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Five Technology Innovations for Older Adults -- August, 2016

Innovation from companies that have been there, done that.  It's intriguing to observe companies that have been in business for a while.  Sometimes there is a redirect into a new space or channel (see Philips and its direct-to-consumer approach) and sometimes innovation arrives that may augment an existing portfolio.  The market of technology and services for older adults continues to expand (see a near-hysterical Huffington Post article.)  So flipping around the cliché that 90% of all startup companies fail, wonder if there is another one -- 90% of all existing tech-related companies launch a tech or a service targeting seniors and caregivers within the next 5 years?  Here are five offerings - all text is from the company sites or press releases.

Essence Voice Panic Detector.  "Essence, a leading provider of IoT, cloud-based connected living solutions, demonstrated its new Care@Home(link sends e-mail) Voice Panic Detector last month at a series of global telecare and security events. The VPD is the first product in the industry to employ voice recognition technology to give seniors two-way access to emergency response via a simple vocal command. The VPD with Intelligent Voice Activation™ provides seniors with a voice-activated option that responds to a help word if there’s a medical emergency and they can’t physically access their units. The two-way system allows the monitoring company to communicate with the client directly to determine the level of required assistance." Learn more at Essence.

Lively Alert. "It’s smaller and lighter than previous generations, operates on the largest and most dependable national wireless network with no home installation. The small form factor can be worn on wrist or around neck and is waterproof, allowing use in the shower – and in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes.  When the button is pushed in any uncertain or unsafe situation, the Lively Alert connects to GreatCall’s 5Star service and its team of highly trained agents, handling communication through the device and staying connected until the incident is resolved, and escalating to emergency services if necessary. The device is also equipped with automatic fall detection, connecting to an agent when a fall occurs." Learn more at GreatCall.

Philips Personal Health programs and HealthWatch.   "The company’s consumer online store has launched — the general public worldwide can buy a new health watch, weight scale, ear thermometer and blood-pressure monitor. Notably, the watchautomatically collects various vital signs, tracks activity and measures sleep patterns with “clinically validated” accuracy, according to the vendor. All integrate with the new version 2.0 of the Philips HealthSuite mobile app for personal health management, and all have Food and Drug Administration clearance in the U.S." Learn more at Philips.

SentinelCare. "SentinelCare is a new approach to supporting loved ones aging in place.  Proactive, private, and always there, SentinelCare provides safety and security for the older adult living alone,  peace of mind for the family, and up-to-the-minute information for caregivers.  The SentinelCare service  operates in conjunction with an alarm system from a certified national provider (e.g. ADT, Protection 1, Guardian, etc.).  Signals generated by motion and specialty sensors are transmitted from the residence to the alarm service, and in turn, to SentinelCare's  network. Together SentinelCare + your alarm system afford each senior and family the best information available, safety, security, and peace of mind for all." From Learn more at SentinelAware.

Tunstall Vi+. "The Vi+ enables personalized care and risk management for seniors and other at risk populations to live independently at home for as long as possible. The Vi+ is a market leading product throughout the world and is now available in the US. With its comprehensive range of sensors, the Vi+ can monitor home environments unobtrusively for high risk events, out of pattern activities and potential emergencies. If a problem is detected, the unit will automatically generate a call to Tunstall’s Emergency Response Center so that the appropriate response can be quickly taken." Learn more at Tunstall