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03/22/2017

Ownership is very much a function of income and age.

03/22/2017

Portals created, but most seniors aren't using them.

03/17/2017

Pew: Smart phone owners ages 65 and older are less likely to secure their smartphones.

03/17/2017

Elderly people are suffering concussions and other brain injuries from falls.

03/15/2017

Reimagine the Future of Ageing with Help of Emerging Technology.

Meet or hear Laurie in one of the following:

April 7-10, Washington, DC

American Telemedicine Association, Orlando, FL, April 23-25, 2017

Boston, April 30-May 4, 2017

Washington, April 28-29, 2017

PERS Summit, Park City Utah, September 26-28, 2017

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Monthly blog archive

Making aging and caregiving kitchen-table issues

Sharpening the end of life discussion. Jane Gross published a New Old Age blog this week in the NY Times called Mad as Hell. The gist of it was about how retired Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman is starting up the "Conversation Project, one of many nascent efforts to make the rigors of caregiving and advanced old age into a kitchen-table issue — not just a topic for policy wonks and health care professionals." Ellen and Jane are talking about 'family caregiving'. Something is not quite right, though, about this article and other 'conversations' that depend on first stating the facts about seniors and where they live, what they live on, and who takes care of them.

Going online for fun and diversion – what’s that mean, anyway?

Pew Research asks about the Internet and ‘fun’.   New this month: The Internet as Diversion and Destination, offering the results of a survey about the use of the Internet, with answers by age to a question: "Did you go ever go online for no particular reason, just for fun, or to pass the time?" They also asked about whether they did so "yesterday," the day before they were surveyed – which is cute, but "yesterday" as a source of meaningful information is, well, so yesterday. The headliner was about the 53% percent of young adults (18-29) who admitted that yesterday they did, while only 27% of boomers and 12% of seniors allocated a piece of their yesterday for this, uh, purpose. This is a frustrating question that Pew does not analyze, nor does it probe further, so speculation clearly is expected.

Tech solutions that overwhelm the problem

When you read about tech and older adults, ask if it is appropriate to the task. Does it fit the problem being addressed? Do caregiving robots make sense? Is the cost such that everyone except the buyers would raise their eyebrows? Everyone admires a pioneer, the organization that will respond to the idea and the sales pitch for putting a few $6000 robots into the homes of children recovering from surgery, for example, so that the children won’t have to come to the hospital for the doctor to see how their recovery is progressing. Apparently no one thought to give the family a Netbook with camera, which would accomplish the same video viewing purpose – for $250.

Mobile musings after the mHealth Summit

If you have a tablet, everything looks like an mHealth app. It was an mHealthiness week at the Gaylord as the NIH-sponsored mHealth Summit was convened for its third year, with 3600 enthusiasts and 300 exhibits. Walking around the non-Qualcomm and non-Verizon booths, it was one of those ‘Who ARE those guys?’ moments from Butch Cassidy. And I mean guys. Walking onto the Exhibit floor late Tuesday afternoon, there were guys everywhere and a bit of the American Telemedicine Association persona, with many devices and apps oriented toward tablet- and smart phone- intrigued doctors. And some were even for patients!  Read a great write-up by Lisa Suennen on Venture Valkyrie or check out just-the-facts iHealthBeat. The bottom line for me after a walk around and around – virtually nothing at this event (or at the ATA for that matter) demonstrates vendor interest in ‘seniors’ and chronic disease -- except these cool slippers in the Verizon booth that were developed by 24eight. That must make sense in only one sense – as of 2011, according to Pew Research, fewer than 11% of the 65+ population have a smart phone and 2% own a tablet. But oh well, no problem, notes the CDC, 80% of older adults have one chronic disease and 50% have at least two. 

Retro is a word that needs a tech future

Make the new look like the old - please.   Retro is used as a style term, but it really is a desire, (no matter what age we’re at) to return to some prior period when life was simpler. And frankly, tech was easier to use.  We have radios with dials, remote controls with bigger (still inadequate) buttons. Why not a smart phone with a traditional hold-in-the-hand receiver?   Hey, no kidding, someone invented it! Native Union’s Pop Phone Handset – plugs into any smart phone or tablet.   And eliminates the requirement to put a hockey puck sized device next to your ear.

Aging in Place Technology Watch November 2011 Newsletter

With tablets, eReaders and smart phones, will individual home broadband matter? I wonder why more isn’t written about rural broadband and FCC initiatives that are intended to expand broadband access at the same time tablet, eReader and smart phone use is exploding?  A data plan for your smart phone or tablet is portable. Some eReaders have built-in 3G cellular services that enable downloading of (some) free books. Carriers may soon lose interest in promoting low-cost broadband for seniors if they ever really cared about it at all. This may soon make the deployment of tablets, smart phones (currently kind of dumb) and eReaders the best way to bring older adults online and connected to family, friends and services.

2011 Tech Gifts for Seniors

Last year's list of tech gifts that keep on giving is still pretty accurate in terms of categories -- eReaders and eBooks, video communication devices, game-related and music-related.  But be thankful, tech time marches on, and there are more variants of each, plus some new items to consider -- if you're in aging services or senior housing, pass some ideas along to residents or clients:

Tablets and smart phones – stifling our communicating selves

To type or not to type – that is the tablet question. A long time ago in a cubicle far, far away, one fingered poking at keys sent a clear message – this person can’t touch type. Must have missed the high school typing class in favor of shop.  I knew many one-fingered programmers, back in the day – they advanced to management quickly to avoid exposure as the typing frauds they were. They weren’t big on writing longhand letters, and voluminous e-mails were not strengths. But authors, journalists and now bloggers (all 156 million of them) know that their strength is in paragraphs with punch AND punctuation, clauses, and…even upper-lower case. But with tablets and smart phones, the era of richness in typed text may be near an end – watch the swiping users to know of what I speak.

Opt in or Opt out – when a useful service resembles spam

How not to deal with leads. I left my business card at an aging services event recently – and someone at the company was assigned to do something with it. Their approach, contact me through a robo-call to enroll me in their message broadcasting service that was not appropriate for my type of business.  The authoritative recorded voice threaded its way through a description and finally spelled out the menu choices – if you want to hear more (about this lengthily described offering), press 4. But I didn’t want to hear more, so I waited for more choices, pressed another option and was led to another option, and finally got a recorded voice of a specific person (this was during business hours) for me to leave a message with information that would enable my number to be removed.

When tech has too much press, too little lasting presence

Research projects as products-to-be.  Remember the iShoe?  A hopeful research project, led by Erez Lieberman at MIT who won a prize in 2008 for designing it. It was to be tested by Ohio Health, to be available as a product in 2010 for $100.  Someone asked me about it recently – sadly, there is no iShoe for you to buy. Maybe Ohio Health had some difficulty emerge during testing.  Of course, there is also no article announcing the end of the iShoe project and concept.  People remember it, though, and they confuse it with the now-available GPS shoe

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