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08/23/2016

UMaine faculty shared some of their latest aging-related research projects with students and colleagues.

08/22/2016

Service example: Icontrol Networks Inc., which helps set up smart homes for clients.

08/20/2016

For profit companies can now offer PACE services, reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid.

08/18/2016

Only 16 percent of seniors looked for health information online, among other findings.

08/17/2016

Some of the restrictions are having a harsh impact on local granny pod businesses.

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Monthly blog archive

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.

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.

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?

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.

Ten Tips -- 2014 Year-End Guide for Launching a Product or Service

So you want to launch a boomer/senior, home health tech product or service.  As your new company get ready to travel into battle at mHealth, CES, and all those 2015 launch events to-be-named-later, it is time to for you to revisit this guidance. Perhaps some time soon, your new or existing company will officially launch a new product or service, or perhaps a long-awaited, over-described and much-anticipated offering will finally ship. Here is a checklist that continues to hold true – with a few links that are merely examples:

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.

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.

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.)

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:

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?

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