Tangential to the talk: technology for an aging population. Looking through the agenda of the Connected Health Symposium in Boston, it's apparent in an agenda so densely packed with doctors (not to mention the attendees, with 26 just from Mass General Hospital) that this is not a conference about technology and aging (duh!). And that is despite the fact that the biggest patient dilemma for both the businesses and providers packing the rooms remains the aging and very old patients who fill their offices and hospital beds and run up the largest bills at end of life. Among the sponsors and exhibitors, these vendors stood out for me as important for serving an aging population. In alphabetical order:
Boomers everywhere. So there were 22,000+ attendees average age 62.8, according to AARP. They slogged around the mammouth Orange County Convention Center, stopping by exhibits only when they weren't a mile away (same building) listening to the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Larry King, Rob Reiner, Cesar Milan, Dave Barry, and Newt Gingrich. No question -- AARP puts on a great party.
Silver Smart Technology Center -- a storefront in a CCRC. Recently I had a chance to chat about with Sharon Whalen who works in the Passavant Retirement Community within Lutheran SeniorLife -- a 700-person CCRC in Zelienople, PA. Lutheran SeniorLife's CCRC is comprised of skilled nursing, memory care, personal care (their term for assisted living) and residential living villas and cottages (their term for independent living.) Sharon has just set up the Technology Center there to demonstrate those "assistive devices that residents, staff, family, and other members of the community can touch and get a feel if this is something they want" -- then they can decide whether to purchase on their own.
It’s time for a quick August update of more new and notable tech offerings, from emerging vendors and new offerings from existing vendors – including beta testing. Please let me know about others you know about and are not spotted via the Product Snapshots term on this site:
Last month I mentioned three new caregiving applications that entered the market recently -- this month, a summary list of other interesting products that have entered the market in recent (roughly the past 6) months, presented in alphabetical order. A number of products are expected to announce in the next few months -- expect another post when there's at least six more.
In a non-travel week, I have more time to speak to vendors, both pre-launch and launched. Here are three launched to add to the list of tech vendors to support caregiving (or 'circle of care' as it is sometimes described). None require any specialized equipment or device in the home. And no doubt each would welcome your contacting them to learn more about their offerings:
Years ago when I was searching for a nursing home for my mother, I was amazed at how few websites there were that help in finding senior housing. That was then. Now there are oodles -- almost impossible to keep straight and the business models may not be obvious, the value even less so. Today I will attempt to clarify types, offer a few examples, and attempt to explain the busines model. As with every other web-based initiative, consolidation and shakeout in this world is inevitable and appropriate.
I tend not to write about gadgets -- but the TV remote has bugged me for a while -- since the analog-digital switch, my mother-in-law struggles to use the remote control of her new digital TV. Sometimes she gets it by reading printed directions. Sometimes she just yanks the cord out of the wall to turn it off. Somehow, I don't think she is the only one who used to have an older-style dial TV that you walked up to and switched on. From an e-mail I received recently: "When we gave the new TV to my husband's mother, she said, "what's with all the buttons? Up, down, off, on.
It's only early October -- many trade shows and events ahead. Prior to attending any of the fall and winter product launching events, I wanted to let you know of some companies I've heard from in recent months -- and invite those in the aging technology, caregiver website/directory business, and telehealth arena to send me your press releases (now posted on the site). And if you know of someone I should know about, let me know.
Following the post I did on the Philips call center, one anonymous comment was quite critical of the service, particularly in terms of response time. I assume this was written by a departed Lifeline employee who has joined another company, which is the reason for it being anonymous. Okay, fine.