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Aging in Place Technology Watch October 2011 Newsletter

AT&T -- the senior wireless provider for apps and devices for an aging population?   Were you surprised to read the Forbes article about AT&T's non-phone wireless network, the largest with 14 million connected devices? Probably not, but then maybe you thought it was interesting that their Emerging Devices division (cool!) is marketing several devices that could be more than useful for boomers, caregivers, and seniors.  These include a small Garmin GPS locator, and -- Blue Libris (wearable health monitor), reminding me of Halo Monitoring's MyHalo chest strap. But then AT&T's Glenn Lurie said: "The company also sees a market with senior citizens, particularly those who opt to remain in their homes instead of moving to assisted living facilities. Someone needs to keep an eye, even if only remotely, on these senior citizens and clothing is likely the easiest way for an older person to wear a physiological monitor. AT&T also plans to sell monitors that come in watch form, for example, but a senior citizen with arthritis or mobility issues may find strapping on a watch difficult." Meanwhile, back over at Verizon, they still have Family Locator (yay!) but seem to be missing the Pill Phone (still available as an app on the iPhone).

Which brings me to a conundrum -- how can folks find apps/sites that would be useful for seniors but don't mention them? I receive e-mails from time to time that say 'this isn't specifically targeted for seniors, but it could be useful for them.'  The venture-funded new app/site in question, NextDoor.com, is a collaborative social network for neighborhoods. It would be supremely useful for any street in which neighbors could use a tip or a contact from someone on their street -- including response to an emergency or help with a repair, not to mention offers to babysit and feed a cat. A geographic app like this will remain outside the sight lines of seniors and their families, however, unless promoted through organizations that know where and who they are. Now wouldn't that be a fantastic initiative for Area Agencies on Aging? And wouldn't it be great if when you searched for apps that can help seniors, you could find it, along with Family Locator?

What will the impact be with California's new telehealth act, passed in October?  Supposedly the California legislature has moved the bar forward on legitimizing the use of telehealth to provide remote diagnosis and care as in "an individual may receive health care services from a health care provider without in-person contact with the healthcare provider." Of course the intent described was to improve access in rural areas (much of that vast state). As one telehealth website noted, the law, apparently the first among all states, means "including home monitoring for chronic disease such as congestive health failure and diabetes."  This may be a game changer in the long, extremely slow slog of telehealth to become mainstream -- first via institutions like clinics and doctors' offices. Then, maybe in homes, once there is a greater penetration of broadband and wireless access among older populations -- who are largely the ones who have those chronic diseases.


People want the form factor to be non invasive and comfortable. If someone cannot put on a watch, how will they wear a chest strap? Many different form factors need to be available for varying needs of the aging population.


AS always yours Last October post contains new very exciting and needed Point Products to support us ,the Senior families.

Needless to say, each one of those products might be very useful for the senior population which are truly preferring and adopting "The Aging at Home"

However, what we are truly missing and we are looking for is A Sustainable ICT infrastructure to converge and integrate the Points Product into One Comprehensive sustainable System . We want and expect that "The System" to be delivered by " One Service Provider, one focal point "

WE expect that the One Focal Point Provider will take the full responsibly "To Deliver The Goods"

In a metaphor say, the "Integrator" will make sure that each wonderful musical instrument will perform its role into one sustainable "symphony" for life.

Almost every one in the Aging Industry is talking and Looking for a Mega Ecosystem to be based on the R&D outcome in the next years.

What I am talking about will be one of many Interim "Best Practice" solutions to address The Independent Living" Challenges in the 21st century. This is what Homage for life is all about.

Dear Laurie you are considered as one of the worldwide Guru in this domain I will appreciate your comment ?

Best regards

Shoshan Shacham


Your reply is truly appreciated.

The monitors in watch form could be a good idea as long as they are very simple to use and any watch stems or buttons or whatever are large enough for people with arthritis, large fingers, or hand tremors. If programming is involved a caregiver or relative would probably need to handle any programming. The monitor in watch form should also be waterproof in case the elderly person is memory impaired and forgot to remove the watch when washing hands or taking a shower. The problem with some high tech devices is that they can be too complicated to use for the average elderly person. What will these watches monitor? It would be helpful if they could monitor pulse rates for example.