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HIMSS 2019 is where 40,000 health IT enthusiasts engage.   Per their own by-the-numbers charts, you see a picture of the scale of it -- more than 40,000 attendees wanted to be in Orlando, braving weather-related travel obstacles, obtain any required continuing education units – and ideally see as much as possible of the 1300 vendor exhibits. Remembering that adults 65+ are major consumers of healthcare. Here are five of these offerings from 2019 HIMSS, viewed with the lens of caregiving and older adults. 

Aiva. ​Aiva uses Google Home, Amazon Echo and other smart speakers to not only engage and empower patients and seniors, but also to connect them more closely to their caregivers. The voice OS is built on a suite of enterprise applications -- a mobile app for caregivers to manage help requests, a dashboard for performance reporting, and a backend for controlling the voice assistants’ settings and their interaction with other IoT smart devices like TVs, lights and thermostats. Learn more at AivaHealth.

Beyond Verbal. Beyond Verbal is developing voice-enabled AI solutions to create proprietary vocal biomarkers for personalized healthcare screening and continuous remote monitoring of health and emotions. We are now having access to an extensive database of over 150K patient records with over 1 Million anonymized voice recordings. Our internal database has grown to include more than tens of thousands of labeled patient records, correlated with their medical records. Learn more at BeyondVerbal.

CarePassport.  Patients benefit from a single medical app to support them throughout their medical journey. Find clinics and hospitals nearby your location, request and manage appointments, view your care providers’ contact information, and communicate with them via secure messaging. Patients can view their medical records and securely share with their healthcare providers. CarePassport allows patients to receive educational materials related to their care, authorize family members to access their information through secure proxy settings, and use navigation maps to drive to their appointments or arrange rides via Uber. Learn more at CarePassport.

EchoCare. EchoCare Technologies has a radar-based, non-wearable, elderly-care, home monitoring system that automatically alerts safety and emergency situations. The ECHO system is a connected, machine-learning, Advanced-PERS (Personal Emergency Response System) that includes a disruptive fall detector with very low false alarm. In addition to unprecedented fall detection capabilities, the ECHO system detects and alerts on other emergency situations, such as sleep apnea, hyperventilation, abnormal situations, and change from elderly daily routines. Learn more at EchoCare.

GetWellNetwork. The company’s GetWell Loop™ enables care teams to engage all patients before and after admission through automated daily check-ins. By sending the right information at the right time, GetWell Loop identifies those patients that need help in real-time, allowing care teams to reach more patients and proactively intervene before costs and complications escalate. Lear more at GetWellNetwork.

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January 2019 was a l-o-o-o-n-g month.  And not the least because of travel to California, Nevada, Tennessee, and a hop through Atlanta.  Most because it was difficult to absorb and rationalize so much tech news, hype, booths and convention center halls at the Digital Health Summit at CES 2019 – where a step counter status update may have been the most satisfying experience of all at the end of the day. Chattanooga was a visit to the Alexa World Fair, where the song ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ acquired new meaning – clearly the Voice First landscape, well-tracked by Voicebot.AI and Bret Kinsella, is heating up.  Here are the six blog posts to kick off the new year in January 2019:

2018-2019 look back and ahead at tech buzz, hope, and hype. Who can resist reflection when a year ends and 2019 begins? So much racket, so much of it driven by writers desperate for something to write about – and we’re not talking about the news. Lots of  negative tech energy in 2018, including healthcare data breachesFacebook’s loss of trustditto with Google and its much discussed anti-competitive positioning in search. The visibility of Facebook management issues and Google competitive quagmire may actually be good for consumers.  So what was interesting in 2018 that was great news, possibly intriguing or just plain worth noting prior to CES 2019, which will present a cornucopia (or maybe just a plethora) of new tech and tech news? [Warning, more blog posts about CES next week while there].  A few topics that stood out. Read more.

Ten Technology Offerings from CES 2019 – Beyond Gadgets. Bright Lights, thick smoke, constant walking and avoidance maneuvers.  After taking a year or two off, returning to CES is a chore and a revelation – it clearly is the major event for new technology announcements. Gadgets, yes, too many smart wearables, including underwear, too many near misses of being run over by gangs of oblivious young guys staring at their phones. If there was a key trend in all of this racket, Sleep has become a tech obsession, the uptake of Digital Health is almost here, new variants of companions and assistants were pervasive, including Google Assistant inside everything and Amazon voice devices everywhere. Read more.

Ten More Technology Offerings from CES 2019 -- Beyond Gadgets. CES 2019 – Gone but certainly not forgotten. Multiple blog posts and articles have surfaced since CES 2019 – including some offerings that should be recapped here. No doubt they would have been viewed in person with more time and better tennis shoes at the Sands Convention Center. There was ANOTHER convention center (LVCC) and various hotel events that remained sight unseen. The important insight about CES is that while some offerings were played in a previous year, the networking opportunity for innovators was too good to miss and so many returned.  Read more.

