Blogs

Do free tools like Twitter, Google, and Facebook freely communicate new rules?

Online -- the bad, the worse, and the ugly.  We want 100% of older adults to have access to the Internet.  It's a big place with lots of useful information, educational materials, loaded with discounts, pictures of family members from far away, and on and on.  But who keeps up with recent, uh, upgrades? Please, to those of you helping folks with these tools, training and caution is required: >>> Read more . . .

Do health innovators think about the oldest adults?

Everyone wants to see more innovation in health care delivery.  Not to miss the remote healthcare visitation party -- a relatively recent employee benefit -- Verizon just announced its new Virtual Visits platform, expanding medical access for patients who may wait " an average of 27 days for to schedule an appointment." That’s a 2010 statistic, in case you were wondering. By 2013 the average wait time was more like 18 days. But perhaps the wait time is beside the point – what if you don’t live or happen to be near a doctor?  Would you use a remote visitation service? If you’re elderly, do you NEED a remote visitation service? Yes, perhaps. For some – it can enable access to a doctor’s advice without the hassle of traveling to the office. But does it matter if the oldest adults would not benefit - what if only 34% of those aged 75-79 and 20% of the 80+ seniors have access to broadband? No remote visitation for them. >>> Read more . . .

The ideal wearable for seniors – why not a much-modified PERS?

PERS devices and wearables – what will bring them together? Now that the Washington Post has declared that Apple and Google will solve our health problems, aren’t you relieved? Oh, you’re a bit concerned about your privacy, the fact that all of your outside-of-Facebook web searches are by default accessible to Facebook – that you have to opt out on a completely separate website in order to terminate tracking of this activity?  As you wander around Google, Yahoo or through iTunes, your searches about health topics, those are all now relevant for advertisers as provided by Facebook!  And extra-special, what do you think about the fact that Apple lobbied away any need for FDA approval for anything health-related? Feeling safely healthy now? >>> Read more . . .

Five New Technologies for Aging in Place - March - June, 2014

What's new and tech-related for helping older adults? Every few months this site attempts to sweep up and refresh a few of the announcements about technology in the market that can be helpful both to older adults and to those that care for them. These five announcements meet the criteria older adults remain safe, healthy, secure, and well-connected in their homes of choice. The information in this list (alphabetical order) comes directly from the websites of the individual companies themselves and includes: >>> Read more . . .

In the Technology Lab for Seniors, User Adoption Doesn’t Matter

Seriously – are people aging? Rant on. Yesterday's WSJ article on technology was so Groundhog Day. But it must have shocked the Wall Street Journal reader – 72 million Americans will be 65 and older by 2030!  Well, actually, those are the Wall Street Journal readers: average age of 57 today – who will be 73 by 2030. So we’re not talking about Grandma, sports fans. The excitement? Technologies for a concept called 'Aging in Place.'  Well, maybe it’s not all that new. Scientists at universities – where else – are 'sparked on a quest' to research technologies to help people get help in their homes if they fall, since  it turns out that 1 in 3 seniors age 65 fall each year.  Actually, when it comes to falling and injury like hip fracture, it’s those WSJ readers who will be over the age of 75 by 2030 who will be at risk of falling. They want alternatives to 'wearable alarms' and web cameras – which, according to the article, are so…yesterday.  The 'new' technology incorporates – get ready – radar (Villanova research), motion sensors, and cameras. Ah, but really, it looks like they were all around, yesterday. >>> Read more . . .

What if palettes of ready-to-run technology became the norm?

Software is smarter – maybe piecemeal hardware will be just a memory. What if devices were marketed just like paint color palettes? You know, those strips of colors that go well together, samples you can easily assemble as examples of how the trim will look with the walls and the color of the doors? What if you had the same experience buying a device in the store or online – and the items that went together were presented as selectable – beyond just memory and storage? >>> Read more . . .

When tech market growth slows, vendors become desperate

Smartphones – no buyers left?   In February, the lack of 'innovation in the Samsung Galaxy S5' revealed to a Forbes writer that this points to saturation of the smartphone market.  What is 'saturation'?  Turns out it doesn’t mean that everyone has bought a smartphone, just that the era of double-digit growth rates may have ended.  (Now we know that bank savings interest rates must be 'saturated.') Or not, a few months later, sales of the S5 are good and globally helping Samsung 'regain momentum'.  Did they ever lose market share?  Only IDC knows for sure. >>> Read more . . .

Technology for seniors – many surveys, what can we learn?

There is a survey echo in here.  Rant on. In listening to a presentation yesterday, I was struck by the similarity of the content between what older adults want from technology (now), what an older version of responders told the Linkage Technology Survey of 2011, versus Healthy@Home 2008 versus...pick a survey, any survey. Older adults aged 60 and beyond, including the 75+ age range that previous posts have designated as the Real Senior, want to stay in their own home.  Okay.  They are interested in some technologies that would be enablers. Okay. They perceive those technologies that they do not yet have as possibly too costly. Developers are concerned about building technology into new homes for fear of it becoming obsolete.  In conclusion, older adults appear to be unaware of the technologies that could be enablers for remaining longer in their homes -- and they will not remodel specifically to get them. >>> Read more . . .

Launching your boomer/senior, health tech product in 2014

Don’t quit your day job just yet – do the homework first.  Starting a new company in the boomer/senior, mHealth/Digital Health tech space? I hear fairly regularly from those who have this intent.  Maybe they have a prototype they have created. When I don’t hear first, sometimes I catch who they are through the modern-day miracle of Google Alerts. So maybe we chat, maybe I take a look at a website, learn how they are going about getting their funding, and I ask if they know about products that may be similar to what they are doing.  Or have they browsed online catalogs, or spoken to non-profits (if that is one of the target audiences).  Have they studied market sizings and surveys from Nielsen to Pew to the exuberant Semico Research? And so on.  So here’s an updated set of advice for the pre-early stage: >>> Read more . . .

Health-related smartphone apps -- not ready for prime time

Our smartphones, ourselves – are they useful for managing our own health? In 2009, Eric Topol, the wireless health medical prognosticator, noted that 'we would soon use our smart phones to monitor our chronic conditions.'  Well, maybe – it all depends on what he meant by 'soon.' App developers are obviously struggling to identify a) an app that is useful and b) who the cohort is that would use it. Should you count recording weight, keeping food logs and tracking exercise as 'monitoring' a chronic condition?  It might be more useful to put a smartphone in your pocket (assuming it fits) than to get a grip on another wearable but easily-lost small device. Take a look at the wearable band market and non-usage by the 55+.   Note the easily-lost Fitbit (my sister has lost 3, I have long lost 2) in this Verizon Boomer Voice blog.   >>> Read more . . .

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