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Meet or hear Laurie in one of the following:

Thriving in Community, Aging 2.0, Palo Alto, Aug. 27

Engineered Technologies for Older Adults, Atlanta, Oct. 2

Connected Health Symposium, Oct. 17

Aging Innovation Challenge, New York City, Nov 29

Washington Innovation Summit, Dec. 11-12

Digital Health Summit CES, Jan 8, 9

Related News Articles

08/14/2018

Aging in place trend currently the most significant catalyst of eldercare technology.

08/07/2018

Overview of the Voice of Healthcare Summit held in Boston, August 7, 2018

08/06/2018

Voice-first technology can prolong independence and reduce social isolation.

07/25/2018

Sensors monitor daily activity.

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Monthly blog archive

Best Buy Acquires GreatCall – What’s it Mean for Best Buy?

First take – this links together multiple Best Buy initiatives, starting in 2011.   Look at the history of Best Buy. First a dabble with the now departed Wellcore in 2011 – clearly the time was not right – the oldest baby boomer turned 72 in 2018, but at 65 in 2010, consumers could not comprehend the utility of a wearable fall detector. But Best Buy executives saw the opportunity and decided to learn more.  More significant in 2011, Best Buy became a founding consortium member in a ‘living lab’ Charter House in Rochester, Minnesota (along with Mayo Clinic). "We believe technology has the potential to foster healthy, productive lives by enabling easier access to information and medical care," says Kurt Hulander, then senior director of health platforms at Best Buy.  

Six Tech (Aging and Health) Blog Posts from July 2018

Voice First technology – triaging the healthcare opportunity.  This week’s Voice of Healthcare Summit in Boston offered up some intriguing attempts to create new Voice First interfaces that inform patients, streamline work, and demonstrate potential (like Answers by Cigna) in versions 2, 3 and beyond.  One of the most intriguing presentations – KidsMD – a Boston Children’s Hospital ‘accelerator’ initiative begun in 2016 and is winning over the staff.  The organization is clearly committed to using Voice First interfaces for patients, for internal questions (“Who is the Charge Nurse on 7 South?”), for hands-free operating room checklists, for post-discharge guidance and for home health (100,000 interactions to date).  They’ve added a skill called AskICU that highlights the potential for ‘hands free, eyes free’ questions that have easy (but difficult to find) answers, like available beds on a floor, or detailed answers like “Medication dosage details from the Code Cart”.   The other hospitals in Boston are well aware of the innovation at Children’s, but other than experiments (like one at Beth Israel Deaconess), nothing of the scope of KidsMD has materialized.  In other blog posts from July:

Marketing technology – are seniors different from other people?

Google discovers seniors (sort of) and thus a market is maybe born. There was a breathlessness to the CNBC article on July 23, 2018 – Google is mulling older adult applications for its Nest product line – particularly in senior housing settings, hopefully at less cost per installation than its website pricing.  And gee whiz, one of the uses is pathway lighting to find the bathroom – presumably replacing motion-sensing night lights for $7.97 from Walmart. Up next, predicting life-threatening falls, perhaps as an alternative to Philips CareSage or BioSensics Frailty Meter, for example.  Google execs qualified our enthusiasm, per the article: “The ideas are only in the discussion stage and may not find their way into shipping products.” Since his role at Google is to do “something interesting” -- perhaps this may not turn out to be.

With Fewer Family Caregivers, What’s the (Tech-Enabled) Plan?

You saw the headline – America is running out of family caregivers.  The numbers are daunting.  Says Ken Dychwald in the WSJ article:  “We’re going to have to look to nontraditional care,” says Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a consulting firm.  "Older adults, he says, may have to take in boarders, who can help with shopping and repairs, or rely more on monitoring devices and delivery services.”  This latest article was based on a recent study (part of a series) from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave.  But is the issue low growth in potential family caregivers?  Or is the real issue the low growth of population in the appropriate age range (45-64) of people to provide care to people who are aged 80+?

Voice First: Speaking Up about Health and Wellness

Voice First is changing health and wellness offerings today. Already the predicted capability to speak a request or instruction without having to type or tap on a device – known as Voice First – has transformed how we interact with technology. If we can speak a command to play music, control the lights, or open the shades benefits accrue to the elderly who live alone. This technology can help those who are blind or have macular degeneration, and it can help those with disabilities. AARP and Optum have initiated pilots to determine if this technology can help mitigate social isolation and improve health outcomes for the elderly. And note experiments and pilots for applying Voice First technologies for health and wellness. So what’s intriguing?

Five Recent Caregiving Technology Offerings in 2018

What newcomers have entered the market?  Besides ‘longevity market new media’ like Stria (former Next Avenue) that provided a splash of cold water for startups and investors in the older adult space.  Although there is little evidence that any investors are bullish about the general older adult market – despite AARP documentation and various books to the contrary, innovators continue to create new offerings to help older adults live better lives.  Here are five recent and soon-launching offerings to help – content is from the websites of the firms or articles about them:

The ABCs of the Internet Today – Ads, Bots and Crushing Clutter

The business model of the Internet is crushing us.   Rant on. We could start with Twitter, which is deleting millions of bots, trolls, and other fake accounts (often with automated software generating hundreds of tweets per day).  This is raising concerns over the company's growth and true number of monthly users. But it's not raising concern about the business and social value of Twitter. Has anyone looked at the age distribution of Twitter users? Only 8% are 65+, and the biggest block is aged 18-29.  Consider that its share price and profit of $61 million in Q1 2018 are tied to growth in "legitimate human users -- the only ones capable of responding to the advertising that is the main source of revenue for the company." Translate: capable of responding because they are human 18-29 year-olds, not necessarily because they have money to spend. And then there are:

Four Blog Posts (and concerns) That You May have Missed

Considering the dog days of summer.  Dog days – these are the hottest days of summer, according to that Oracle of modern culture, Wikipedia.  As the glow and racket from fireworks fade, it's time to mull over the thoughts that zipped by in recent months, perhaps not noticed, but are worth another consideration.  All four of these posts are about our technology life, as shoppers in stores as recently as July 1, our experience with user interfaces that are designed for none, catching up on the hype/hope/fading hope about self-driving cars, and finally, the only thing that can terrorize a company the size of Walmart – Jeff Bezos and Amazon. Here are four blog posts to take a look at in this sleepy week:

Aging in Place Technology – Five Blog Posts from June 2018

n a short month, heard lots about caregiving and hearing.  You have 'conversed' with an older person who cannot hear well without hearing aids but owns an expensive pair which are highly adjustable. But they don't put them in, or lost one of them and not replaced it, even though the VA will pay for it. These individuals may ask you a question, but they don’t wait for an answer they can’t hear well. And so they go on – talking about themselves  and assuming that’s fine at your end of the 'dialogue'   They have families who become irritated with them; they spend a great deal of time alone.  Then one day, they become part of an equation – those with hearing loss are at greater risk of developing dementia.   Sigh.  Here are four blog posts from June:

Now Hear This: Hearing-related technology for older adults and caregivers

Uncorrected hearing loss isolates and harms older adults.   One in three between age 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of people aged 75+ have some significant level of hearing loss.  Note that hearing loss has been linked to dementia and to social isolation – and that in turn has been connected to poorer health outcomes.  Furthermore, wearing hearing aids has been linked to fewer hospital visits. According to studies, among adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, fewer than one in five (20 percent) has ever used them. Why such a small percentage? Experts believe that it is a combination of denial, belief that hearing loss is not severe enough, perceived stigma associated with wearing hearing aids, and a perception that they cost too much.

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