Consider: Aging in a Virtual World. Once upon a time, in a language far, far away…We used terms like long distanceremote, and telepresence to describe services and experiences that were taking place somewhere else. We were guided on how to cope with these remote processes where we were not present to manage or experience. And for the care recipients being managed, they were unable to communicate problems in their on-site, 'real' experience. Consider dementia care and the still-startling lack of cameras in these settings – despite family willingness to pay. These limitations seem so yesterday.  Even a telepresence player like Beam threw in the towel and refers to the world it now navigates as ‘virtual.’   Let's take a longer look into this virtual world as it relates to care of older adults and consider such offerings. Read more.

Technology Tool Tarnish – Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn. Facebook is the company we increasingly love to hate – but boomers still ‘like’ it. So much negative press, well deserved, about Facebook lately, including the lawsuit about knowingly duping children playing games. Then there was the Pew Research estimated number of deleted accounts (mostly young people) and no small deal, a big security breach.  Clearly this is a company with management issues – and someday will either fail (unlikely), be broken up, or be regulated, even in the US, which has for some unknown reason done nothing to date, unlike privacy actions taken in Europe.   According to eMarketer, though, baby boomers are still big users – of the 76.4 million of them, 31.9 million are using Facebook. Read more.

2019: What Technology Matters for Older Adults. In 2018, technology utilization grew – so did frustrations.  While Internet and social media technology use has plateaued over all age ranges, Facebook still has captured only 41% of the 65+.  Pew’s data showed that smartphone ownership still has not overtaken cellphones among the 65+.   In early 2019, AARP Research published a technology survey taken in 2018 which showed ownership of smartphones growing to 65% of the 65+.  However, that same survey revealed low trust in online safety, and generally low trust in institutions to keep their personal data safe, a justified worry, given the number of data breaches that occurred during 2018. Read more.

[NOTE: If you are reading this as an email, you are welcome to click directly on the website Aging in Place Technology Watch where other useful trend information is located.]

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In 2018, technology utilization grew – so did frustrations.  While Internet and social media technology use has plateaued over all age ranges, Facebook still has captured only 41% of the 65+.  Pew’s data showed that smartphone ownership still has not overtaken cellphones among the 65+.   In early 2019, AARP Research published a technology survey taken in 2018 which showed ownership of smartphones growing to 65% of the 65+.  However, that same survey revealed low trust in online safety, and generally low trust in institutions to keep their personal data safe, a justified worry, given the number of data breaches that occurred during 2018.

Competitions among innovators were held and won.  2018 was a banner year for competitions in the age-related categories.  ElliQ from Intuition Robotics won Best of Innovation at CES 2018. Embodied Labs (a VR offering) won AARP’s innovation pitch in October and Wavelet Health won the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit Business Plan competition. Ohmni Labs won the Global Startup Competition at Aging 2.0.   An Optimal Aging competition in Boston included several tech-enabled offerings as winners. RideRite, a bicycle handlebar designed by Virginia Tech students won a Stanford Longevity challenge.

Competition among Voice First tech giants were waged – did anyone win?  CES 2018 top competitor battle was between Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Spoiler alert, it was even more wacko at CES 2019.  Market share numbers were tossed around toward the end of 2018. Some thought was given to including Apple’s Siri, not an overachiever at that time. And Sonos  (Best Sound) will likely appear in 2019 bakeoffs, along with the distant but scrappy Bixby.

The 10-year anniversary of the Market Overview of Technology for Aging in Place. This annually-updated report will be reviewed during the next few weeks for what has changed; what no longer matters; and what firms, including startups, may matter over the next year to the older adult market segments.  If you have thoughts – please bring them forward about any new offerings in the categories of communication and engagement, home safety and security, health and wellness, learning and contribution, dementia care, home care, and caregiving apps. And if you think categories are missing or no longer matter, please speak up!

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Facebook is the company we increasingly love to hate – but boomers still ‘like’ it. Rant on. So much negative press, well deserved, about Facebook lately, including the lawsuit about knowingly duping children playing games. Then there was the Pew Research estimated number of deleted accounts (mostly young people) and no small deal, a big security breach.  Clearly this is a company with management issues – and someday will either fail (unlikely), be broken up, or be regulated, even in the US, which has for some unknown reason done nothing to date, unlike privacy actions taken in Europe.   According to eMarketer, though, baby boomers are still big users – of the 76.4 million of them, 31.9 million are using Facebook. Hopefully not trying to stay connected to teens – who are departing for other platforms like Snapchat, according to eMarketer, including Snapchat. On the positive side, Snapchat is not yet owned by Facebook – which will be combining Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp into a single platform by 2020.

