When Caregiver Robots Come for Grandma

Failing the Third Machine Age: When [Caregiver] Robots Come for GrandmaWhen Robots Come for Grandma is a long and thought-provoking article by Zeynep Tufekci, published in 2014. It builds a case against “caregiver robots,” arguing that they are both inhumane and economically destructive. She got me thinking, and I hope this has the same effect on you.

I would have liked to add my own perspectives and contrarian view with links to related articles here at Modern Health Talk. I’d start with Will Robots Take Over in Health Care? Unfortunately there was no space to add comments, so I use her article as a basis for mine and hope you’ll share your thoughts in the space I give below. Read More …

Healthcare as Public Utility

healthcare as a public utility - image of health care practitioner with handheld mobile deviceComputing functions once associated with PCs are moving back to big servers in the Internet Cloud, leaving mobile client devices to handle the user interface (UI) but not the data storage and analysis. I find this shift especially interesting, having grown up in the mainframe world at IBM as computing functions moved to PCs.

In the case of speech recognition and Apple’s SIRI artificial intelligence, even the UI function is now split between client & server. This has huge implications for healthcare, with IBM’s Watson and AT&T’s analytics engine aimed at different parts of the healthcare problem.

The networked mobile device (phone, tablet, etc.) will serve as a health gateway between a host of medical & environmental sensors and cloud-based services that collect & analyze the collected data. The benefits will not just target individual patients but be applied across large populations.

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Smart Home Technologies For Mature Homeowners

New research by The Hartford and The MIT AgeLab reveals their Top 10 Smart Home Technologies For Mature Homeowners (press release below).

They conducted joint research to better understand which smart home technologies may benefit homeowners over the age of 50 and get their perspectives on smart home technology. This research involved an extensive review of new smart home technologies by leading experts in housing, aging, and technology and an online survey of homeowners.

Top 10 Smart Home Technologies

Smart home technologies that may make life easier, help with home
maintenance, and enhance safety and security for homeowners 50+.

Top 10 Smart Home Technologies
Read More …

Top Technology Innovations All Seniors Should Have

Guest article by Helen SmithReal Seniors over age 75 are less likely to be Silver Surfers than baby boomers who used computers in their jobs.

The number of adults over 60 using the Internet and related devices is continuing to grow, and according to a Pew Research survey, over half of all seniors now use the Internet and have cell phones.

This might lead to us to conclude that seniors are “silver surfers,” ready to embrace tech developments as they arise, and turning to the Internet for everything from their shopping and deliveries to their dating needs. In reality, however, we have a long way to go before this is the case. [See Tech Adoption by Real Seniors, because there’s a big gap between them and boomers?]

Technology has been evolving at such a fast rate that keeping up can feel overwhelming, and this is particularly true for seniors [the real seniors]. They often aren’t nearly as excited about new gadgets and gizmos as their younger and more tech-savvy relatives are.

Technology, however, can be a huge benefit to seniors and help them live happier and more enriching lives. So whether you’re a tech wizard or just interested in making life a bit easier, here are the top innovations that all seniors should have: Read More …

Home Automation Shows Promise for Seniors, but HomeKit Isn’t the Answer – Yet

By Beth Kelly

Home automation has been a mixed blessing for senior citizens and those who provide their care. Individual assistive technologies and comprehensive smart home “ecosystems” are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they’re more capable than ever of understanding older user’s needs and capabilities.

The development of comprehensive home technology platforms – such as Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s Home – has accelerated hopes that technology’s role in senior care will continue to make rapidly meaningful strides, via the ever-widening Internet of Things (IoT).

Smart Home applications of IoT

Integrating Disparate Subsystems

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Smart Assistive Technology Collaborative gains traction

Smart Assistive Technology CollaborativeAustralia’s award-winning Community Care Smart Assistive Technology Collaborative is gaining traction among community care service providers, researchers, developers and, more recently, consumers of services. [from Community Care Review]

The project is funded by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services as a free online platform that provides a space to collaborate, learn and access resources and expertise.

This space focusses on local, national and international community care practices and experiences with incorporating in service provision. We have intentionally ensured our focus expands beyond local experience to ensure participants are able to access leading edge and contemporary information from international projects, experiences and implementations. Read More …

The Smart Home Mess

The networking Tower of Babel contributes to the Smart Home Mess.

