Blogs

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 . . .

The longevity factor – tech, gov, businesses don’t get it – yet

Social security – no more paper checks – unless.  So on March 1, 2013, all social security checks are to be direct deposited to a bank account or to a debit card. That is, all except for those aged 90 and older who qualify for a hardship waiver. Says Treasury about waivers: it would have to be "extreme, rare circumstances." Really? Too bad, according to the article, these waivers are not well publicized on the government's website. But there are nearly 2 million people age 90+.  If you place the 90+ age group inside the 85+ population, we’re now talking about nearly 6 million people. Most of the discussion of a swelling oldest demographic centers on Social Security running out of money in by some date certain (the people who do these projections are always certain.) >>> Read more . . .

December 2012 Year-end Wrap and 2013 Trends to Watch

Tech is so yesterday, long live providers and solutions. 2012 was in some ways a dull technological year – the basic core technologies that are useful when applied to older adult consumers had surfaced in 2011 or before – think mobile PERS, GPS tracking, fall detection, voice activation (say Hi, Siri!), the rise of tablets, longer device battery life (except for smart phones). 2012, on the other hand, was the year in which there was new interest in aging and technology solutions – and thankfully, not just from startups, but included health insurers, communications carriers, and even pharmaceutical companies. As we peer into our 2013 crystal ball, here are some highlights of the past year and predictions about the year ahead:

>>> Read more . . .

Recapping the most popular blog posts from 2012

Consider 2012 -- a year of product launches across platforms.  Looking at the most popular (most read) posts of 2012, the main conclusion is that blog titles with numbers rule on this site as in all others. So here are the most popular posts from 2012:

Why aren't seniors wowed by tablets? Are seniors missing the tablet and e-Reader boomlet? Las Vegas can rest now. It has been left to its own devices, so to speak, now that CES has left town for another year. Exhibitors, never original, seized on swipe and touch trends started by Apple -- reports from the show noted that 'Android tablets have sprung up around CES like worms after a rainstorm' and how many types will be sitting in stores in 2012. So why don't seniors want to buy them? Pew Research published a glowingly titled doc recently titled Tablets and e-Reader Ownership Nearly Double Over the Holiday Gift-Giving Period and headlined that 'overall at least 29% of Americans own at least one of them.'  And the 50-64 year-olds did show a significant increase in tablet ownership from December 2011-2012 -- from 8-15%. But as the Pew data shows, the 65+ are not flocking to the store to pick up a tablet-- a mere increase from 5 to 7%. Maritz did some profiling the younger folk: the average tablet buyer is aged 38-41, with an income of approximately $70K, tablet buyers are likely to be male. Older women seem to like the e-Reader more, with ownership jumping from 8-12% year over year, average e-book buying woman is aged 44. So what's the, er, story here? >>> Read more . . .

Four ways that tech innovations for older adults get to market

Reuse, recycle – finding a new purpose?  Ah, the cacophony of self-quantification. As we rage against our inactivity and sloth, fitness gadgets have become the rage. One could have a Body Media arm band (“know your body, change your life”), a Fitbit on a waistband, a NikeFuel (“the ultimate measure of your athletic life”) or a Jawbone UP (“know yourself, live better!”) on a wrist, or a Pebble on a shoe from a corporate wellness program. To date, none of these offerings are applied (by the companies) to the world of seniors for passive activity encouragement or tracking.  Soon all of these, like Fitbit, will have APIs for writing new apps – soon someone will see and seize the opportunity to connect a simple and wearable device to senior market, and perhaps more in the senior market will connect caregiving apps like Philips CarePartners Mobile to information from their in-market devices like Lifeline with AutoAlert. >>> Read more . . .

Personal Emergency Response Systems: Moving beyond fear

PERS – A long-time tradition. The Medical Alarm Systems and PERS (Personal Emergency Response Systems) industry is long-standing and largely unchanged from the days of Lifeline, prior to its purchase by Philips.  This business segment has historically focused on the at-risk individuals who are 65+ with a typical user in the 75-85 range. Today, the industry is variously estimated from $1 to 2 billion in North America, largely based on monthly service plans that guarantee the immediate availability of staffed professional call center response. Those staff members contact relevant and local emergency responders such as EMTs, family, or 911, pre-configured in their systems once the device is activated.  Traditionally, the devices transmit from the wearer to a base unit nearby. >>> Read more . . .

Co-existence -- not connection -- at the 2012 mHealth Summit Bazaar

HealthIT wants your mobile mind.  The mHealth Summit was acquired this past year by HIMSS to ensure that the four horsemen of “technology, business, research, and policy connect.” The organizations they represent would like to disrupt and transform the future of health care delivery. And the 3000+ attendees and 253 exhibitors (up from 206 last year) appear to want to believe in that connection. HIMSS, the largest Health IT association in the world, with its 50,000 individual members, 570 corporate sponsors and 225 non-profit members, has the muscle mass to power the connection of ideas and innovation to healthcare systems, payers, and providers. So it was no surprise when they acquired the nascent mHealth Summit.  As for you of a mobile and mHealthy market mindset – this year you could be a doctor, university research team, a government agency, a hospital, a device maker, a carrier, an IT exec and, oh yeah, as an afterthought, maybe even a consumer and/or patient. >>> Read more . . .

2012 Tech Gifts for Seniors

The more things change, the more they are the same, only cheaper. The 2011 list of tech gifts for seniors is still pretty accurate in terms of categories – tablets, eReaders and eBooks, game-related and music-related.  But be thankful at this time of year, the world of tech keeps on keeping on. There are more variants of each, plus some new items to consider. (Prices are all over the place, so they're not included here.) If you're in aging services or senior housing, pass some ideas along to residents or clients, check out the revised catalog at ElderLuxe or consider other consumer-oriented examples like: >>> Read more . . .

Personalized smart phones -- guaranteed to make a grown person cry

There’s a phone for you based on your susceptibility profile.  So you know about so-called personalized medicine – here is one definition: "Personalized medicine research attempts to identify individual solutions based on the susceptibility profile of each individual." I do like the word 'susceptibility' as an analogy for the Samsung Galaxy S III phone I just acquired, one of the latest (for a few minutes at least) in smart phones. Two full days and a total of 200 setting choices for just 3 screens with 16 icons each, I am overwhelmed and reduced to a state of anxiety and blathering -- widget? App? Which home screen am I on?  "Advanced, intuitive, simple" says Samsung’s website -- without irony. >>> Read more . . .

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