Twitter – is it relevant in the older adult market segment?  Is it relevant at all? So aside from US political tweets, which dominate our attention, Twitter itself is hardly a fact of life for Americans, and certainly not for older adults (though they may see plenty of tweets displayed on newscasts).  According to this recent informative summary about Twitter, 80% of its actual users are outside the United States; boomers and seniors are generally not interested, but heads of state are very interested (no kidding). And as all can see, political Tweets are reported minute by minute in the national TV broadcasts, so there’s no need to log on to see them. Bots are also good at tweeting misinformation. Sigh. But here’s the head-scratcher – 75% percent of B2B businesses market on Twitter. One wonders – to whom? And do their customers see these Tweets? And how can a business viewer vet one tweet over another? Note the half-life of a tweet is 24 minutes.

Google – is it a verb or a monopoly – and what is ‘Truth'?  By now, you have seen a bit of controversy over ranking search results in favor of Google’s partners; questions about the right to be forgotten on Google (or getting a video off of YouTube), or other privacy issues or anti-competitive behavior. To help you catch up, read about the antitrust complaint from DuckDuckGo. But is there really an alternative to Google, now that it has become a verb?  Go Google that – or go the extra inch and create a shortcut to DuckDuckGo or Microsoft Bing. Take a look at a not-so-brief Wikipedia history of Google issues or read through the angry perspective of Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman.  It is intriguing that the term 'fake news' is associated with politics – even spawning websites to rank news source credibility and generating controversy about the choices. In fact, fake, overstated, or manipulated information is the lifeblood of the modern Internet. Forrester once said that the Internet Changes Everything (meaning that in an optimistic way) but today, it should be Absolutely Anything Changes the Internet.  Optimism off.

LinkedIn -- has it ruined the recruiting industry -- and given Microsoft too much control?  It certainly altered the task of finding qualified candidates -- they're on LinkedIn and may be bombarded with job possibilities/noise. Because internal recruiters are on LinkedIn (using its own recruiting platform), because of more job openings than there are people to fill them, dependency on it has grown.  And in reality, does LinkedIn have any serious competitors? Microsoft paid $26 billion for LinkedIn and then bought GitHub for $7.5 billion -- have they cornered the market on developer recruiting and software innovation?  And consider that LinkedIn (and Twitter!) lead in the subject of social recruiting (which is apparently also being done from Instagram!). 

Some skepticism is in order.  We can always second-guess the so-called information served up to us on the Internet. But how many of us do? Who checks multiple sources or use multiple search engines?  We wait and watch the flap in the EU, hoping that some subset of newly created privacy protection will extend to us – not just a box you must check acknowledging that "This site uses cookies" inform you that it tracks what you have viewed. Sure, we are able to Clear Cookies on our web browsers, but how many of us do it?  Having to re-enter information is an inconvenience. We like the fact that browsers remember who we are and our last interaction.  Rant off.

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Facebook is the company we increasingly love to hate – but boomers still ‘like’ it. Rant on. So much negative press, well deserved, about Facebook lately, including the lawsuit about knowingly duping children playing games. Then there was the Pew Research estimated number of deleted accounts (mostly young people) and no small deal, even a big security breach.  Clearly this is a company with management issues – and someday will either fail (unlikely), be broken up, or be regulated, even in the US, which has for some unknown reason done nothing to date, unlike privacy actions taken in Europe.   According to eMarketer, though, baby boomers are still big users – of the 76.4 million of them, 31.9 million are using Facebook. Hopefully not trying to stay connected to teens – who are departing for other platforms like Snapchat, according to eMarketer, including Snapchat. On the positive side, Snapchat is not yet owned by Facebook – which will be combining Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp into a single platform by 2020.

Twitter – is it relevant in the older adult market segment?  Is it relevant at all? So aside from US political tweets, which dominate our attention, Twitter itself is hardly a fact of life for Americans, and certainly not for older adults (though they may see plenty of tweets displayed on newscasts).  According to this recent informative summary about Twitter, 80% of its actual users are outside the United States; boomers and seniors are generally not interested, but heads of state are very interested (no kidding). And as all can see, political Tweets are reported minute by minute in the national TV broadcasts, so there’s no need to log on to see them. Sigh. But here’s head-scratcher – 75% percent of B2B businesses market on Twitter. One wonders – to whom? And do their customers see these Tweets? Not if the half-life of a tweet is 24 minutes.

Google – is it a verb or a monopoly – and what is ‘Truth'?  By now, you have seen a bit of controversy over ranking search results in favor of Google’s partners, over the right to be forgotten, or other anti-competitive behavior or privacy issues. To catch up, read about the antitrust complaint from DuckDuckGo. But is there really an alternative to Google, now that it has become a verb?  Go Google that – or go the extra inch and create a shortcut to DuckDuckGo or Microsoft Bing. Take a look at a not-so-brief history of Google issues or read through the angry view of Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman.  It is intriguing that the term ‘fake news’ is associated with politics – ironically spawning websites to rank news source credibility. In fact, fake, overstated, or manipulated information is the lifeblood of the modern Internet. Forrester once said that the Internet Changes Everything but today, it should be Absolutely Anything Changes the Internet.  