I often write about Smart Home technologies that can help seniors or people with disabilities live independently and safely at home, but I also criticize the media and marketers for their excessive hype and for ignoring the smart home mess.

The Smart Home Mess

Today’s posting is my response to, an excellent article by Stacey Higginbotham, published yesterday in FORBES.

The most insightful quote from this article is, “The smart home, for better or worse, is an ecosystem. And so far, most companies are trying to make it a platform.”

MY COMMENT: Even a SMART Home ecosystem, if it targets DIY consumers, is not very smart and will likely fail to reach mass market adoption. That’s because it puts Consumer’s in the role of systems integrator, in a complex ecosystem with competing standards and retail confusion. Read More …

Presidential Report on Independence Technology

Independence TechnologyIn an 80-page report issued this week, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), made several recommendations to address America’s aging population with independence technology. They include:

  • mHealth innovation,
  • remote patient monitoring,
  • telehealth expansion and reimbursement,
  • broadband access for seniors,
  • more sophisticated wheelchairs, and even
  • home designs for sustained independence.

What follows is a highlighted extract from the report’s Executive Summary. Read More …

Tribute to Steve Jobs (1955-2011), iPhone 4S and iPad 2

iSad candle imageEDITOR: This 2011 article is being republished in support of CNN’s documentary, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, which aired the first week of 2016.

With his vision, marketing savvy, attention to design & usability details, and ability to deliver total solutions around complete value chains, Steve Jobs revolutionized almost everything he touched, even turning technology into fashion. Those white earbuds, for example, tell people you are cool. The CNET video below takes us through the ups & downs of a career that changed both the tech industry and our culture at large.

In his 2005 “connecting the dots” Stanford commencement speech, Jobs spoke of finding work you love and the inevitability of death, which he described as “the single most important change agent of life.” Jobs said the end of one life makes room for others and told graduates, “your time is limited, so don‘t waste it living someone else’s life.” He concluded by advising them to “Stay hungry; stay foolish.”

Somehow I find it ironic that Jobs later got a Liver transplant ahead of many others because he was wealthy enough to have access to a private jet to get him there stat. I’m not complaining, just reflecting on this as an example of medical ethics issues that I find difficult & fascinating.
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Healthcare Robots – a growing collection

Google"s Robot?With arguably the largest aging population relative to its total, Japan leads the world in the production of healthcare robots as a way to cope with the growing need for eldercare and shrinking numbers of working people left to give that care. It’s not surprising that many of the robots featured in this collection originate from Japan.

Below are dozens of robot images, followed by images representing 8 videos that you can watch by clicking on each image. The list of related articles will expand over time as we discover new and interesting articles on robots. Comment below if you find one you’d like to share. Read More …

How Technology is Changing Home Security

By Janet Miller, Yoga Instructor, Nutritionist, and Work at Home Mom

EDITOR: Janet wrote the following article for Huffington Post (see original), presented here with my additional insights and recommendations. 

Surveillance Cameras are Changing Home Security

7 Ways Technology is Changing Home Security

Technology has radically changed the way we protect our homes. What was previously only possible in Sci-Fi movies is now gradually becoming reality. The digital revolution has made its way into our homes.

1. Remote Monitoring: Remote monitoring is a great way to keep an eye on the home when you are at school or work, or on your second home. Even if you are vacationing on a beach miles away, you can still receive real time videos and photos of what is going on at home. Some of the features monitoring systems now provide include the ability to arm and disarm security systems, send fire or intrusion alerts, and stream security camera feeds. Read More …

20-20 Vision of Digital Life in 2025

Pew Research Center recently published its vision of Digital Life in 2025, based on predictions from over 1,000 experts who generally said the Internet would become “like electricity” – more deeply embedded in our lives but less visible.

Word Cloud - Pew Research examines Digital Life in 2025

Before I present the top 15 themes from the Pew report, here’s my own Back to the Future vision of technology and and its impact & challenges, based on an article I wrote 11 years ago. It looked back 20 years to George Orwell’s 1984 and then forward 20 to the year 2024, and I present it here because it’s helpful to see a history of where things have come from as you contemplate the future. Futurists, however, will tell you that forecasting is not as simple as just extrapolating trends. Read More …

Boomers and Digital Health

Baby Steps: Will Boomers Buy Into Mobile Health?Born between 1946 and 1964, the baby boomer generation represents a very large market opportunity for digital health stakeholders, including providers, payers, and developers of tech-enabled services and sensor-based gadgets such as mobile apps, activity trackers, wearable patches, and personal health devices.

