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Did you miss one? Note February posts about AI, tech support and aging in place

February – that’s when the 2023 AI hysterical hype cycle went into full gear. You know a topic is important when leading media sites like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal become irrational and contribute to the general cacophony – even offering up worries from, wait for it, Henry Kissinger and Eric Schmidt – Kissinger is 98, but apparently still trying out new software tools.  Eric Schmidt was former CEO of Google – he should be worried.  But the article ChatGPT Heralds an Intellectual Revolution was the whipped cream on top of the icing on the cake. Its subtitle: "Generative artificial intelligence presents a philosophical and practical challenge on a scale not experienced since the start of the Enlightenment."  

Beginning a Look at The Future of AI and Older Adults 2023

Can tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E be helpful to older adults? Of course, in the ways it can be helpful to any adult. The simple examples – retrieval of information and generated images seem very different from traditional (ad-driven) search tools. Given the early user base of ChatGPT (optimizing language models for dialogue), 100 million within the first few months, clearly developers, investors, and consumers agree. And multiple other companies are jumping into the market, perhaps playing catchup with early entrants. DALL-E (creating images from text captions) and other generative AI have become, uh, visible, and perhaps really useful in film-making and video game development. But how will this category be applied in the older adult marketplace, either for them directly or for those who serve them? 

Older Adults Embrace Telehealth as a result of Covid-19

12/05/2022

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – February 24, 2022 – Independa, an award-winning TV-based platform providing remote engagement, education and care, today announced the results of their second-annual commissioned survey of U.S. adults caring for their older adult parents.

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.

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