Some skepticism is in order.  We can always second-guess the so-called ‘information’ served up to us on the Internet. But how many of us take advantage – and check multiple sources or use multiple search engines?  We wait and watch the flap in the EU, hoping that some subset of privacy protection will extend to us – not just a box you must check acknowledging that “This site uses cookies” to help track what you have viewed.  We can Clear Cookies on our web browsers, but how many of us do?  Having to re-enter information is an inconvenience. We like the fact that browsers remember who we are and our last interaction. Rant off.

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Once upon a time, in a language far, far away…We used terms like long distance, remote, and telepresence to describe services and experiences that were taking place somewhere else. We were guided on how to cope with these remote processes where we were not present to manage or experience. And for the care recipients being managed, they were unable to communicate problems in their on-site, 'real' experience. Consider dementia care and the still-startling lack of cameras in these settings – despite family willingness to pay. These limitations seem so yesterday.  Even a telepresence player like Beam threw in the towel and refers to the world it now navigates as ‘virtual.’   Let's take a longer look into this virtual world as it relates to care of older adults and consider such offerings as:

  • Virtual dementia tour. This is a training program developed by Second Wind Dreams that can help family and professional caregivers better understand what it is like to have dementia. It is now offered in senior living communities for families of residents with Alzheimer’s, as well as in home care.
  • Virtual senior living.  Attempting to bridge the gap between living at home and in a senior living community, CCRCs like Life Enriching Communities offer coordinated services for seniors still at home for a small fee -- these services are sometimes referred to as 'virtual' -- thinking back to the Evangelical Homes of Michigan, which pioneered the concept of offering services in the community outside the brick-and-mortar facilities. Also called virtual retirement communities, this concept also morphed into virtual villages and became the so-called village movement, now part of the Village to Village Network.

 

[NOTE: If you are reading this in email, please read it on the website: Aging in Place Technology Watch]

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CES 2019 – Gone but certainly not forgotten. Multiple blog posts and articles have surfaced since CES 2019 – including some offerings that should be recapped here. No doubt they would have been viewed in person with more time and better tennis shoes at the Sands Convention Center. There was ANOTHER convention center (LVCC) and various hotel events that remained sight unseen. The important insight about CES is that while some offerings were played in a previous year, the networking opportunity for innovators was too good to miss and so many returned.  Here are ten more, in alphabetical order:

Addison Virtual Caregiver. "She’s a state of the art, 3D animated caregiver designed to engage aging and chronically ill clients throughout the home to supplement their care and to provide various health and safety features. Appearing on 15-inch monitors strategically placed throughout the residence, she carries on two-way conversations, and is programmable for a user’s personal needs and plans of care.  Addison monitors your activity, reminds you to take medications and verifies adherence and provides real-time assessments if a client develops evidence of increased risk of falling or health decline. She measures health performance, rewards her users for making progress, collects vitals and conducts in-home examinations." Learn more at Electronic Caregiver.

Alma Home. "By monitoring and analyzing your health 24/7 we can provide you with actionable insights and give you alerts to tackle problems before they even appear.While there are plenty of solutions that detect falls, there are few solutions that really prevent falls. We change this by monitoring the fall risk of elderly continuously through our solution ALMA Home. When the fall risk is too high, we take the necessary actions. This way, falls and hospitalizations are avoided."  Learn more at Alma.Care.

Flint Rehab’s FitMi. "A home therapy tool designed to help you retrain your brain. FitMi was designed specifically to help people with a neurologic injury improve their strength and dexterity. FitMi contains two wireless pucks and a therapy app that picks exercises for you tailored to your stage of recovery. As you improve, the FitMi exercises and difficulty levels increase to optimize your recovery." Learn more at Flint Rehab.

Oticon Opn. Hearing aids are undergoing a disruption in price, self-service purchasing, and programmability. “Today we are more connected electronically than ever before. Friends, family, and business colleagues all expect to be able to reach us in seconds. Oticon Opn hearing aids with Bluetooth capability are Made for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®, allowing you to stream audio directly into your hearing aids.  With Oticon Opn hearing aids, you experience clear, high quality sound, free from unwanted noise." Learn more at Oticon.

RoundTrip.  "Expand access to care through transportation. Care coordinators can book as many rides as they need for their patients. Rides can be booked on-demand or schedule weeks or months in advance. RoundTrip schedules, dispatches, and monitors non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for organizations coast to coast. A few partners include Mount Sinai Health System, Cooper University Health System, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, and Baptist Memorial."  Learn more at RoundTrip.

RxPense. "RxPense® is a personal medication dispensing and remote monitoring solution that ensures seniors, chronic care patients and disabled veterans at home (or elsewhere), take the correct medications on time and notifies caregivers, or pharmacists, psychiatrists, clinicians and physicians, if they miss a dose. It also accurately records and documents the consumption of PRN “as-needed” and OTC medications. It can also capture (though external sensors), monitor and store vitals along with the electronic patient record. It gives users access to digital health care and tele-medicine." Learn more at MediPense.