Issue Brief: Will Boomers Buy Into Mobile Health? was written by Laurie Orlov for the California Healthcare Foundation to look at digital health market opportunities and challenges among this important demographic. The report’s optimism is driven by the immense opportunity to address rising healthcare costs but is guarded by disappointing adoption so far and the need for lifestyle changes among boomers themselves. It concludes:

Baby boomers are poised to bring on a wave of health costs, and inventors are eager to find ways to meet their needs, ultimately averting unneeded medical services and expense. The experts interviewed for this report acknowledged that the fitness wearable market is still in its infancy. It is too early to determine if providers are willing to accommodate data that can now be transmitted to them. Further, smartphone apps to monitor calories and tricorder technologies to measure vital signs produce data that will eventually need to augment established patient data. Electronic Health Records are not yet portable between physicians who are based in separate medical practices. And expansion of access, subsidized cost of insurance, or doctor availability may stymie care of lower income boomers, leaving the ER as their only ready access to care. … Further, there is uncertainty for innovators, providers, and consumers. … Experts acknowledged that part of the dilemma is sorting out useful from useless apps. From the consumer perspective, AARP notes that while health apps can help improve everything from balance to breathing, today’s mobile health world is at the “wild, wild west” stage.

While adoption of digital health technologies depends on function and design factors to meet real needs, it also depends largely on boomer lifestyles. Will they actually use the apps and gadgets consistently and pay attention to the results? Charlotte Yeh of AARP Services summarized the market adoption dilemma, saying “If you think about health outcomes, 20% is genetics, 20% is the health care delivery system [including digital health technologies], and 60% is lifestyle.” I can generally agree with that.

Other works by Laurie Orlov

Sleep Technology use by Seniors

Today’s guest post on Sleep Technology use by seniors is written by Barry Birkett and first appeared in Senior Care Corner.

A Good Night Sleep and Our Seniors:
Can Technology Help Them Meet?

Sleep is important to us at all ages, but to seniors it can be a matter of health and safety.

Yes, safety. Too many of our senior loved ones are injured, some with long-term impacts, by falls that might not have happened if they had been sleeping well.

Getting enough sleep is more than just a matter of not feeling tired.

We have discussed seniors and sleep in a number of articles here at Senior Care Corner®, helping family caregivers to understand and address this important aspect of daily life. If it matters to our senior loved ones, after all, it matters to us.

Technology and sleep is a topic we haven’t addressed, even though we talk often about what tech can mean to seniors and caregivers.

Thanks to a new report from the Consumer Electronics Association and National Sleep Foundation, we have some information to bridge that gap. Read More …

Smart Bandage Innovations

This video is just One example of Smart Bandage innovations coming.

When tech and medicine meet, everyone benefits. The tech doesn’t have to be a new MRI or laser printed organs, either — even the lowly bandage can benefit from an upgrade. Different researchers worldwide are using their particular expertise to develop a host of newer, smarter, more effective bandages; many of which are steadily making their way out of the lab and into the real world. Here’s a quick overview of all the awesome bandage tech that you can expect to see in the not-so-distant future:

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.stfi.re/cool-tech/smart-bandage-tech-roundup/#ixzz3mHTIF0gB

Video Games and Mobile Tech Make Healthcare Easier

Senior couple play health-related games on iPad

Via http://www.lifelinesys.com/content/blog/aging-amp-health/virtual-pills-how-video-games-can-boost-senior-brain-fitness

Video Games and Mobile Tech Make Healthcare Easier

By Jessica Oaks, Freelance Journalist

Gamification is one of the hottest buzzwords in schools and in the workplace, so why not in the doctor’s office, too? It turns out the tech and apps driving the mobile industry’s exponential growth are also advancing the healthcare industry in positive ways. Part of this emerging market for mobile is being driven by changes in technology. For instance, devices and programs that are legitimately useful in the healthcare space have gotten less expensive.

