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08/07/2022

Suggests a gerontechnology ombudsman to mediate concerns.

08/05/2022

Helps older people find a place to live and gets them the services.

08/04/2022

The capability for ultrasound scans to be done via a wearable.

07/31/2022

Most noted are wheelchairs, walkers, and other items for disabilities.

07/29/2022

Focus on improving health outcomes, adding more support from staff.

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What's Next Longevity Innovation Summit, DC, December, 2022

Monthly blog archive

Five Sensor Technology Offerings to Benefit Older Adults 2022

Some might say that sensor technology for older adults is nothing new.   What’s the big deal? Remote monitoring products and services built with sensors have been around for decades. Grandcare Systems was founded in 2004 followed by a sensor-based remote monitoring startup and consolidation wave in 2009-2010. This type of tech had obvious benefits, even then, but today, what was obvious then has become a crisis of care today. There are simply not enough workers to care for the aging boomers and beyond. That spells opportunity for motion and camera-based sensors that are being deployed for care of older adults. This will be discussed further in a report later this year, The Future of Sensors and Older Adults 2022. Among the many types and features of sensors, here are five offerings, all info from the companies:

Did you miss anything? Four Aging and Tech Posts from July 2022

July offered time to think about gaps and staff shortages. For example, we expect tech products to be more intuitive and usable than they are. So often we become mired in a swamp of settings, especially when upgrading to a new device or software version. Everyone seems to know someone who has waved a hand and dismissed even being trained on new offerings. At the same time, many are eager to learn and wish they knew how to know what they needed to know. Meanwhile, the labor shortage has impacted every aspect of senior care, requiring a rethink of financial health of the businesses and the role of technology. Occupancy in senior living dipped below 80% in 2021, though said now to be in a period of recovery --even as costs to operate and resident prices rise. Here are the four blog posts from July 2022.

It’s 2022 – has technology use progressed in senior care?

There is a labor shortage everywhere -- ditto in senior care. We know that one of the biggest issues in senior living (and home care, nursing homes, home health care) today is a shortage of labor. This roll-up of statistics shows more than 400,000 employees lost between 2020 and 2022, with long-term care facilities (aka nursing homes) being the most impacted. There is quite a bit of chatter in long-term care publications about the need for more technology use, and providers are asked to offer best examples of tech use to win an award (separate categories for senior living, home care, and skilled nursing) at the upcoming Leading Age event in October. Remember that memory care is a sub-category within both senior living (aka assisted living) and skilled nursing facilities (aka SNFs).

Not there yet -- today's design processes and tech are not designed for all

Design still needs to include older adults. One might say that there’s nothing left to say about this topic – it’s been said in multiple and sometimes overlapping and confusing ways. You can read about inclusive design, sometimes called design-for-all, accessible design, and universal design.  None of these concepts are specific to designing for inclusion of aging adults. And we know that older adults, some not online, are an afterthought when new emergency processes are created.  At a recent event, recommendations from design experts were discussed and considered in the context of aging adults.  But is the distinction between approaches, in fact, based on history and legal compliance? What should (really, this time!) change?

Is the 3G Sunsetting the equivalent of Y2K for Older Adults?

The 3G sunset has had plenty of warning, but will that matter to older adults? Many people do not remember much about January 1, 2000, the day all systems that stored 2-digit years would become useless calculators. But there was much preparation and so life went on, mostly normal. Will that be the case with the 3G-to-5G network transition?  The big three carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile) are motoring ahead with this switchover to enable them to free up, as they say, faster and more reliable bandwidth.  But there are worries that they may leave some users with a phone that is nothing more than a useless brick.  Experts in the industry (perhaps consultants to the carriers) say "that there will be a mere few hundred thousand customers impacted at each carrier, totaling fewer than 1 million people." Really? With 300 million cell phones in use in the US (there are only 332 million people!) and AT&T acknowledging that 196 million of them use its network!

Eight new technology offerings for older adults

Are you starting to notice a pattern, so to speak?  There seems to be a growing number of tech offerings that can see, sense, detect, and learn about behavioral patterns as part of new tools for older adults and their caregivers. Changes like these and others in this space will be addressed in a new report launching this month: "The Future of Sensors and Predictive Analytics for Older Adults."  In the meantime, here are eight new offerings in the market that are designed to improve wellbeing and care.  All text is drawn from the websites of the companies -- they are presented here in alphabetical order. 

Six Aging and Health Blog Posts from the Prolific Month of June 2022

The Meta Pixel problem – who would have thought? Never a dull moment in tech world. Meta (how tiresome, we know it is Facebook) has been sending patient data from hospital systems back to Facebook (appointments, doctor, and a host of other patient-specific data) through the use of a tracking pixel.   Results from a study identifying the problem are now published, and the first of possibly multiple lawsuits are being file for mishandling personal patient data. The point of the pixel was to help in tracking consumer responses to advertising. Like many privacy violations and data misuse on the Internet, consumers are usually powerless other than voting with our feet. With this lawsuit, coupled with government attempts to crack down on big tech, is the tide is turning? 

Beyond Google – Is it a problem finding care and related resources online?

Is there a search problem to solve? Or are we just lazy searchers? The Atlantic tried to assess the Decline of Google as a search tool, citing a variety of fairly technical arguments as to why, sourcing commentary from bloggers and ‘experts’ who track and analyze search engines. The major complaint over time seems to have been the growing presence of ads and perception of selective ranking in favor of Google’s own products (like showing YouTube videos) and/or business alliances. And certainly there are multiple blogs out there that condemn Google as a search tool, suggesting one of many other search tools out there, including Microsoft Bing, Yahoo and (mostly) non-tracking DuckDuckGo. The conclusion of the Atlantic article would seem to be facetious – ‘Google is still useful for many’, considering that 91% of searches are done with it. 

Voice and AI – Better Together for Older Adults – New Report

Voice assistants made device hardware actually seem smart. By 2018, more technology (and associated improvements) could be found in the Cloud. Besides these invisible upgrades, the voice assistant technology has been continually improving – and if the user could be made aware of those improvements (a BIG IF), they might find them to be very useful. Consider voice-enabled smart plugs, thermostats, audio books, traffic directions, weather, and news updates – and answers to questions that might matter about health, social connection, and personal safety. Today 95 million million US adults have smart speakers and 85% of US adults own a smartphone. Both platforms are now in position to deliver value and benefit to older users -- and thus the opportunity to speak and be heard.

Falling short on solving the care crisis, now and in the future

 A well-known consulting firm assesses the growing care gap. Boston Consulting Group analyzed the care crisis recently asserts that the lack of paid or unpaid care workers to provide care of children or aging parents may prevent them from filling unfilled jobs, noting the 99 million people today who are not in the workforce. y do an interesting analysis built around the premise that some people who could work do not because of care responsibilities. The conclusion -- the one hand, quality affordable care could be subsidized so that more would want to do the work, filling the unfilled care jobs (day care, elder care). And family members could thus remain in jobs that they would otherwise abandon to provide care. Okay, hard to argue with this macro view, but there are some key points missing. Take a look at Exhibit One in the document which asserts that nearly 50 million people, aged 18-64, could become part of the care labor force, particularly those that have children and remain at home to care for them.

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