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Covid-19 – Technology changes accelerate – some a work-in-progress

Note the wave of announcements of 'free' tech services and sea changes. A number of companies popped into my inbox in the past week with announcements of a period of free access to remote care/engagement technologies – including and in alphabetical order CareCentrix, CareTree, Ergo, Eversound, Outpatient, Ready Responders, NurseCaller, Touchtown, StaySmartCare and VitalTech. If your firm is in the remote care/caregiving space (health, telehealth, engagement), please comment or email and I will add to this list. And our family doctor’s staff initiated an offer of a Facetime (or Skype or Hangouts or other choice) for a follow-up visit instead of going into the office. Note the other ‘temporary’ change of reimbursement for remote (even telephone) visits, now fitting into the concept of telehealth. The ‘tipping point’ of telehealth is here – and tipping with a suddenness that is unnerving for overstretched vendors and most notably, difficult for providers who may lack the equipment and/or processes to deal with patients remotely, despite the risks to themselves with in-person interaction.

Five technology and health blogs from March 2020

The world is spinning from the events of March 2020. At the beginning of the month, it made sense to publish a Market Overview about tech for older adults that did not link all tech to Covid-19, and by the end of the month every single news item, announced business initiative, investor prediction, startup messaging, university project, and technology topic was only about Covid-19. It’s almost quaint to look at where the month began since publishing the 2020 Market Overview of Technology for Aging on March 5. The technologies noted are as relevant today as they were on March 5 – however, their application as the list of press releases notes, may be different. Telehealth is suddenly as critical as it always should have been. Smart home (and enablement of remote interactions matters more than it ever has.) From the month:

VitalTech Offers Senior Living Facilities Free Virtual Care and Telehealth Platform to Combat COVID-19

03/20/2020

PLANO, Texas, March 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- VitalTech, a rapidly growing market leader in Virtual Care, announced today that it is offering Senior Living and Long-Term Care Facilities free Telehealth access*. This comprehensive strategy allows caregivers, and their residents, full access to the VitalCare® platform. This initiative is implemented through a partnership with the Ziegler Link•Age Funds, in a joint effort to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

Screenshot of VitalCare Family app.

Coronavirus – and the impact on older adults in senior care

Consider the directives aimed at senior living communities. Rant on. The Washington State nursing home deaths and the virus presence in multiple nursing homes have an immediate result. Nursing home visits are now restricted nationwide – and it appears, despite lack of clarity, that also means assisted living – the combination spanning 2.5 million nationally. Most people look at the lock-downs as completely sensible, preventing the spread of the virus to such a vulnerable population.  And worker shortages already plaguing this industry are expected to worsen as workers call in sick, out of fear for themselves or their families. 

VitalTech Acquires Breezie

02/19/2020

VitalTech, a market leader in connected care, digital health and remote patient monitoring, announced today that it will be expanding the breadth of its existing services with the acquisition of Breezie™, a multitiered tablet-based platform that drives senior engagement and compliance.

Eversound Technology Improves Resident Engagement, Understanding and Satisfaction, Study Shows

01/14/2020

 “Hearables for All” was a 12-month program launched in 2017 by the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW). The study explored the next generation of wearable hearing devices for older adults with hearing loss as solutions are increasingly needed to address this condition. The study confirmed the value of addressing hearing loss to help promote wellbeing and social engagement in older adults.

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