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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Laurie Orlov's blog

Voice First in Senior Living -- What's Happened and What's Next?

Senior Living organizations are eager to try new technology.  Over the years, consider the pilots of Rendever (virtual reality) at Brookdale, Benchmark’s pilot of Google Home and Samsung tablets, or  CarePredict in LifeWell facilities – just a few of the many. Some pilots are even documented in the form of case studies – about what worked – or what might not have worked.  Pilots are typically newsworthy at their start. And they may produce a list of lessons learned upon completion – or a set of considerations for future pilots. So where does Voice First technology fit into the senior living equation?

Four technology categories to remotely monitor a paid caregiver

The boom in home care has side effects -- turnover and risk. We want to trust home care workers with aging parents.  After all, most cannot afford private pay assisted living – which can exceed $3000/month in most locations – and assisted living occupancy is projected to be flat -- likely because people see the cost and defer move-in. Given expanding life expectancies at age 65 – an average of 20 more years for men and more for women, the possibility of ‘aging in place’ in a private home may be growing.  As a result, the demand for private home care will grow, but so will the costs – especially for finding workers willing to do this difficult work for low pay. As of 2017, median home care turnover was 66.7% (compared to 30% for CNAs in assisted living).  With so many workers coming and going, especially for care recipients with the most taxing care requirements, what technologies may assist families and agency management for monitoring care?

Health-Care tech for seniors – not well served by the Wall Street Journal

Skip the tech – listen to the experts interviewed – first robots.  The good news – this week’s Health Care Technology supplement transcended the limits of doctors and hospitals – and dabbled in the dilemmas of elder care – included technology to assist those with dementia and mitigate loneliness.   The bad news -- another in a long line of 'robots and chatbots look after the elderly,' with promotions of those oft-promoted Care.coach and ElliQ, adding Catalia Health’s cute Mabu. These are worthy experiments – and not wanting to be left behind, there are always health organizations eager to see what the fuss is about. Says USC researcher, Maja Mataric: "Robots give patients the illusion of having a physical companion…it isn’t actually very hard to project empathy (Mabu)...Empathy is what you do, not what you feel."   Really?  How comforting.

Technology in Senior Care – Thoughts from a Chief Medical Officer

For a Chief Medical Officer, what role does technology play? Recently there was an opportunity to query executives in senior care, including Dr. Arif Nazir, Chief Medical Officer, Signature HealthCARE, who was asked about the technology impact on long-term care jobs.   The insights quoted here could be generalized, not just to Skilled Nursing Facilities, but to all types of care delivery – and are particularly notable in the context of last week’s New York Times article: "How Tech Can Turn Doctors into Clerical Workers.” As Dr. Nazir notes, it’s not just doctors who can be frustrated by over-emphasis on technology. Here are the questions and few observations about the work and the workers:

We are the guinea pigs in cars and online

Too much road noise, no self-driving information.  So how safe are self-driving cars for us, those pesky consumers who are also the victims of this tech for tech's sake?  Ask yourself – how would you know? Even the NTSB doesn’t want you to know details of accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot.  Let’s remember the so-called problem being hustled into the market -- to reduce the most recently cited number (40,000) of deaths from auto accidents. They are astonishingly low already, according to a Rand study, at 1 per 100 million miles traveled. According to the Wall Street Journal article, Tesla promised to release safety data on its self-driving tech regularly starting next quarter, though they have not said what sort of data and what could be gleaned from it -- perhaps in advance of another series (see link) of crashes.

Aging in Place Technology – Four Blog posts from April 2018

April showers, daffodils and other flowers.  Depending on where you went in April you could experience spring multiple times – each time buds and birds emerging. With them, much news about technology, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the smug – not sure that so much time to look at and listen to Mark Zuckerberg’s confession felt like a positive.   It did make one wonder how long Facebook has known which of its “2 billion users” are the 87 million fake profiles – and are those counted in the data used by advertisers?  At any rate, here are the four blog posts from the month of April.

Let’s talk – what’s actually happening with Voice First adoption?

Smart speakers – they seem to be the new, new thing.  According to eMarketer’s new report , 40.7 million people will use a ‘smart speaker’ at least once in any given month. Because there is competition now, primarily from Google, the market share projection for Amazon (which ‘shipped tens of millions of devices at Christmas’) will drop from 66.6% to 60.8% share by then – and Google Home-related will rise to 30%. Other than Amazon and Google – “Other” will grow from 8.3% to 14%, which presumably includes Sonos, JBL, Harmon Kardon and other entrants. Does this matter? The split is less important than the growth in overall adoption, not because this is the coolest of new gadgetry, but because the user interface is finally improving and matching the way we think -- after many years of deteriorating screen-based UIs that, on a good day, are just plain annoying.

It's not about your grandmother - 10 steps before launching!

You want to launch a boomer/senior, home health tech, caregiving, product or service. Or other. Your new company gets ready to travel into battle for west coast networking, or you're back from San Francisco or Silicon Valley, consider this guidance, now that cards have been exchanged and follow-up emails sent. Soon your new or existing company will officially launch a new product or service, or a much-anticipated offering will finally ship. You read AARP and Pew survey research reports. Now look over this 6-month-old updated checklist.  And you look back on the 2009 advice – which is still valid, especially about creating community around the product – more important than ever. And as for item 6 in this post, THIS MEANS YOU!   Really now, are you ready? 

Five Technology Offerings for Older Adults -- April 2018

April Showers, Innovation and Spring flowers.  Tech companies and their partners continue to propel forward, with new ideas, innovations, products. Consider that April offered up the winners of the Stanford Design Challenge – a computer-integrated bicycle handle with blind spot warning and fall detection and emergency alert. Stay tuned for more innovation events upcoming, including the upcoming 2018 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit in June. Here are the five offerings from April with all material drawn directly from the company's websites:

Technology design for all -- predicted in 2011, in-market in 2018

A long time ago (7 years this month) in a tech world far, far away, a report sponsored by then-AARP executive Jody Holtzman predicted that technology change would deliver a new user experience. The concept was referred to as "Technology Design for All" --  defined as 'User experiences that appeal to all age groups, persisting across versions and devices.'  According to the report Connected Living for Social Aging, which was published 7 years ago this month, the future was predicted. It is worth a look back -- note that it did happen just as described. Consider smart speakers (the Echo was launched in 2014), IoT boxes, phones, tablets, PCs, Macs and all cloud-based software.   These work without the need to download and upgrade on Patch Tuesday, though privacy improvements are the next big technology hurdle.  From the report, with the chart giving an italicized nod to tech of 2018:  

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