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Telehealth-RPM-Virtual Visits-Voice Health

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Telehealth-RPM-Virtual Visits-Voice Health

The Digital Divide -- Why haven't all older adults crossed it?

A hot topic now – crossing the so-called ‘Digital Divide’.  It’s ironic – the topic has been under discussion forever. Long ago, in a world far, far, away – it was easy for the oldest to say that they don’t see the benefit in technology, Internet access or other devices.  That was pre-pandemic of course. In 2020, the divide looks like a chasm, depending on how it is viewed. What will close it?  What is the missing link? More training?  Discounted devices?  Free Internet?  Grandchildren photos?  Worsening social isolation?  Telehealth visits?  And do we mean ‘Digital Divide’ – or do we really mean Internet Access Divide? Or is it the smartphone ownership divide? The how-do-I-use-this-thing divide? And what does it mean for one's life to be on the wrong side?

Five technologies for older adults November 2020

November – the month for giving thanks -- remotely.  It was a strange Thanksgiving for many – staying (stuck?) in place with Zoom, FaceTime -- and few place settings. Worse, for many older adults, isolation is a worsening health issue that we will hear more about as shutdowns continue and shut-in becomes the virtual norm.  In November, a long report (the third of 2020) called The Future of Remote Care Technology and Older Adults was published, the result of 30 interviews with executives from organizations large and very small. Here are five companies drawn from the report and beyond – all material is from the company websites:

The onset of Covid-19 produced an unanticipated surge in Remote Care Technology product and service offerings according to leading health and senior care providers

11/30/2020

Beginning in March of 2020, older adults were cut off from their families. Senior living companies of all types were caught in the triple bind of no-visitors, worsening worker shortage and the spread of Covid-19 to their residents. The pandemic caused older adults to defer health appointments and interactions with others, resulting in the usage of telehealth and other technologies like Zoom and FaceTime to skyrocket. Many of the technology stopgaps will become part of permanent change in how seniors connect, how businesses serve them, and what innovations matter most.

Aging and Health Technology Watch 2020 Research – A Recap

A year that saw little travel but it was a good time to write.   Most would agree that this year was not what we expected.  Instead of continuing with business and event travel into March, HIMSS was canceled at the last minute and converted to a virtual event.  And so it went, for Argentum events and many other summits. And so it remains a virtual world.  So 2020 was a year that produced 5 white papers and three long research reports emerge – normally not feasible with so much here-and-there travel. By comparison, in 2019 one report, the 2019 Market Overview, was published, along with 2 long and 4 short white papers, listed under Research.  Here are the reports – looking forward to 2021!

Consider Amazon’s role in the caregiving and older adult market

It’s already been a big year for new Amazon offerings that could benefit older people.   This month’s most obvious change was the introduction of Amazon Care Hub, an Alexa app that can be used to help monitor potentially isolated older adults.  But they also have done more work on Amazon Hospitality in partnership with K4Connect (which has rolled out 10,000 Alexa devices to senior living communities).  One might well argue that Amazon has and will continue to have a major impact on the quality of life for older adults (assuming senior privacy concerns and technology barriers to adoption are overcome – more on that another time):

Remote Care Technology and Older Adults - Filling in the basics 2020

Technology was essential for many adults stuck at home during the pandemic, providing some social connection, access to online shopping, home delivery services, and requests for transportation. But it also became apparent that some older adults were shut out from these due to limitations in vision, hearing, dexterity, and even dementia.  And for some, technologies were not affordable – median income of a household age 75+ is $34,925. Yet it is also becoming apparent that organizations that serve older adults realize that gaps exist. They are  increasingly motivated and will strive to ramp up efforts to deliver a greater degree of access than the numbers show today. What are the key dimensions that need to be addressed moving forward?

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