Four Recent Technologies for Aging in Place - Sept 2013

Rounding up the recent technology launches – tech for older adults.  Catching up, here are few recent announcements from in-market companies.  A brief digression: I get a bit upset when I read about companies in the news that are  described as offering "SOLUTIONS" about products that are not ready, products for which they could be taking pre-orders, but basically there is nothing to buy. This is especially unfortunate in the category of PERS, where consumers expect a solution can address a fear of falling and being left alone. It is especially NOT okay for products that target the senior housing industry, where the residents may be very frail, where the companies are very cautious, and the industry is not known for leading with tech of any type, let alone one that is so new that it cannot be purchased.  So here are four new offerings – it is my belief/hope that all are available -- preventing a few others from being on the list. Content is from the vendors’ press information:

  • Essence Group Unveils Next Generation Emergency Response System. "With an advanced modular system, the addition of sensors (motion, smoke detectors, contact for cabinet or door, etc.) can provide daily activity reporting to professional monitoring services. Dissemination of valuable and reassuring information via mobile apps and Web-enabled devices can also be delivered to family members and caregivers with an added service level. The system’s communication platform is either configured with a traditional land line (PSTN) interface or uses a GSM communications channel protocol." Learn more at EssenceGroup.com.
  • Care Innovations RCM offers cloud-based remote patient monitoring. "The newest remote care management offering from Care Innovations™ is now FDA-cleared to take healthcare into the home and beyond via a web-based patient platform, while also offering tools to engage family caregivers. By eliminating the need for hardware, the Care Innovations™ Connect RCM (Remote Care Management) client application may reduce the cost of remote care deployments by as much as 50 percent compared to device-centric solutions available today. Health plans and providers will be able to offer a combination of the Connect RCM client application and the current Guide home-based device to their population, based on the computer proficiency of the user." Learn more at CareInnovations.com.
  • Coro Health mHealth App Suite. "Coro Health, LLC, a new media healthcare company, has launched a breakthrough suite of therapeutic music and spirituality mHealth apps for use by individuals as well as by professionals in a broad range of healthcare environments. The programs are available in the Apple iTunes store and offer free previews.  Says Coro Health CCO Leanne Flask: 'Our apps are the first to address the challenge of making therapeutic music as well as spiritual content personalized, accessible and affordable.'  The suite includes six apps, each targeted to a particular segment of the healthcare community."  Learn more at CoroHealth.com.
  • Jitterbug Touch 2 Smart Phone for seniors.  “Jitterbug Touch 2 is the latest version of GreatCall’s original simplified smartphone. With its custom, intuitive interface and advanced Android™ operating system, the Jitterbug Touch 2 is an ideal entry-level smartphone for people looking to transition from a basic feature phone. The new Jitterbug Touch 2 offers a customized, easy-to-use user interface, featuring the phone’s main functions organized in a single list format with large, legible letters. The home screen allows customers to access their favorite apps and contacts quickly, without wading through multiple screens and small icons. Yet the phone’s open environment provides full functionality and the ability to quickly connect to apps, websites and more.” Learn more at GreatCall.com.

Reaction to Jitterbug Marketing Campaign

The Jitterbug might be the right tool for some seniors, but does it makes assumptions about the limitations of seniors when it comes to operating new technology? I have heard from some tech savvy seniors who were a little offended by the phone's marketing strategy.

Next Generation?

I've read with skepticism the company that says they are providing the "next generation" of emergency response. That's total hogwash. There is nothing being offered which hasn't been available for AT LEAST the past 4 years. Thankfully, that marketing spin falls on deaf ears in the aging community (no pun intended.)

New to PERS

What about MPERS and fixed Cell PERS? I don't think they have been around for the Last 4 years!

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