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Five New Technologies from What's Next Summit 2013

What's next in tech for older adults. At the Aging in America 2013 event in Chicago last week, attended by more than 2000 professionals who serve older adults, there were several tracks within the large event, including the Business Forum on Aging, National Alliance of Caregiving Coalitions and for new entrants targeting the boomer/senior market, there was a chance to hear speakers and meet other entrepreneurs at the 10th Annual What's Next Boomer Business Summit 2013.  At the Summit, these startups were eager to meet with AARP executives, investors, and other players in the space (like GreatCall and Philips Home Healthcare).  So here are five of the new products/services from those in attendance -- listed alphabetically; all of the material comes from their own websites: >>> Read more . . .

The gap between real assisted living residents and what they need

We don’t see ourselves as aging with dementia – and neither did senior housing providers.  Chew on this thought from a senior housing strategist, who encourages providers to "look at entryways differently," Traci Bild says. "You often see a lot of furniture where people sleep in the lobby. Instead, make it a place where people can congregate to talk, rather than to sleep, by placing high top tables." Meanwhile, back at the reality ranch, where sitting at high-top tables, uh, may not work so well -- the average age of resident move-in to assisted living is now 87 -- says Allison Guthertz, Vice President, Quality Resident Services at Benchmark Senior Living: "These days when residents move in, they already need help with three to five activities of daily living (ADLs)." >>> Read more . . .

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 . . .

Ten Tips -- 2013 Guide for Launching a Product or Service

So you want to launch a boomer/senior, home health tech product or service. It’s a new year and a full year later – so it is time for a tune-up and to publish this guidance again. Perhaps some time soon, your new or existing company will officially launch a new product or service, or perhaps a long-awaited and much-described and long-anticipated offering will finally launch. So here is a checklist that continues to hold true – with a few links here and there as examples: >>> Read more . . .

Senior housing sensor adoption - more work needed

A ‘seismic shift’ or real slow crawl? In a recent article in Senior Housing News, the article opined that sensor based home monitoring was going to become widespread and ubiquitous over the next few years in senior housing organizations. But there is no evidence that would support that premise unless you were interviewing technology vendors, of course, which the author was. In this case the vendor was Care Innovations, a spinoff from Intel and GE that was formed two years ago. In fact, evidence to the contrary, telehealth/remote patient monitoring (assuming that included any sensor-based technology) was last on the investment priority list for this year among CFOs surveyed within LeadingAge senior housing organizations. >>> Read more . . .

Bridge the gulf between CES gadgets and the lives of the oldest old

The fork buzz at CES versus the real world of aging and older adults.  I’m staring at and trying to make sense of two documents -- one is the CES list of tech offerings that target older adults and Digital health. The second is a conference agenda of an event sponsored by the Erickson School of the University of Maryland called Look Who’s Aging – comprised of business execs and industry leaders for the market of nursing homes, assisted living and related services.  While both of these events were really about the world of consumers and what they want, what I saw is more than a ‘digital divide’ – gargantuan gulf might be more appropriate. Exhibit A: the buzzing fork was there to remind you that you are eating too fast and too much. Right. But other than the fork, in the end, each of these events would benefit from a few bridges across that gulf. >>> Read more . . .

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