Walabot HOME. "Welcome to peace-of-mind, with automatic fall detection, for your bathroom. Simply place Walabot HOME on your bathroom wall. If you fall, your emergency contact will be called – and you can speak with them directly through the device, to get the help you need. Just set it and forget it. Automatically monitors for falls, no bracelet or pendant to put on, no uncomfortable device to lug around, completely private with no camera." Learn more at Walabot HOME.

Withings Move ECG.   "Withings Move ECG is an advanced activity tracker housed in a classic watch designed for simplicity: it has no screen but shows your activity directly on the dial with its third hand.  It’s an analog watch that can also measure electrocardiograms, and it is currently pending FDA clearance." more at Withings.

ZVOX VoiceBuds. "VoiceBuds® use the latest digital technology to make speech more clear. Our dual microphone system is designed to minimize background sounds – while boosting the voices you want to hear. And the smartphone app makes it easy to make adjustments -- VoiceBuds are small and comfortable.” Learn more at ZVOX.

Xandar Kardian. "Non-Contact Vital Sign monitoring PERS solution with Alexa voice and gesture control. No wearables. No pressure pads. No cameras. The only fall detection and alert system that provides 99% miss detection free and 96% false alarm free performance without the headaches of privacy issues." Learn more at Kardian.com.

[NOTE: If you are reading this in email, please read it on the website: Aging in Place Technology Watch]

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Bright Lights, thick smoke, constant walking and avoidance maneuvers.  After taking a year or two off, returning to CES is a chore and a revelation – it clearly is the major event for new technology announcements. Gadgets, yes, too many smart wearables, including underwear, too many near misses of being run over by gangs of oblivious young guys staring at their phones. If there was a key trend in all of this racket, Sleep has become a tech obsession, the uptake of Digital Health is almost here, new variants of companions and assistants were pervasive, including Google Assistant inside everything and Amazon voice devices everywhere.

Self-service increasingly matters in unexpected health categories. As with nearly every ‘service’, we want to serve ourselves, no matter what. One day soon, onset of a stroke can be detected (Celloscope) when your smartphone watches your face droop as you read your email. A robotics company, Intuition Robotics, launches its cognitive AI Q’ for 3rd party companies to use as a digital companion agent, for example, in a car. In subsequent posts, others will be noted from the exhibit hall books, but for now, here are 10 other new companies/new offerings in alphabetical order from CES 2019 with content from their own press releases/sites:

CarePredict Home. "CarePredict, the leading digital health company that provides preventive healthcare solution for senior adults announced today the launch of their direct-to-consumer product, CarePredict Home, at CES 2019, the world’s largest consumer technology show. CarePredict was the first-to-market to use machine learning, smart wearables, and unique kinematics to quantify daily activities performed by older adults and predict health conditions including increased fall risks, depression and urinary tract infections (UTIs.) After proven success in several senior living communities across North America and Japan, CarePredict will drive their technology’s use for in-home senior care."  Learn more at Care Predict.

Essence Umbrella and Care@Home Communicator. "Essence, the leader in IoT-enabled connected-living technologies, announces the release of Essence Umbrella, a two-way, voice-communication personal emergency response system (PERS) designed to help organizations, schools, and universities keep staff and students safe. The Care@Home Communicator leverages voice recognition technology to give seniors access to emergency response by using the most seamless interface of all – their voices – from anywhere in the home. It’s supplemented by the emergency pendant advanced (EPA) fall detector for use both in the home or on-the-go, which automatically notifies emergency personnel in the case of a fall, opening a two-way communications channel directly with a trained EMT.” Learn more at Essence.

EyeQue Vision Tracker. EyeQue®, the leader in smartphone at-home vision tests, today announced the EyeQue PDCheck™ – a fast, convenient, and highly accurate method for measuring your pupillary distance (PD), a number critical in obtaining great-fitting eyeglasses, yet often not included in an eyeglass prescription. PDCheck uses a patented method, combining a unique set of eyeglass frames and a smartphone app to capture PD instantly. The EyeQue VisionCheck is the world’s first automated optical refraction device built for consumers to measure and track their refractive error and order eyeglasses with the results.”  Learn more at EyeQue.

Leeo Ping. “Leeo Ping is a sensor enabled service that helps reduce the challenges of independent living, at home or in a community. Ping enables family, close friends and caregivers to create a private mutual aid network, a trusted circle. With the Leeo Ping service and Leeo Smart Alert platform, you and your trusted circle are safer and more connected. It’s easy for all ages to create a trusted circle to watch out for each other. “The Leeo Ping trusted circle provides at-a-glance traffic light status of you and your loved ones whether at home or away”, said Johnson Agogbua, Leeo CEO. “Combined with Leeo Smart Alert nightlight, you and those you care about can be safer and more connected.” Learn more at Leeo.

