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New technologies may mitigate fall risk – and just in time

The stats on death from falls are startling – especially for the 65+.  Death rates are rising, projected to be 7 up to deaths per hour for the 65+ by 2030.  And that falls are the leading cause of injury death among the 65+.  Did you know that the majority of hip fractures are from falling, usually sideways?  Did you know that medical costs from falls was $50 billion in were projected to be $52 billion in 2020? And that the costs (estimated at $754 million in 2015) were mostly paid by Medicare and Medicaid (the latter likely in nursing homes.)  So many factors contribute to the risk of falling, including lower body weakness, balance issues, medications, and home hazards.

Over the counter hearing aids – an absurdly long time in coming

Yesterday was a big day that should have happened several years ago. Finally. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the over-the-counter sale of hearing aids for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Consider that this was first proposed in 2017! Consider the hearing aid ecosystem that has grown over many years to involve audiologists, a shrinking number of hearing aid makers – only five control 90% of the market! Consider the high price (upwards of $6000 per pair), limited insurance company assistance, and much individual isolation, misery, and family frustration. Consider the now-known and studied connection between untreated hearing loss and dementia.  Consider the multi-year delay between the onset of hearing loss for individuals, especially men, and actually doing anything about it. Consider the social isolation experienced by those with hearing loss.

Five Sensor Technology Offerings to Benefit Older Adults 2022

Some might say that sensor technology for older adults is nothing new.   What’s the big deal? Remote monitoring products and services built with sensors have been around for decades. Grandcare Systems was founded in 2004 followed by a sensor-based remote monitoring startup and consolidation wave in 2009-2010. This type of tech had obvious benefits, even then, but today, what was obvious then has become a crisis of care today. There are simply not enough workers to care for the aging boomers and beyond. That spells opportunity for motion and camera-based sensors that are being deployed for care of older adults. This will be discussed further in a report later this year, The Future of Sensors and Older Adults 2022. Among the many types and features of sensors, here are five offerings, all info from the companies:

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