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December 2019

The most-read tech and aging blog posts from 2019

Voice First -- The year began and ended with speaking.  And shouting. Strolling is not the right word, but as we approached the Las Vegas Convention Center last January, Google Assistant was on giant billboards all around – with competing and nearby giant Amazon Alexa signs.  We are attending again this year – and I cannot imagine what is left to say, so to speak. But I am sure the blaring will begin at the door. Here are the most read blog posts from 2019.  Happy New Year – and onward to 2020, the publication of the now-completed Voice, Health and Wellbeing 2020 report on Friday, January 3, and so many more (and counted) CES steps -- more wearables, virtual experiences, smart and not-so-smart speakers. See you there!

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.

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