As advanced mobile device technology from companies like Snapdragon is becoming standard issue in new tablets and smartphones, healthcare professionals are looking for ways to tap into the devices the majority of us – including seniors, most of whom describe smartphones as freeing or connecting – already own.

Games are a natural point of focus because it’s already well known that gaming is good for the brain. A 2014 study found that fast-paced action games could promote better learning and data retention. A German study showed that people who played video games for 30 minutes a day actually gained gray matter in the areas of the brain responsible for forming memories, special navigation, keeping motor skills sharp and planning. Other research has replicated these findings in both school age and elderly participants. Read More …

Apple TV 2.0? — If I were Tim Cook

Apple TV

Will there be an Apple TV 2.0?

Apple, if you’re listening, here’s some free advice from my decades of Digital Home experience that I don’t mind sharing, since you’re not likely to hire me at my age, and I really do want an enhanced Apple TV. Yesterday, Business Insider wrote that you have an ambitious plan to take over the home, but I’m not sure you know how.

You may have already read The Elusive Smart Home, where I present a video of the RCA-Whirlpool Miracle Kitchen from 1957 and argue that still no one, including Apple, seems to know what it will take to make that Smart Home vision a mainstream reality. Apple, with its Apple HomeKit, however, has real potential when combined with Apple HealthKit and ResearchKit, especially if the company follows my advice and executes right. Read More …

IBM Watson Health: Transforming Healthcare

Watson Health: Empowering Patients and Transforming Healthcare

IBM WatsonBy Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP

There was an interesting decision to make within IBM about what to call a new business organization that we’re announcing today [4/13/2015]. Should it be named Watson Health or Watson Healthcare? [emphasis added]

“Health” is an aspiration, for individuals and society. “Healthcare” describes an industry primarily focused on treating diseases.

While healthcare is essential, it represents just one of many factors that determine whether people live long and healthy lives. Some other critical factors are genetics, geography, behaviors, social/environmental influences, education, and economics.  Unless society takes all of these factors into account and puts the individual at the center of the healthcare system, we won’t be able to make large-scale progress in helping people feel better and live longer. So, IBM Watson Health it is. Read More …

Caretakers harness the Internet of Things

What Caretakers Can Do RIGHT NOW to Harness the Power of the Internet of Things

By Beth Kelly

SThe Internet of Thingsocial technology and home automation have moved upstream. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, nearly one-third of seniors own a tablet or e-book reader. Almost 50 percent of seniors own high-speed Internet access and browse the Web at least 3-5 times per week.

These typing, Skyping, texting seniors are the next beneficiaries of the Internet of things (IoT), the growing network of WiFi-enabled appliances, wearable sensors, automated security systems and other connected devices. For instance, researchers at UCLA are investigating how to use WearSens, a piezoelectric necklace, to remotely monitor breathing patterns of recovering surgery patients. BrainAid offers the PEAT smartphone app to help seniors with memory loss live independently with scheduling assistance.

The revolution is now. Here’s how to get involved. Read More …

The End of Moore’s Law? Don’t Bet on it.

Digital MindIn Moore’s Law and The Future of Health Care, I offer a vision of healthcare based on exponential advancements in tech innovation as described by Gordon Moore. Moore is an Intel cofounder and is credited with observing that computer circuits have shrunk in size and doubling in compute capacity every two years. Moore’s Law is what drives down costs & size, but that logarithmic trend is not easy to grasp. So let’s look at two analogies explaining a 60,000 improvement in cost and 90,000 improvement in speed since Intel started tracking computer chips in the 1960’s.

COST — If the price of cars and gas improved exponentially at the same rate as computer chips, we’d be able to buy a new car for about 8-cents today and would only spend 2-cents per year on gas. At that rate, cars would be disposable, and we might just buy a new one for each trip, as a fashion accessory matched to our outfit.

SPEED — If the speed of air travel advanced at the same exponential rate as computing, today we’d be able to fly from the U.S. to Japan in less than a second, but the plane would be just over 1-tenth of an inch long.

Industry analysts keep predicting the end of Moore’s Law, arguing for many reasons that computer chips can only get so small or so cheap, and today I responded to another article about The End of Moore’s Law. Here’s my response, which shows optimism from my 30 years at IBM (I retired in 1999) and my interest in technology as a futurist. Read More …