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Did you miss one? Four Tech and Aging Blog Posts from February 2022

March 2022 – in-person annual trade shows are back.  For so many who have been Zooming, Teaming, and WebEx’ing, lo, these many months, it’s actually comforting to know that the big exhibit shows are back.  This will be exciting for firms hoping to actually meet prospects in person, including events like HearTech Expo, sponsored by the American Academy of Audiology in St. Louis on April 1 – and next week’s VIVE 2022, the new health IT event in Miami. Upcoming, Argentum’s Senior Living Executive Conference in Minneapolis in March, then the American Society on Aging’s annual conference, On Aging, in New Orleans in April.  LeadingAge is holding its Leadership Summit in Washington, DC this month and its annual Conference and Expo in Colorado in October.  Hopefully all will be well-attended and business deals will be done, just like in the old days.  And to stay up to date, here are the four blog posts from February, 2022:

For older adults, television is a solid rock in a shifting tech landscape. Approximately half of the older adult population has a smart TV – a common platforms used to stream Internet services without an associated specialty box like Apple TV, Roku or Chromecast. And the rest may have standard TV with attached streaming devices. Smart TVs, a treasure trove of data, according to Elizabeth Parks, CEO of Parks Associates, can also deliver access to telehealth services, share family photos, and provide engagement for older adults who may be homebound. Alternatively, a device can be connected to a TV to enable an organization or family to connect directly with older adults who may not be comfortable with smartphones, tablets or smart speakers. Here are six TV-based offerings for older adults – in alphabetical order, all information is from the companies’ websites or press releases. Read more.

Apple watch sells fear to the young. Perhaps you have seen the scary Apple Watch ad about 911 calls. If not, here it is, short but it’s a doozy. Three examples of desperate 911 calls. Young woman trapped in car filling with water, young man paddle-boarding, wind pushing him out to sea, and a farmer who fell and can’t move (at the end, we calm down because all were rescued by emergency responders.) So this is the argument for the $749 or more for Series 7 Apple watch with Cellular access? Not an 82-year-old woman living alone, but instead, selling heart-racing fear to the young. Why it could open a whole new market of watch buyers and upgraders. So what could go wrong - and what about this IS wrong? Read more.

Voice-AI technology in 2022 – living up to hope and hype? By 2018, it seemed possible that Voice First technology (and its associated AI software) could transform the technology user experience for older adults (see report: The Future of Voice First Technology and Older Adults 2018). Fairly new at the time, a few senior living organizations embraced it for its home automation potential, possibility of concierge services -- turn on the lights! Raise the blinds! Book me on the afternoon trip!. The generally accepted view was that this technology was going to be “Easy, Cheap, Useful, Smart, and Connected (home automation that just works).” Amazon’s Alexa service ran on multiple variants of cheap hardware. Like Apple’s Siri, the software’s understanding of requests was relatively weak (compared to Google Assistant, which emerged in 2018 on Android and iOS). Read more.

AgeTech or All Tech – for Quality of Life. The rise of AgeTech – it is a trend. It’s easy to say, and it resonates -- especially compared to other long-standing terms like assistive technology, gerontechnology and durable medical equipment (DME). Parks Associates published a useful chart this week about the Changing form factors of panic buttons – take a look. But that was not the real subject of the article (thankfully). Rather, it suggested that while form factors are changing (from pendant to smart watch to home sensor technology), the shortage of labor in the caregiving market means that tech to help 66 million caregivers matters more than ever. In fact, one in five ‘broadband’ households is currently or will soon care for a family member, likely remaining in their own or a relative’s home. Read more.

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