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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Let’s talk about robots - ready to help seniors?

I have to admit it, but iRobot’s Roomba is just the coolest thing to watch. I love how it circles around the same location over and over, how it plays a tune “Charge!” as it heads for its charging unit, and how clean it gets the areas it tackles. Fun for me — and my geek husband — who figured out where to place the sensors so it wouldn’t crash into my grand piano. And particularly appealing to have it run around under our bed, where we never push a vacuum cleaner. And from reading the reviews, it is endlessly interesting to cats and dogs.

E-mail device — where are the vendors?

Today’s WSJ’s Mossberg column mentions a device, the only one on the market today, called the Mailbug, which is a text-only terminal for sending and receiving e-mail over a dial-up connection. Costing $125 plus $100/year service, it doesn’t permit exchange of photos (check out Presto and Celery) for that.

When doctors do their jobs, the elderly fall less

Yuk. A study in today’s NY Times reports that percentage of elderly people who fall drops by 11% if the doctor actually asks them if they are prone to falls — then takes their blood pressure lying down and standing, treats it properly, and then reduces their other medication. How ironic that the doctor who did the study notes she can’t estimate the cost of this ‘prevention’ program because it ought to be part of standard care. Exactly.

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