Nuheara. "Nuheara is transforming the way people hear by creating game-changing hearing solutions that are accessible and affordable; the firm is pleased to announce the launch of IQbuds MAX™, a ground-breaking premium hearing product. IQbuds MAX™ will become the flagship product of the innovative IQbuds™ range. Building on all the features currently available with IQbuds BOOST™, IQbuds MAX™ has triple the hearing capability (utilizing three microphones on each ear), five times the processing power and a world first Hybrid Active Noise Cancelation system." Learn more at Nuheara.

Numera. "Numera PERS-4200X console together with compatible PERS wearables and home sensors form the Numera Home Safety Hub suite of products combines information from sensing devices like CO and smoke detectors, motion detectors, and window-door sensors with alerts from wearable personal emergency response devices in a single PERS (Personal Emergency Response Solution) console for seniors or others needing support while living alone." Learn more at Numera.

Ohmni Labs. "Ohmni is a fresh approach to telepresence that’s designed specifically for homes and families. Ohmni makes it natural and effortless to join in and share experiences like cooking with mom, family dinner, movie night or game day with dad -- across any distance. The team at OhmniLabs studied families around the world and found that these "shared experiences" were what people missed most since standard video chat was too cumbersome to enable these richer interactions.” Learn more at Ohmni Labs.

Philips Cares.  "Philips launched Philips Cares in the U.S. to help family caregivers be there for their aging loved ones, easing and enriching their aging journey by leveraging digital technology. Whether caring for a loved one or for themselves, Philips Cares Aging & Caregiving service is a digital experience that enables people to easily form and activate a care circle of trusted family and friends, access meaningful insights into their loved one’s wellbeing and receive notifications about care.  Now through the care circle, caregivers can stay informed and connected through the Philips Cares digital experience. Learn more at Philips.

Welt Wellness Belt. "Powered by Samsung, Samsung's smart belt looks indistinguishable from a standard belt, but contains an array of sensors packed into the back of its buckle and a micro USB port for charging on its side. Measures the time of sitting relative to the total wearing time. Acceleration sensors inside the buckle pass a dedicated algorithm, which estimates the sitting time by measuring the inactivity time every 30 minutes. WELT's unbelievable battery life allows you to stay in style without having to charge constantly. Charged through a micro USB port, one full charge lasts for more than 45 days (varies by usage). Intuitively organized into one screen, there is no need to stress your brain over raw data that isn’t meaningful. WELT does the analysis for you and provides health insights and warnings so you can focus on staying active. Learn more at Amazon.

Widex Battery Free Hearing Aids. "WIDEX EVOKE featuring WIDEX ENERGY CELL technology will debut at CES as the world’s first battery-free* hearing aid. Available the summer of 2019, this new technology is built on the revolutionary WIDEX EVOKE platform to provide superior sound quality, while liberating users by leveraging the benefits of WIDEX ENERGY CELL technology. “With WIDEX EVOKE featuring WIDEX ENERGY CELL technology, the world will finally get to see its first hearing aid powered by fuel cell technology,” said Jeff Geigel, President, Widex USA. “Most hearing aids today use batteries or battery chargers connected to power outlets. Our new hearing aid will require neither. This is exciting new technology that will be hassle free for the user while providing superior sound quality and app control that makes the hearing aid easy to manage in any setting.”  Learn more at Widex.

[NOTE: If you are reading this in email, read it on the website: Aging in Place Technology Watch]

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CES 2019 – Gone but certainly not forgotten. Multiple blog posts and articles have surfaced since CES 2019 – including some offerings that should be recapped here. No doubt they would have been viewed in person with more time and better tennis shoes at the Sands Convention Center. There was ANOTHER convention center (LVCC) and various hotel events that remained sight unseen. The important insight about CES is that while some offerings were played in a previous year, the networking opportunity for innovators was too good to miss and so many returned.  Here are ten more, in alphabetical order:

Addison Virtual Caregiver. "She’s a state of the art, 3D animated caregiver designed to engage aging and chronically ill clients throughout the home to supplement their care and to provide various health and safety features. Appearing on 15-inch monitors strategically placed throughout the residence, she carries on two-way conversations, and is programmable for a user’s personal needs and plans of care.  Addison monitors your activity, reminds you to take medications and verifies adherence and provides real-time assessments if a client develops evidence of increased risk of falling or health decline. She measures health performance, rewards her users for making progress, collects vitals and conducts in-home examinations." Learn more at Electronic Caregiver.

Alma Home. "By monitoring and analyzing your health 24/7 we can provide you with actionable insights and give you alerts to tackle problems before they even appear.While there are plenty of solutions that detect falls, there are few solutions that really prevent falls. We change this by monitoring the fall risk of elderly continuously through our solution ALMA Home. When the fall risk is too high, we take the necessary actions. This way, falls and hospitalizations are avoided."  Learn more at Alma.Care.

