be reported to family members from its wearable PERS device.  Of course, tracking and reporting about changes from baselines -- that's nothing new for sensor-based home monitoring systems.   But it is a surprisingly big deal in the PERS industry -- where even those who once supported pattern-detecting big ideas dropped them like a hot rock -- in favor of the transactional PERS world -- press the button and someone will come.   The most radical changes in that industry over five years, fall detection and GPS tracking, have still been transactional -- Mrs. Smith, we are responding, are you okay? -- versus, I'm Mrs. Smith's device, and based on her behavior changes, she is not okay. >>> Read more . . .

While we were sleeping -- the kingdom of our data was lost

I quit Facebook and life, such as it was, went on.  I quit because its business tactics were becoming ever so more UnFriendly-like -- from experiments with the product of us to selling your browsing history to selling your facial profile to advertisers. Then over to tracking your TV-watching habits and listening to voices on your mobile device, Facebook will soon opt into your health information -- thus forcing more privacy Opt-Outs. So time without Facebook slowly passed, then the 14-day post-deletion period -- are you sure, sure, sure? You can still re-activate! -- that grace period came and quietly went. No one, myself included, noticed my disappearance on that day. I did not request my archive of 7+ years of posts, I did not write down a list of those 300 or so folks that I had 'friended' over the years, apparently an average number for all users, and I did not note the businesses that had requested that I Like them. Without a glance back, I left all those pictures of just-cooked or about-to-be-eaten meals, graduation pictures of people I no longer knew (and thus probably don't really Like all that much), timelines, new feeds, and even groups, including alumni of gone companies from my many gone jobs. But I am not the only one departing -- looks like some younger people are getting out too. >>> Read more . . .

Five Recent Technology Introductions for Seniors

Independa Announced AnyTVCompanion.  "Independa's integrated CloudCare meets the needs of all individuals in the care ecosystem, from the resident, to the organization and professional caregivers, to personal caregivers. With customizable modules spanning all care and residential settings, from community engagement to social engagement to integrated monitoring, Independa offers unique features across the care continuum, from independent living at home or in a community, to continuing care at home, to assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation and a nursing home. Residents effortlessly access the software through the most familiar and most used device in their lives, their TV -- the new AnyTV Companion, works with any HDMI-enabled TV currently in place." Learn more at Independa.com. >>> Read more . . .

The fallacy of age as a predictor of future Digital Health adoption

Today's older adults will not get a 'check engine light for their body.' Investors in innovation worry when utilization of technology doesn't match hyper-hysterical investment pace.  So it is with Digital Health. Buried beneath broad and unclear definitions, how about that 'check engine light' metaphor -- reset it yourself, go ahead! Vague and hyper-funded, Digital Health, says Startup Health, received up to $5 billion investment just in 2014. Still there's bit of whining about startups starting but users not adopting. So what's the solution?  Don't critique investment decisions, bad product ideas and those dual dilemmas of doctor and patient disinterest.  See VC Tom Rodgers push the predicted adoption date out another 15-20 years and at the same time criticize the non-tech literacy of the old and sick of today. Says he: Digital Health will go mainstream when millennials are older and sicker. >>> Read more . . .

Doctors limit US expansion of telehealth -- but the VA knows the value

The VA continues to "set the telehealth table." That line is from 2010 when the VHA's telehealth pioneer Adam Darkins observed: "“The patients have to do less travel, and they can get problems resolved quickly.… They feel the care coordination system is their lifeline." The program was cited as having 43,000 Veterans enrolled with a long road ahead. Fast forward to 2014 -- the VA's Telehealth program served 690,000 veterans in its most recent fiscal year, or 12% of all veterans. And the long-term study of members of the Geisinger Health Plan showed a 44% reduction in readmission rates of those monitored in a 4-year telehealth study. >>> Read more . . .

Silicon Valley VCs ignore older adults -- true or false?

Start with the premise -- Silicon Valley VC firms matter for entrepreneur success.  Is this true? And especially, is it true for early stage companies, with founders that are known to VCs; or do angel investors or startup money from friends and family matter more? Instead of speculating, consider the leading Silicon Valley VC firms -- and examine their online featured list of investments. Note mention in this article that the venture 'industry has gone back to its IT- and IT-enabled services roots.' So let's take a look at their historical successes. Sequoia Capital -- health-related investments are disease oriented, big hits include LinkedIn, PayPal, Instagram, Kayak, and eHarmony. For sure, the full list contains many useful tools for people of all ages, but unless we're talking diabetes and glucometers, nothing much that is age-related for seniors.   >>> Read more . . .

There they go again -- the media sneers about 'Grandma' and technology

Fast Company marks a trend -- let's stereotype older adults as Grandma.  Rant on. The latest article title was the last straw. Undoubtedly, as with the others, it was selected by young headline writers: "…the next hot market for wearable tech -- Grandma." Never mind that much of the tech wasn't wearable -- this one pushed me over the edge. So I looked around for other examples because I have seen it so many times -- there was the Huffington Post, 'reconstructing Grandma' and Amazon -- 'Grandma Talks Tech (baby boomers take to iPads too!)'. And Popular Mechanics -- 'smart tech will take care of Grandma.' >>> Read more . . .

Five offerings for technology for aging in place -- Not startups -- Sept-October 2014

Startup mania is one thing -- but bigger companies like tech too.  AARP has a Longevity Network to encourage startups and an updated market overview report --  and funds are blossoming -- see Linkage Ventures and Aging 2.0. Then there's the StartUp Health billions and billions, and RockHealth (more billions) -- yada yada yada.  With all of that money flowing and hype flowering around startup wannabes, who knows what other incubators, accelerators, and motivators in 2015 are ahead? The new year starts off at CES in Las Vegas -- will it bring new companies to light that are focused on seniors? Meanwhile way back here in what's left of 2014, a number of firms that are NOT startups by any definition have recently announced new offerings -- each of these acknowledges and encourages seniors to use cell phone, tablet, and smartphone technology today.  List is alphabetical, and all content is taken from press announcements and/or the organizations' own websites.   >>> Read more . . .

Fall detection -- a look back -- much innovation but little impact

First the good news -- life expectancy is up.  So as boomers cross the 65-year-marker at 8000 per day, 10,000 per day, or whatever, they just received some good news, for a change, from the CDC.  Life expectancy has inched up. A woman who is 65 today can expect to live an average of 21 more years (to age 86), and a man at 65 has an average life expectancy of 18 more years (to age 83). Note that these are averages and that the averages include those with chronic diseases. That average includes the nearly 26% likelihood of diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed) -- and that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US  and that heart disease is the number one cause of death among women and ditto for men.  Thus life expectancy outside of those conditions is most certainly far longer. >>> Read more . . .

Is Malware a big problem? Yes -- and we are the solution

Proliferation of device types is also proliferating malware.  159.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (66.8 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in January 2014, 51% were Android devices, 41.6% were Apple iOS and rest were 'other'.  There were 70 million tablets in the USA around then as well, 51% Apple, and 40% Android. Both device types are of interest to the malware hacking communities. Researchers at Georgia Tech showed how to hack an iPhone in 60 seconds, removing the Facebook app and replacing it with an imposter. >>> Read more . . .

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