Related News Articles

08/07/2022

Suggests a gerontechnology ombudsman to mediate concerns.

08/05/2022

Helps older people find a place to live and gets them the services.

08/04/2022

The capability for ultrasound scans to be done via a wearable.

07/31/2022

Most noted are wheelchairs, walkers, and other items for disabilities.

07/29/2022

Focus on improving health outcomes, adding more support from staff.

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What's Next Longevity Innovation Summit, DC, December, 2022

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Laurie Orlov's blog

Honor buys Home Instead – a shakeup in the home care industry

Honor buys Home Instead: one of the newest acquires one of the oldest.  Honor, a recipient of $255 million in total investment (Series D in October, 2020), has pivoted here and there since its $20 million-fueled launch in 2015, always intent on disrupting the home care industry. For a while, many in the industry were skeptical. They viewed it as a threat – see interviewee comments in 2017’s Tech-Enabled Home Care.  Honor began as a home care company, then a home care tech platform company and buyer of smaller home care companies -- bulking up prior to Friday, when it acquired the largest home care company in both the US and UK– Home Instead.  

Five intriguing new offerings for older adults

Innovation is booming in categories to help older adults.   Perhaps it’s not surprising that innovation focused on older adults is ramping up – mitigating issues of social isolation, wander risk and safety, engagement, caregiving, financial management and many other categories. Not only was last year a bad year for older adult life expectancy at 65, the older adult (65+) population is still growing and a sizable number, particularly women, will live an average of nearly 20 additional years.

AI, Broadband, Privacy and Flip phones – Four blog posts from July 2021

Nobody wants to live in a nursing home. Yeah, yeah. We get it. The NY Times offers up an opinion echoing what Politico writers and all older adults believe -- until the need actually arises. You’ve read those echo chamber opinions (and about the Green House alternatives with 10 residents each) for the past 19 years. The traditional nursing home model of 100+ residents (funded by Medicare for rehab and Medicaid for long term stays) was declared dead in 2009. Still, there are at least 1.4 million seniors who live in traditional nursing homes today. Why? You know why. Older adults with dementia or other high-care health issues, economies of scale for staffing, cost of private pay assisted living, cost of private pay home care, no near-by or any family members. No news there. Changing the subject, here are four blog posts from July 2021:

Online privacy – when did we notice it was gone?

We should not accept that we are the product, always sharable.  From Amazon Sidewalk bandwidth sharing to always listening devices to smart assistants saving us from typing to recommendation engines (“If you liked this…”). The assumption derived from our behavior with new tech innovations? We have bought in – unless we go to ridiculous lengths to avoid having our data and information used (or abused) online. Consider ways in which algorithms still make mistakes that the individual referenced cannot easily correct.

Flip phones make no sense for older adults

Consider AARP’s list of flip and smart phones. AARP just published a puzzling guide article about smartphones targeted to older adults.  Note the article and the commentary that accompanied it – (and don’t get distracted by the paragraph explaining megapixels).  You may be struck by multiple aspects of this article – in addition to the phone makers you haven’t heard of. The IDC VP refers to older adults as senior citizens, for one, the T-Mobile exec lumping older adults into 55+ segment in a sweeping generalization of being ‘value conscious.’   Okay, enough being snippy.

Broadband access for all -- are we there yet?

Broadband penetration among adults in the US – is the job done? According to Parks Associates, 88% of US households have broadband. Do you find that confusing? Startling in the face of all of the state and government initiatives to connect more households? Minimum speed issues possibly going to be revised? What speeds are they talking about? Watch a Netflix movie? Participate in a zoom call? Not exactly. Turns out the current speed definitions “aren’t high enough to do anything.” Not a single area of West Virginia is properly served, according to that June 25, 2021 article. Colorado, Virginia – same complaint. Slow speed access is akin to no-speed access. Moving slowly past the speed issue – gets you to the adoption problem for older adults. What’s that you say? 22 million older adults, or 42% of the 65+ population, lack wireline broadband? Shouldn't that matter?

Almost useful: AI and machine learning in our lives as we age

Like the obsessively observant HAL, today's tech is always learning your behavior.  You mention a concept or product in an e-mail – and are surprised to see that ‘offer’ (displayed or pushed) in your next interaction.  Snoopy software tools like the A-word are persistent with the ‘insights’ gained from perusing your text. I see you have asked about such and so – would you like me to order it?  Snooping on your actions is fundamental for advertising and the revenue, uh, continued market valuations of A-words (oh, yes, absolutely, we protect privacy!).  Plenty of other privacy issues  persist with Twitter, the various G-words (health data too!), and the like.  These products build their value by ‘getting smarter’ all the time about you, but there are multiple well-documented and alarming privacy problems.

From Wearables to Smart Homes -- Four Blog Posts June 2021

June was a short, but pivotal month for aging and health.  Months of research with executives from 27 organizations resulted in the completion of new report, The Future of Wearables and Older Adults 2021.  It was presented on a panel at The What’s Next Longevity Venture Summit in June with 3 of the interviewees, Dr. Hon Pak of Samsung, Jeff Ray of Omron, and Mark Gray of Constant Companion.  Although current adoption is relatively low, the future of wearables has great potential for older adults, particularly in alerting to health issues between visits to the doctor. June was a season for new health-related product announcements from Apple and an oddity of an announcement from Amazon.  Also during June, preliminary research has begun on another, potentially connected, future report topic about Smart Homes and older adults. Here are the four blog posts from June:

To help older adults, smart home tech should wise up

Smart home tech – if it can be invented, it has been.  It is the ultimate tinkerer’s fantasy, something from an ‘Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal’ future.  As we signal our car’s arrival on the street near our house, the home’s temperature is automatically adjusted, the garage door opens automatically. Soon music will begin playing in the kitchen, the oven will begin preheating, and the newly purchased Echo Show 10 is in position to swivel towards us as we enter and present the recipe of the day. The trash can has already changed its own bag, the litter robot changed the cat litter, and knowing it has been a dry day, the smart sprinkler has just completed its cycle.

Five Tech Innovations for Older Adults - June 2021

The innovation competition season has begun. The What's Next Longevity Venture Summit is over and the Aging 2.0 Global Innovation Search voting process has begun. These are two substantial initiatives that often reveal interesting and useful companies to help with aging well and to mitigate various issues of aging and caregiving. Note that these five companies, selected from these two conference initiatives,are early stage (or even really early stage) and are included here because they may have concepts, offerings or approaches that are worth noting and thinking about. A link to the websites for more information is included.  Please comment if you know of other competitions and offerings than those mentioned here.

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