Flint Rehab’s FitMi. "A home therapy tool designed to help you retrain your brain. FitMi was designed specifically to help people with a neurologic injury improve their strength and dexterity. FitMi contains two wireless pucks and a therapy app that picks exercises for you tailored to your stage of recovery. As you improve, the FitMi exercises and difficulty levels increase to optimize your recovery." Learn more at Flint Rehab.

Oticon Opn. Hearing aids are undergoing a disruption in price, self-service purchasing, and programmability. “Today we are more connected electronically than ever before. Friends, family, and business colleagues all expect to be able to reach us in seconds. Oticon Opn hearing aids with Bluetooth capability are Made for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®, allowing you to stream audio directly into your hearing aids.  With Oticon Opn hearing aids, you experience clear, high quality sound, free from unwanted noise." Learn more at Oticon.

RoundTrip.  "Expand access to care through transportation. Care coordinators can book as many rides as they need for their patients. Rides can be booked on-demand or schedule weeks or months in advance. RoundTrip schedules, dispatches, and monitors non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for organizations coast to coast. A few partners include Mount Sinai Health System, Cooper University Health System, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, and Baptist Memorial."  Learn more at RoundTrip.

RxPense. "RxPense® is a personal medication dispensing and remote monitoring solution that ensures seniors, chronic care patients and disabled veterans at home (or elsewhere), take the correct medications on time and notifies caregivers, or pharmacists, psychiatrists, clinicians and physicians, if they miss a dose. It also accurately records and documents the consumption of PRN “as-needed” and OTC medications. It can also capture (though external sensors), monitor and store vitals along with the electronic patient record. It gives users access to digital health care and tele-medicine." Learn more at MediPense.

Walabot HOME. "Welcome to peace-of-mind, with automatic fall detection, for your bathroom. Simply place Walabot HOME on your bathroom wall. If you fall, your emergency contact will be called – and you can speak with them directly through the device, to get the help you need. Just set it and forget it. Automatically monitors for falls, no bracelet or pendant to put on, no uncomfortable device to lug around, completely private with no camera." Learn more at Walabot HOME.

Withings Move ECG.   "Withings Move ECG is an advanced activity tracker housed in a classic watch designed for simplicity: it has no screen but shows your activity directly on the dial with its third hand.  It’s an analog watch that can also measure electrocardiograms, and it is currently pending FDA clearance." more at Withings.

ZVOX VoiceBuds. "VoiceBuds® use the latest digital technology to make speech more clear. Our dual microphone system is designed to minimize background sounds – while boosting the voices you want to hear. And the smartphone app makes it easy to make adjustments -- VoiceBuds are small and comfortable.” Learn more at ZVOX.

Xandar Kardian. "Non-Contact Vital Sign monitoring PERS solution with Alexa voice and gesture control. No wearables. No pressure pads. No cameras. The only fall detection and alert system that provides 99% miss detection free and 96% false alarm free performance without the headaches of privacy issues." Learn more at Kardian.com.

[NOTE: If you are reading this in email, please read it on the website: Aging in Place Technology Watch]

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Bright Lights, thick smoke, constant walking and avoidance maneuvers.  After taking a year or two off, returning to CES is a chore and a revelation – it clearly is the major event for new technology announcements. Gadgets, yes, too many smart wearables, including underwear, too many near misses of being run over by gangs of oblivious young guys staring at their phones. If there was a key trend in all of this racket, Sleep has become a tech obsession, the uptake of Digital Health is almost here, new variants of companions and assistants were pervasive, including Google Assistant inside everything and Amazon voice devices everywhere.

Self-service increasingly matters in unexpected health categories. As with nearly every ‘service’, we want to serve ourselves, no matter what. One day soon, onset of a stroke can be detected (Celloscope) when your smartphone watches your face droop as you read your email. A robotics company, Intuition Robotics, launches its cognitive AI Q’ for 3rd party companies to use as a digital companion agent, for example, in a car. In subsequent posts, others will be noted from the exhibit hall books, but for now, here are 10 other new companies/new offerings in alphabetical order from CES 2019 with content from the press releases/sites of the companies:

CarePredict Home. "CarePredict, the leading digital health company that provides preventive healthcare solution for senior adults announced today the launch of their direct-to-consumer product, CarePredict Home, at CES 2019, the world’s largest consumer technology show. CarePredict was the first-to-market to use machine learning, smart wearables, and unique kinematics to quantify daily activities performed by older adults and predict health conditions including increased fall risks, depression and urinary tract infections (UTIs.) After proven success in several senior living communities across North America and Japan, CarePredict will drive their technology’s use for in-home senior care."  Learn more at Care Predict.

Essence Umbrella and Care@Home Communicator. "Essence, the leader in IoT-enabled connected-living technologies, announces the release of Essence Umbrella, a two-way, voice-communication personal emergency response system (PERS) designed to help organizations, schools, and universities keep staff and students safe. The Care@Home Communicator leverages voice recognition technology to give seniors access to emergency response by using the most seamless interface of all – their voices – from anywhere in the home. It’s supplemented by the emergency pendant advanced (EPA) fall detector for use both in the home or on-the-go, which automatically notifies emergency personnel in the case of a fall, opening a two-way communications channel directly with a trained EMT.” Learn more at Essence.

