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Laurie Orlov's blog

Connected Health could make you a bit sick

You'd think a symposium on 'connected health', a Boston conference with 1000 attendees that included investors (who warned that there was going to be a bloodbath of failed startups) as well as vendors and tech-aware doctors would be inspiring, but the actual experience was quite the opposite.

A look at medication reminders

I admit it: I often forget to take my fish oil tablet, one of the several tactics my doctor recommends to drive down my bad cholesterol. It’s a fact of life; everyone forgets to take a medication dose at one time or another. But as we age, the list of medications prescribed by our doctors grows and the number of times per day we have to think about it multiplies. For a growing number of Americans, forgetting a medication dose or taking the wrong dose can threaten both health and quality of life.

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Successful aging -- computers and the internet

Successful aging is not an oxymoron. First the textbook definition (from "The Realities of Aging, Kinsey/Kart): "aging in which external factors either have a neutral role or counteract the effects of internal aging processes, resulting in little or no decrements in functioning." Whew. What does that mean?

BigScreenLive -- to go

I've become a bit obsessed with searching and thinking about PC simplification products (note previous entries about Presto and Celery) that enable seniors to connect to others (family, friends, caregivers...) Maybe I got into a searching frenzy after a 79-year old family friend just confided to me last week that the e-mail appliance in her home has stopped working and she can no longer exchange e-mail with her teenage grandkids.

Who knew? Brain function improves when you search the Web

What a relief. Looks like all my time spent chasing around the Internet is well-spent in terms of brain fitness (my biceps and quads -- that's another story...).Looks like our brains benefit, but apparently only if we are experienced at Yahoo'ing and Google'ing. Novices must first become 'experienced'.

Zuri -- color me skeptical about this and other online health records

Monitoring your health at home looks like an incredible opportunity for big and small vendors -- including Zume Life, which just announced the 'Zuri' -- a hand-held device which prompts users to take their pills and keeps track of health-related issues, including upload to a Web page that can be shared. It will cost around $200 when it is available in the spring, plus $40-50/month for Web services.

Let's keep perspective on Project Lifesaver for wandering Alzheimer's

Many who want to age in place suffer from some early memory loss themselves -- or they have a spouse or other relative with dementia. But is this technology consistent and optimal across state boundaries? It looks like every state (now 11 or more) can and probably will implement Project Lifesaver Silver Alerts that use some sort of bracelet with a notification to local police.

Cameras -- not necessarily a privacy invasion for dementia

For those who provide care for those with dementia or other limitations -- AARP's Healthy@Home notes that seniors may not object as much as thought to an obvious barrier -- fear of privacy invasion if it can a) make them feel safer, or b) give them more personal peace of mind as well as that of their family and friends..

The Pill Phone -- an app for medication reminders

I've spoken before about the difference between technology that connects outside the home (and can be upgraded and improved) versus gadgets and gizmos that are one-off and destined for obsolescence. The former has the potential for connecting seniors to caregivers as well as connecting seniors to information they could use.

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