We often blog about "Aging in Place Technologies" and the reason is that we beleive that these technologies represent an opportunity for home care companies to do two things: 1) keep abreast of what's available (and often marketed direct to consumers and their families) and 2) Look for ways to grow your businesses with this technology. As an example, two weeks ago we did a blog post entitled Wired Homes for Tracking the Elderly: A private Duty Differentiator that you can read here. That post talked about home monitoring solutions that families are considering in lieu of private duty care, but then outlined a way that you can in fact grow your business by embracing the technology.
Today we bring you an update from Laurie Orlov, who is an expert consultant in all matters related to aging in place. She publishes a blog at http://ageinplacetech.com. Below is a sample of her research and writing with information to connect you to her site.
by Laurie Orlov
August was a bonanza of buzz, buzz, buzz. Usually August is a snoozer (and a slow news month) in the business world, what with vacations and organizational regrouping. But beginning with the August 3 Intel-GE Joint Venture announcement that fueled hope and speculation about accelerating intentions, more activity and media tracked right behind. During August, Great Call announced a new Jitterbug medication reminder service, Healthsense received a round of investment led by Radius Ventures, a $1.3 billion M-Health market sizing got Qualcomm and AT&T excited. Or maybe that that was 'mHealth' -- Best Buy (re)surfaced with health-related stuff in stores. Within the general what's-it-all-mean confusion, more press followed last month's NY Times series -- this time NPR offered up a series on aging and technology as well. Never one to shut up, I offered my own 'bah humbug' assessment of the assessment.
Alzheimer's hype, hope, oops...reality. Speaking of saturated media coverage, August was a month in which the unsuspecting might actually think an Alzheimer's revolution was at hand. Following July's news of amending (expanding) criteria as to what consitutes the disease, next came identification of biomarkers as possible early warning indicators. But stay cautious about remedies and prevention: see yesterday's NY Times published the NIH jury and Duke 'meta' study -- a study of all previously published studies about what's proven and what's not. The short answer about the various prevention and remedies studied to date -- the answer: NOT PROVEN. Implication? New criteria potentially broadens the population beyond the current 5 million, diagnosis is potentially going to be at an earlier age, and nothing has been proven to work at staving off or curing the disease. To me, this signals an opportunity to create or re-purpose smarter GPS and geo-fencing apps (not just technologies) to prevent wandering, not just find those who are lost -- and while we're at it, let's see some studies that prove which ones work best and under what conditions. We're going to need them.
And how long before the iPad solves everything? Ah well, sigh, I guess it will be just a bit longer, judging from the Nielsen study noting that only 15% of iPad buyers are over age 56. I bet that even those (no demographics to prove) are not that much over, either. And will the smart phone be the remote monitoring and fall detection device of choice, meaning all others rest? Not in the near term -- seniors aren't buying or using them either. So for all those who ask about this -- I doubt it. Remember, Apple doesn't even want admit to marketing to baby boomers!. And carriers express interest and even dabble a bit here and there, but invest little or nothing in marketing. So in the meantime, keep on keeping on with solutions for the foreseeable future. When there's a big change, you can read it on this site early and often.
And for those who might be running around here and there like I will be in the fall -- look on the left side of the website at http://www.ageinplacetech.com for a list of events.
For any of you who are interested in aging in place technologies and who will be in the Boston area on September 23rd, Ankota helped organize a great event featuring Laurie. You can learn more and sign up at http://silvertsunami.eventbrite.com/.
Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital. Today Ankota services home health, private duty care, DME Delivery, RT, Physical Therapy and Home Infusion organizations, and is interested in helping to efficiently manage other forms of care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact Ankota.