It’s happened! Technology conferences have gone from techies talking to other techies about “someday” concepts to tech innovators talking with healthcare and retail executives about practical applications of technology to our health and wellness!
Not only that, but the needs of seniors and their family caregivers are front and center in the discussion – with devices and services to address those needs.
I’m talking about the Connected Health Summit, a conference that’s an innovation in itself put together by Parks Associates. These are the same people who put on the Connections Summit about which we report each year from the International CES.
The Connected Health Summit is on a whole new plane, though, bringing together many of the people who are developing, selling, using and paying for the devices family caregivers and healthcare providers will be able to use — in some cases are already — improving the health, safety and comfort of our senior loved ones.
In other words, the Summit is tailor made for Senior Care Corner® to share with you.
Connected Health Summit Insights
We’ve experienced only day one (a packed day) of the two day Summit but couldn’t wait to share with you some of what we learned.
Some highlights so far…
- An intriguingly named company call Playtabase is rolling out a truly innovative product called Reemo, which will take point and click off the computer screen out to the rest of the home.
- Companies from whom we received blank looks when we asked about applications to aging in place seniors at CES in the past are now not just talking applications for seniors but also displaying a real understanding of the needs of both older adults and their family caregivers.
- Connected device technology for the home has now graduated from entertainment and applications such as remotely controlled thermostats to meeting healthcare needs of seniors and the rest of us at home.
- Lowes and other trusted major retailers will be very active sellers of the devices and systems seniors and family caregivers can use to make aging in place a healthy, safe and comfortable option for more adults longer than has been previously possible.
Yes, this was just day one. We have another full day ahead and opportunities for follow up with many of the speakers later.
I’ll say it — this is fun!
Technology Highlight from Day One
In a day packed with highlights and great insights, one jumped out at us as a real highlight to be shared — you might say “teased” — now, with more detail and ground floor purchase information to come in an upcoming article here at Senior Care Corner.
Kathy and I had a great discussion with Muhammad Abdurrahman, CEO of Playtabase, about Reemo, their wearable device that enables gesture control of the Internet of Things. As I mentioned above, Reemo takes “point and click,” which made computing easier and possible for more people, and applies it to many other applications in the home.
Reemo will make it easier for seniors (and those of all ages) to control consumer-selected devices throughout the household. They’re not talking about just a few selected items, either, but everything from lights to appliances, window shades to televisions and a whole lot more. That alone can make it easier from many seniors to comfortably and safely live in their own homes longer.
Playtabase goes further, though, to provide unobtrusive ability for family caregivers to remotely know their senior loved ones are performing daily activities.
I could go on and on after seeing what Reemo can do but will save that for feature article. For now, we will settle for whetting your appetite and using it as a great example of what we have been telling you for years is coming for our seniors.
Aging in Place Getting Real Attention
We are impressed with the level of discussion regarding technology for aging in place, devices that will help seniors lived in their own homes longer than possible today. That’s especially important with more of us expressing a desire to stay at home and others limited in their options by their finances.
It’s encouraging to see so many companies focusing on the benefits their products and services can provide to seniors living independently, including a deeper understanding of the needs of older adults.
Where many earlier presentations we’ve attended addressed seniors as if they are a single, homogenous group, it’s clear those in the tech industry now see older adults as having varied needs, interests and finances.
Even more, it’s great to hear discussion of the roles family caregivers play, not just in caring for their senior loved ones but also in selecting, installing and paying for the seniors’ technology.
Anticipation of More to Come
We’re looking forward to day two of Connected Health Summit and bringing you back more information and insights into the technology that can make better the lives of both our senior loved ones and us as their family caregivers.
Already we have talked with some of the speakers about joining us in the near future for interviews that we will record for inclusion in future Senior Care Corner Show episodes. We also plan to highlight a number of the devices and services in future articles, along with links to information you can use to check them out yourselves.
We’re also looking forward to hearing about the program Parks Associates puts together for CES 2015, as we are growing more excited about the meaningfulness of tech to seniors who are aging in place.
That once-distant light of opportunity about tech for seniors and their family caregivers is growing brighter, more defined and more meaningful. It’s great to see it happening!