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Seniors

Papa Closes on $150M Series D Funding Round

11/09/2021

MIAMI (November 9, 2021)—Papa, a curated platform of companionship and support for older adults, families, and other vulnerable populations, announced the close of their Series D funding. The $150 million raised will help address social determinants of health, including loneliness and isolation, for older Americans and others who stand to benefit from companionship and everyday assistance. Through access to on-demand and at-home social support, those enrolling in Papa are less likely to need costly medical intervention and more able to live independent and healthy lives.

AI technology matters in the care of older adults

AI – it’s everywhere, including tech for older adults. So what is AI? Artificial intelligence (AI) is a wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. AI can use machine learning based on large data sets, and has a number of well-known applications, including recommendations from Netflix, Siri and Alexa, bots and robo-advisors. AI plays an increasing role in healthcare, including the growing use of chatbot tools used by patients. In addition, there are multiple examples of use in the care of older adults. In some cases, these are the result of partnerships, in others from product development. Here are five recent examples leveraging AI, with all information coming from vendor announcements and websites:

GrandCare Expands New Branch in Southern California to Support Rapid Growth

09/07/2021

GrandCare Systems, a leading connected health and resident engagement platform for senior care and disability providers, announced today the opening of new offices in north San Diego County, California. This expansion is due in part to a significant growth in the company’s sales, new partnerships with payers and disability service providers, and the integration of new products and services.

Adoption of wearables by older adults -- what are the barriers?

For wearables to be useful to older adults, some barriers need to be overcome.  As has been the case with other technology innovations that can provide great benefit to seniors, the value of wearables may be great for older adults -- especially when personalized to the characteristics and needs of an individual. However, the implementation and/or data integration may be lacking. And there may be significant concerns about being tracked or where the data resides. Reviewing the impediments to this useful category actually being adopted -- these may include:

Hearing aids, the elderly, and listening to music

Hearing aids and music -- why is this so difficult to solve for the elderly?  The pandemic isolated everyone, but it may have been even worse for the hearing-impaired. Consider the oldest -- they are aged 85 or 86, love music and enjoy getting together with others in restaurants. The man loses one of the uninsured hearing aids and has to switch to backups that emit whistles or screeches, and cannot hear accurate sounds from a grand piano. The replacement cost of the single hearing aid is $2195 bundled with audiologist assistance. That pair worked well with his TVlink unit – enabling him to hear the TV at the right volume, and his spouse to listen at the broadcast volume. The older woman is isolated during restaurant lunch time conversation because she can’t sort out who is speaking – she is described as ‘looking lost’.  She also has a piano she won’t play because of hearing aid sound distortion.  Both can easily afford the best hearing aids, service, and guidance available. Both are frustrated at their inability to fully mitigate these issues.

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