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12/01/2020

The future is virtual, especially for older people. 

11/27/2020

A peer-to-peer social learning platform for older adults.

11/18/2020

Tips for troubleshooting common hiccups with these potentially lifesaving devices.

11/17/2020

With Care Hub Launch, Alexa for Hospitality Tools.

11/16/2020

Expect more aging in place and a wave of innovation to help make that happen.

Monthly blog archive

Sampling technology for managing diabetes

Diabetes is a critical health problem.  More than 30 million Americans have diabetes – but 23 million of them, according to the CDC, are undiagnosed. Today, the obesity rate for adults 60 and over has risen to 41%. It is estimated that 30% of the overweight adults have diabetes – and most diabetics are overweight. Another third of the adult population has pre-diabetes – including 23 million of the 65+.  A survey of technology offerings reveals a plethora of apps and information sites, not to mention devices that are part of the diabetes management equation. So what technologies are viewed as useful for the millions with diabetes? Here is a sampling:

Apps: Nutrition tracking apps for monitoring diet and blood sugar (from Healthline) include Glucose Buddy, DiabetesConnect, and SugarSense.  Health2Sync (‘round the clock diabetes care’ provides a logging tool as well as encouragement. In addition, apps that help educate individuals with diabetes include Fooducate, which explains the sugar and carb content of various foods. The tracking of blood sugar has been gamified in MySugr, which has at least 1 million users in 52 countries.)

Five Technology Offerings from the Washington Innovations in Longevity Summit 2019

The second year of the Summit tackled issues in town and far away.  In the portfolio of the 2019 events produced by Mary Furlong and Associates, the Washington Innovations in Longevity Summit is relatively new, in its second year. But it is unique in its objectives – topics spanned the regulatory environment and included insights and innovations outside of the US.  The event capitalizes on the presence of numerous Washington government agencies, including National Institute on Aging and HHS, as well as representation from DC-based organizations like NCOA and AARP. This event was keynoted by AARP’s Executive VP Nancy LeaMond and George Vrandenburg, Chairman of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. Here are five of the technologies that were presented and discussed at the event:

Voice, health, wellbeing -- notes from January 2020 report

Is the healthcare consumer ready for voice assistants? Not quite.  There is a technology overhaul underway – the biggest change in user experience since the introduction of the web browser in 1991. Voice First technology – the ability to use natural language to speak to and be spoken to by devices and software – has become at least one mandatory user interface in every business and consumer interaction.  From Voice recognition technology to Smart Speakers to Voice Assistants, it is now pervasive – in the year 2020, 50% of all searches will be by voice. From a sheer quantity standpoint, the plethora of devices from Amazon (claiming sales of 100 million gadgets at the end of 2018, plus a dozen new ones introduced for the 2019 holiday sales period) captures the stampede nature of the market.  However, by end of January, 2019, Google claimed to have Google Assistant running on 1 billion devices – and by the summer, began declaring a new version – Google Assistant 2.0.

Older adults deserve more from media when it comes to scams

Who do you trust? Rant on. A long WSJ article details how trusting people can be and why robocall scams work.  A woman listened to a voice mail message saying that it was the FBI and that her identity had been stolen. (That was the first and only robo-dialed call).  When they spoke, the caller told her to turn over all savings, further telling her not to tell anyone about his step-by-step instructions as to where to move the money, nearly $340,000. Why did this 60-something oncology nurse listen to this caller over a several-day period?  Why did she agree to stay in a hotel for two days while the money was in motion?

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Five new health and caregiving technologies November 2019

LeadingAge in San Diego and more.  Entrepreneurs clearly see the opportunity for providing tech-enabled services to help care for older adults.  Large events like Leading Age, Argentum, and sub-events within CES and HIMSS all point to the business potential that draws startups as well as new offerings from existing players – in what may become an increasingly crowded market. Here five recent announcements, two from the Startup Garage at Leading Age in San Diego -- adding three others from recent press releases.  All information is drawn from the websites of the companies themselves.

Technology Can Help Make Medication Management Smarter

Medication non-adherence – it’s serious. This medication non-adherence (not filling prescriptions or missing dosages) is a major health issue – resulting in 10% of hospitalizations, 125,000 deaths, and costing the healthcare system up to $300 billion/year.  Consider that 1 in 5 Medicare patients are re-admitted to the hospital within 30 days after discharge – half of them because of medication non-adherence. In a study by Walgreens, researchers found that every 1% improvement in adherence saves about $50 in healthcare spending.

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Five tech and aging blog posts from October 2019

October was a long and extravagant month for the tech market.  Between trade events, including the Connected Health Conference in Boston, LeadingAge in San Diego, HLTH in Las Vegas, the Aging 2.0 Revolutionize Conference in Boston which was highlighted by the reveal of Venture Capital investor Dominic Endicott's $2 Trillion Age-Tech market size, making the Consumer Technology Association's $29 Billion look cautious. No doubt there were also many smaller events throughout the country. Here are the October blog posts:

A new smartphone – life is too short to keep up with such ‘innovation’

How much time do we spend setting up our ‘smart’ phones?  Every few years, I change phones. In the past, Android-to-Android, I wasted at least a full day customizing all the ‘improved’ features the way they were on the previous phone, setting up home screens, eliminating bloatware, and downloading apps that did not properly convert.  This time, it took me most of 2 weekend days to set up an iPhone to join family photo sharing. The access to photos – that was one of the good parts. Otherwise, it was maddening and sent me out to forums again and again.  I learned about the also-constant bug-fix upgrades, email addresses masquerading as Apple IDs (don’t get me started) and other apparently arbitrary design decisions whined about online. And then there was the stylistic non-charm of repositioning jiggling apps icons.  But yay, now I see shared photos and learned how to stop auto-play of videos in Safari.

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Can wearables help you be healthier and safer?

You are increasingly likely to have a wearable -- around your neck or on your wrist. You may collect your own data for your own tracking and use.  For those who see a wearable in a health context, they may be disappointed to know that their doctor doesn’t seem to care or know what to do with your heart rhythm data.  But you can gain great benefit from tracking your performance (exercise, heart rate) – competing with yourself, and feeling the satisfaction from any improvement over time.  What are the benefits of wearables today -- and in the future?

Five new technologies for older adults  October 2019

Announcements of new offerings are arriving – will they/can they be used?  Hopefully these 5 will offer benefit that can and will be realized by older adults. Writers of these 2019 articles about the topic are not so sure that new technologies for this population may not be reaching their intended audience. That can be due to a variety of barriers, including fear that they are not using them properly (UCSD study), lack of internet access (which would limit awareness), low technology literacy (TechCrunch), including lack of familiarity with terminology, and physical challenges (research from MPDI). Here are five new technologies that could provide benefit to older adults – content is from the companies:

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