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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

The future of voice first and older adults as seen in 2018 -- did it happen?

Design improvements that benefit all will benefit older adults and caregivers. Unlike niche hardware and software for seniors, basic Voice First platforms and software will change rapidly and without disruption for users – accompanied by a ‘What’s New’ weekly email and a few suggestions on new tricks to try – but the changes behind the front-facing features will make the most difference. With the 2018 lens to guide the market today, here are a few ways the user experience and thus the ecosystem should have ratcheted upwards:

Leave no trend behind – yet another PERS smartwatch ticks on

Another long-time PERS player sees a watch, makes a watch. Rant on. Last January 2021, WaterStreet, a healthcare investment company, coughed up a mind-bending $100 million to Medical Guardian, a long time (2006) privately-held PERS provider, to ‘fund expansion.’ Medical Guardian already had a PERS watch (from Omate) – which Amazon reviewers did not love; other than HELP and telling the time, there wasn’t much to it anyway. By June 2021, they partnered with Black&Decker to offer more PERS capabilities – a wearable with fall detection, but maybe that lacked a wow factor. So the newly developed one has more features – including step-counting, a voice-assist charge warning, and communication (from the watch) with a care circle. With deep pockets, Medical Guardian can afford to develop its own device – and maybe this one's the charm for current customers, though it lacks fall detection.  Otherwise the market has moved on.

To boost tech adoption, consider the benefit of a survey

The ACS will size tech adoption – and not a minute too soon. We might learn from the upcoming American Community Survey (ACS) data release which households have broadband connectivity, own a computer or other devices – down to a level of granularity that includes that rarely surveyed category, age 85+. And we may be able to examine age in relationship to tech ownership. In 2011, as part of the Linkage Technology Survey of Adults age 65-100, the report observes that there are few surveys of technology ownership among the older adult population.

Ten apps to help those with hearing loss

Hearing aid users need smartphones and apps. The hearing aid industry has been undergoing disruption in recent years, most notably from the Over The Counter initiative and the growth of hearables, which have legitimized the use of devices hanging from, versus hidden inside the ear.    There are some apps that can enhance the quality of life of individuals with moderate or severe hearing loss. A number of these have been discussed by audiologists in the TruHearing website. Audiologists support the use of multiple types of apps for those with hearing loss, particularly those apps that come from the hearing aid manufacturers themselves. Experts note that these apps enable the user to tailor their experience to their own needs. Beyond the manufacturer offerings, there are a number of apps that can help people with a broad range of hearing loss – hear are ten of them in alphabetical order, content from the reviews or vendors:

7 Key Trends to Watch from Aging and Health Technology Watch

What trends matter this year and beyond? In 2022, the oldest baby boomer turns 76, while the population aged 65+ will exceed 54 million. Trends accelerated by the pandemic continue to emerge, and the population aged 50+ will continue to purchase and use technology, accounting for an estimated 51% of technology spending by 2030. In an interview with Best Buy Health for their 800,000 recipient newsletter, these were the 7 trendsb we identified that will persist throughout the year -- and beyond.  These should be of particular note to startups and tech companies that want to reach the older adult market.

Technology transformation in home care must and will accelerate

The perfect storm has arrived to drive tech adoption in the home and care services. So many factors converge now that were highlighted during the pandemic – consider the need for telehealth services as an alternative to in-person visits. The lack of broadband access for older adults limited vaccine sign-up or even communication with families or friends. The slow rollout of Wi-Fi in senior living was, to say the least, a miscalculation about the future. And last, but not least, the worsening staffing shortage, noted for years throughout the older adult service industry, is now a full-blown crisis. And the shortages in home care, home healthcare, skilled nursing facilities and senior living are juxtaposed with an overall labor shortage, just as the oldest baby boomer has turned 76 and has significant remaining life expectancy. Consider that older adults remain in hospitals and rehab facilities because there are no workers to help them with care at home. And that's just today.

Client remote monitoring for home care agencies -- why and what?

Why should home care agencies boost awareness of remote monitoring? Both types of monitoring are increasingly likely to be found by home care professionals entering a new care recipient’s home.  The objective of these remote monitoring technologies is to help healthcare teams, care workers and/or families understand if any issues are occurring inside the home when they cannot be there in person.  Patients with chronic diseases or those who are discharged from hospitals may benefit from the use of RPM technology to monitor significant chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension or congestive heart failure, and especially to avoid a recurrence of an issue that would require readmission. 

Did you miss one? Four Tech and Aging Blog Posts from February 2022

March 2022 – in-person annual trade shows are back.  For so many who have been Zooming, Teaming, and WebEx’ing, lo, these many months, it’s actually comforting to know that the big exhibit shows are back.  This will be exciting for firms hoping to actually meet prospects in person, including events like HearTech Expo, sponsored by the American Academy of Audiology in St. Louis on April 1 – and next week’s VIVE 2022, the new health IT event in Miami. Upcoming, Argentum’s Senior Living Executive Conference in Minneapolis in March, then the American Society on Aging’s annual conference, On Aging, in New Orleans in April.  LeadingAge is holding its Leadership Summit in Washington, DC this month and its annual Conference and Expo in Colorado in October.  Hopefully all will be well-attended and business deals will be done, just like in the old days.  And to stay up to date, here are the four blog posts from February, 2022:

Tech for quality of (an aging) life

The rise of AgeTech – it is a trend. It’s easy to say, and it resonates -- especially compared to other long-standing terms like assistive technology, gerontechnology and durable medical equipment (DME). Parks Associates published a useful chart this week about the Changing form factors of panic buttons – take a look. But that was not the real subject of the article (thankfully). Rather, it suggested that while form factors are changing (from pendant to smart watch to home sensor technology), the shortage of labor in the caregiving market means that tech to help 66 million caregivers matters more than ever. In fact, one in five ‘broadband’ households is currently or will soon care for a family member, likely remaining in their own or a relative’s home.

Voice-AI for Older Adults -- How has it helped and what's next?

Voice technology in 2022 – living up to hope and hype? By 2018, it seemed possible that Voice First technology (and its associated AI software) could transform the technology user experience for older adults (see report: The Future of Voice First Technology and Older Adults 2018). Fairly new at the time, a few senior living organizations embraced it for its home automation potential, possibility of concierge services -- turn on the lights! Raise the blinds! Book me on the afternoon trip!. The generally accepted view was that this technology was going to be “Easy, Cheap, Useful, Smart, and Connected (home automation that just works).” Amazon’s Alexa service ran on multiple variants of cheap hardware. Like Apple’s Siri, the software’s understanding of requests was relatively weak (compared to Google Assistant, which emerged in 2018 on Android and iOS).

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