Life-Changing Technology – #CES2018 Preview for Family Caregivers and Seniors

We found only one reference to the special needs of seniors in the conference schedule for CES® 2018 — and this year that’s a good thing.

During the early years that Senior Care Corner® covered CES, we saw little to no mention of seniors, as if technology innovation did not apply to them, nor the role of family caregivers.

Over time we saw not only more recognition of the needs of older adults, but there was a conference track specifically addressing how technology innovation could meet those needs.

In 2018, it appears seniors aren’t being overlooked or carved out as a special segment but seen as people who can benefit from technology, along with other age groups.

In fact, we found only one conference session focused on the needs of older adults, a session in the Smart Homes track, on the benefits and challenges of smart home technologies for those living independently at home. Recognition of seniors in the context of smart homes was a wish we expressed in our early CES days.

Yes, we think that’s a good thing.

Overwhelming Technology on Tap at CES 2018

Reviewing the conference program and exhibitor list for CES 2018 is overwhelming for us because there is just so much to see and do that we at Senior Care Corner can’t possibly hope to cover as much of it as we would like.

There are many conference areas beyond the Smart Home track that will address technology that will benefit seniors and their family caregivers, as well as some that is already providing benefits.

CONNECTIONS™ Summit, which is put on by our friends at Parks Associates, will address several important aspects of smart homes.

One topic we see of particular interest to seniors living independently at home is voice control, which will help make smart home technology an essential part of aging and enable many to live independently longer.

Also of great interest is the planned discussion on the integration of health and wellness solutions into connected homes, which will provide benefits not just to seniors but to family caregivers of all ages.

The Digital Health Summit will, as it does each year, cover many areas in which technology is providing advances important to the health of both seniors and family caregivers. These are just a few of those.

Caregiving will be the focus of one section the Digital Health Summit, discussing how digital health technologies will provide solutions to help caregivers in shouldering their load.

The impacts of technology on brain health are important to those of all ages, especially as our aging population means more of us will be at risk for Alzheimer’s and other diseases of the brain.

Digital health advances are putting patients at the center of healthcare, where they belong. Several speakers will discuss aspects of this transition.

The Smart Cities track is one that discusses advances important to older adults without specifically focusing on their needs. As we have discussed previously at Senior Care Corner, smart cities will provide services and an environment to enable many more adults to live independently longer than they can today.

The title of the Disruptive Innovations of Healthcare track says it all. One session, Please Disrupt the Doctor, will discuss how digital is disrupting the chronic care that so many seniors find vital to their lives.

Many more conference tracks address topics important to family caregivers and seniors, from the connected vehicles that will help older adults maintain the independence their own cars provide to home robotics, which will help aging in place seniors fulfill many daily living tasks – – and so much more.

Our biggest CES challenge will be to figure out which of the conference sessions, keynote addresses, and other programs to attend.

Exhibits at CES 2018

Impressive as the conference program is, the heart of each year’s CES is the exhibit floor. Actually, that should be floors, as CES 2018 attendees will find near 4,000 exhibitors spread across 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space in several hotels, the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center, and Sands Expo facilities.

Just taking in all the exhibit areas will leave too little time for interviews and conference sessions.

These are some of the categories we expect will have technologies of greatest interest to seniors and family caregivers, along with the number of companies who indicated their exhibits will cover each area.

  • Health and Biotech – 300 exhibitors
  • Smart Home / Appliances / Energy Management – 677 exhibitors
  • Accessibility – 58 exhibitors
  • Smart Cities – 190 exhibitors
  • Automotive / Vehicle Technology – 370 exhibitors
  • Robotics – 170 exhibitors
  • Wearables – 426 exhibitors
  • Safety & Security Products – 304 exhibitors

… and so much more in other technology areas to see and do.

Planning Senior Care Corner’s Coverage of CES 2018

Planning our week at CES begins for Senior Care Corner with the release of the conference program and continues almost up to the time we depart CES for our trip home, as we have learned our schedule is but a guide for the week.

During our past few CES visits, we have scheduled a lot of interviews with exhibitors, which limited our ability to take in exhibits and conference sessions. We are going to cut back on the interviews this year, instead seeking to soak in as much of the innovation as we can and leaving some interviews for later.

Our CES coverage is to help us keep you informed, through what we consider our unique perspective and voice. We’d love to hear from you about technology areas on which you would like us to focus or companies about which you’d like to learn more.

We look forward to sharing our CES 2018 experience with you!