EyeQue Vision Tracker. EyeQue®, the leader in smartphone at-home vision tests, today announced the EyeQue PDCheck™ – a fast, convenient, and highly accurate method for measuring your pupillary distance (PD), a number critical in obtaining great-fitting eyeglasses, yet often not included in an eyeglass prescription. PDCheck uses a patented method, combining a unique set of eyeglass frames and a smartphone app to capture PD instantly. The EyeQue VisionCheck is the world’s first automated optical refraction device built for consumers to measure and track their refractive error and order eyeglasses with the results.”  Learn more at EyeQue.

Leeo Ping. “Leeo Ping is a sensor enabled service that helps reduce the challenges of independent living, at home or in a community. Ping enables family, close friends and caregivers to create a private mutual aid network, a trusted circle. With the Leeo Ping service and Leeo Smart Alert platform, you and your trusted circle are safer and more connected. It’s easy for all ages to create a trusted circle to watch out for each other. “The Leeo Ping trusted circle provides at-a-glance traffic light status of you and your loved ones whether at home or away”, said Johnson Agogbua, Leeo CEO. “Combined with Leeo Smart Alert nightlight, you and those you care about can be safer and more connected.” Learn more at Leeo.

Nuheara. "Nuheara is transforming the way people hear by creating game-changing hearing solutions that are accessible and affordable; the firm is pleased to announce the launch of IQbuds MAX™, a ground-breaking premium hearing product. IQbuds MAX™ will become the flagship product of the innovative IQbuds™ range. Building on all the features currently available with IQbuds BOOST™, IQbuds MAX™ has triple the hearing capability (utilizing three microphones on each ear), five times the processing power and a world first Hybrid Active Noise Cancelation system." Learn more at Nuheara.

Numera. "Numera PERS-4200X console together with compatible PERS wearables and home sensors form the Numera Home Safety Hub suite of products combines information from sensing devices like CO and smoke detectors, motion detectors, and window-door sensors with alerts from wearable personal emergency response devices in a single PERS (Personal Emergency Response Solution) console for seniors or others needing support while living alone." Learn more at Numera.

Ohmni Labs. “Ohmni is a fresh approach to telepresence that’s designed specifically for homes and families. Ohmni makes it natural and effortless to join in and share experiences like cooking with mom, family dinner, movie night or game day with dad -- across any distance. The team at OhmniLabs studied families around the world and found that these "shared experiences" were what people missed most since standard video chat was too cumbersome to enable these richer interactions.” Learn more at Ohmni Labs.

Philips Cares.  Philips launched Philips Cares in the U.S. to help family caregivers be there for their aging loved ones, easing and enriching their aging journey by leveraging digital technology. Whether caring for a loved one or for themselves, Philips Cares Aging & Caregiving service is a digital experience that enables people to easily form and activate a care circle of trusted family and friends, access meaningful insights into their loved one’s wellbeing and receive notifications about care.  Now through the care circle, caregivers can stay informed and connected through the Philips Cares digital experience. Learn more at Philips.

Welt Wellness Belt. Powered by Samsung, Samsung's smart belt looks indistinguishable from a standard belt, but contains an array of sensors packed into the back of its buckle and a micro USB port for charging on its side. Measures the time of sitting relative to the total wearing time. Acceleration sensors inside the buckle pass a dedicated algorithm, which estimates the sitting time by measuring the inactivity time every 30 minutes. WELT's unbelievable battery life allows you to stay in style without having to charge constantly. Charged through a micro USB port, one full charge lasts for more than 45 days (varies by usage). Intuitively organized into one screen, there is no need to stress your brain over raw data that isn’t meaningful. WELT does the analysis for you and provides health insights and warnings so you can focus on staying active. Learn more at Amazon.

Widex Battery Free Hearing Aids. WIDEX EVOKE featuring WIDEX ENERGY CELL technology will debut at CES as the world’s first battery-free* hearing aid. Available the summer of 2019, this new technology is built on the revolutionary WIDEX EVOKE platform to provide superior sound quality, while liberating users by leveraging the benefits of WIDEX ENERGY CELL technology. “With WIDEX EVOKE featuring WIDEX ENERGY CELL technology, the world will finally get to see its first hearing aid powered by fuel cell technology,” said Jeff Geigel, President, Widex USA. “Most hearing aids today use batteries or battery chargers connected to power outlets. Our new hearing aid will require neither. This is exciting new technology that will be hassle free for the user while providing superior sound quality and app control that makes the hearing aid easy to manage in any setting.”  Learn more at Widex.

[NOTE: If you are reading this in email, read it on the website: Aging in Place Technology Watch]

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