A not-so-complimentary NY Times hands-on review of the AARP RealPad.
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New and notable tech offerings, GCMs and Skype
Last month I mentioned three new caregiving applications that entered the market recently -- this month, a summary list of other interesting products that have entered the market in recent (roughly the past 6) months, presented in alphabetical order. A number of products are expected to announce in the next few months -- expect another post when there's at least six more.
ActiveCare (Activecare.com): Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, ActiveCare offers "The PAL (Personal Assistance Link) handset is part cell phone, GPS enabled geolocator, and emergency fall detector. A single button connects you to a CareSpecialist and the personal assistance provided by the CareCenter" that can also provide concierge-type services as needed. James Dalton, CEO.
AFrameDigital (Aframedigital.com): Based in Reston, VA, AFrame Digital developed its remote monitoring tech through National Institute on Aging and other grants. Recently it has begun commercial distribution of its watch-based product. "AFrame Digital is a research-based technology company delivering intelligent, non-intrusive and secure wireless wellness monitoring and alerting solutions to senior living communities, rehabilitation facilities and in the home." Cindy Crump, CEO.
Ankota Family Connect (Ankota.com): Ankota, Inc, based in Baltimore Maryland, just launched Family Connect, "an innovative software product that enables healthcare professionals and homecare agencies to provide real-time information to family members about their loved ones’ health and well-being, monitoring data such as activity level, state of mental health, daily routines, exercise, overall energy, eating habits and week-to-week changes." Will Hicklen, CEO & co-founder.
BeClose (Beclose.com): Wireless sensor-based activity monitoring from a company based in Vienna, VA. Described as "discreet, easy-to-install, wireless sensors are placed throughout the home to help you monitor your loved one’s daily activities. If the sensors detect unusual motion or inactivity, the information is communicated to a secure online center." The company is privately funded and a technology partner with Alarm.com. Liddy Manson, CEO.
HAPPYNeuron Countdown (Happy-neuron.com): In May, Mountain View, CA online brain fitness provider, HAPPYneuron, launched "its newest executive function game, Countdown, a math based game that engages working memory, long-term memory, mental imagery, and concentration. HAPPYneuron’s robust game collection delivers significant novelty and variety to the program and makes for more effective adaptive brain training workouts based on an individual's cognitive strengths and weaknesses." Laura Fay, CEO.
IDEAL LIFE and the iPad (Ideallifeonline.com): At last month's ATA event, Toronto-based IDEAL LIFE’s wireless remote health and wellness monitoring system unveiled its "universal mobile connectivity through compatibility with communication brands from Apple (including iPads) and AT&T to Verizon, Virgin Mobile and US Cellular." Harvey Goldberg, Co-Founder and CEO.
Lifeline with Auto Alert (Lifelinesys.com): In March, Andover, MA Philips Lifeline, provider of the Lifeline personal emergency response service (PERS), announced its augmented offering, Lifeline with Auto Alert, designed to "automatically place a call for help if it detects a fall and you're unable to push the button yourself." Eric Silfen, Chief Medical Officer.
Mobile Help: (Mobilehelpsys.com) Launched in January, Boca Raton, FL startup offered Mobile Help, that "integrates cellular and GPS technology to provide medical monitoring services and location tracking for emergency assistance to the user as well as notification and tracking for the caregiver." Elias Janetis, Founder and CEO.
Finally, a thought about GCMs and technology. Last week the Times New Old Age blog featured an interesting mention of a doctor consultation with a 100-year-old woman -- and her grandson, attending through Skype video, on a laptop provided by the accompanying geriatric care manager. Yeah, that's right, the GCM. It was a first for the doctor (no early adopter there), and no doubt it was a first for the patient and her grandson. The GCM is not identified by name, only her company, SeniorBridge.
Now here is the remarkable part from the post: "SeniorBridge, a national geriatric care management chain, has trained its care managers to connect patients and families with laptops and Skype, not only during doctors’ visits but for special events like birthday parties or just for everyday contact." Maybe it's just me, but this is the first time I have heard about an organization of GCMs considering a video interaction with families important enough to define a process and train care managers accordingly. Meanwhile, an entire issue of NAPGCM's Journal of Geriatric Care Management, edited by GCM Julie Menack, was devoted recently to technology (including an article by yours truly). I think we've turned a corner -- vendors take note.