Hear Laurie in one of the following:

Related News Articles


Questionable diagnoses triggered extra Medicare Advantage payments; ‘It’s anatomically impossible’.


Used informally in medical care, despite other approved devices being available to track the same metrics.


Sensi.AI does remote monitoring with small listening pods placed around the home.


AI has innovative solutions that enhance health management, safety, social engagement, cognitive support, and personalized care for seniors in retirement.


 There could be unforeseen, long-term consequences to the concept.

Monthly blog archive

You are here

Six technology-enabled innovations for older adults from 2016

Tech announcements spew forth, fast and furiously – but most do not help older adults.  Stay tuned and hopeful if you can, to the hundreds of announcements that will pour forth in the coming weeks from CES 2017 – hopefully a number of them focused on or at least interested in the care and/or services related to an aging population – and yes, according to the CDC, if one lives to age 65, life expectancy is unchanged. In the meantime, let’s reflect on 2016, which saw the rise in awareness of future caregiver shortages, shortages in family time, but not shortages in investor money:

  • Amazon Echo Alexa Skills Improve – yield Caregiving offerings.  Following the introduction of AskMarvee – an Amazon Echo software tool for care recipients and care providers – and a way to help mitigate the isolation of aging alone with its Call me, Check on me options), though they still require the care recipient to ‘Wake up’ the device. Then more recently, LifePod announced its home hub that can check in with users throughout the day. And now, OrbitaHealth is offering a Voice Experience Designer to create a custom Echo-based interaction with patient care recipients. And then, there is GoogleHome – so far, not much pointed towards older adults, but this is, er, now.

  • grandPad/Comfort Keepers, Philips/RightAtHome.  In March, grandPad’s tablet that targets seniors in their – wait for it – mid-80’s! – partnered with Acer for tablet hardware and distributed with the help of Comfort Keepers, a nationwide home care agency!   And not to be outdone, in May, Philips and RightAtHome announced their partnership, with the intent to provide ‘actionable insights’ as to the status of the care recipient.    Meanwhile, RightAtHome was also part of the Harvard Medical School study, along with ClearCare.  Meanwhile, ClearCare gets a SeriesD round of funding in August and hires a new VP of Engineering.  The Harvard Medical School study was notable for its use of a structured checklist that could provide structured data and possible clues to changes in status of the care recipient – prior to a readmission to the hospital.
  • Care.com received nearly $50 million from Google Capital.  This happened in June for a public company -- a marketplace for finding care – but perhaps that’s not so surprising in the face of the other announcements that preceded it.  Remember in 2015 about tech-enabled startups Honor (now up to $62 million raised), Hometeam, and Home Hero?  We can assume that this coming year will be a fast-paced one for the home care space, at least in terms of announcements and new offerings. 
  • AARP Services announces a new Caregiving website and partnerships.  AARP’s caregiving initiative expanded, first with a comprehensive landscape report prepared by Parks Associates – which divided the landscape into six parts, including the still-vague, but increasingly utilized term, Care Coordination. Then a few weeks ago, AARP Services (ASI), the for-profit arm of AARP, announced a new website, now in Beta, and partnerships -- including Teledoc, CareLinx, and Hometeam -- called CareConnection.  Will this be a hub for caregivers – maybe.  With so many others clamoring to be that hub, one wonders.
  • Automated check-in services seem to be here to stay.  The concept of checking in with older adults and care recipients is not new, but the proliferation of this feature may be.  Beyond Marvee, already mentioned, see 2016 announcements from CareAngel and its recent AARP award; Sentinal Care, and IamFine. The white-labeling of automated check-in services will mean that the voice you hear may increasingly be a nurse from the doctor's office reminding of an appointment, a need to take a medication, or a suggestion about food intake.
  • Everybody wants to give someone a ride or get them home. Consider Lyft/Carelinx with CareRides, Uber and hospitals, and many other combinations.  Meanwhile, HomeHero partnered with Cedars-Sinai Hospital to help with the post-discharge care transition to home. Expect more of this type of announcement – perhaps driving doctors and nurses to assignments, bringing home care aides to homes, and offering home care aides the opportunity to become drivers, or vetted drivers to become home care aides.  And did we mention startup concierge services like Envoy?


I am always amazed that no one seems to understand how many of the oldest old (80+) have no way to use all this technology.  In the complex where my mother lives most residents have disconnected from personal Internet services.  They just do not want the bother of it anymore, as it causes them anxiety and costs money many of them do not have.