Research about baby boomers and their use of consumer health technologies.

Five Boomer Health Technologies from the 2014 mHealth Summit

Within the Health IT paradigm, self-care for boomers deserves highlighting. The mHealth Summit 2014 was mostly a health IT event, filled with consultants, health care professionals, startups focused on practice improvements, patient engagement, health care informatics and big data.  But amid all of the IT, there were solutions that could be leveraged by boomer self health management tools that fall into the xHealth umbrella -- Digital, mobile, and wearable health technology. They are interesting when grouped -- thus deserve to be called out separately.

category tags: 

Memo to IDC: Debunking FutureScape's Digital Health Hype

IDC outlines FutureScape and the tech industries listen. IDC recently outlined the future of healthcare technology -- aimed at healthcare CIOs. As with all analyst predictions, they safely describe changes that will not occur until 2018, 2020, and beyond. Said Scott Lundstrom, Group Vice President and General Manager of IDC Health Insights. "Common themes emerging from the FutureScape include the focus on consumer experience and engagement, the use of mobile and internet enabled devices, and of course, the 3rd Platform technologies." You probably didn't know that this 3rd Platform was an organized initiative with a delivery date, but per IDC, it is being built (by someone?) on mobile computing, social networking, cloud services, and Big Data analytics technologies.  But will boomers (providers and consumers) buy into this buzzword-laden future?

category tags: 

Aging 2.0 Pitch Event Boomer Health Tech startups - Boston

What's new and pitched about San Francisco-based Aging 2.0 describes itself as a 'global organization intent on accelerating innovation to improve the lives of older adults  -- to do, so it connects, educates and supports innovators through regular events, the CoverAGE newsletter and the Academy. Over the past 2 years, Aging2.0 has hosted 85 events in 22 cities across 9 countries, cultivating a robust ecosystem of innovators including entrepreneurs, technologists, designers, investors, long-term care providers and seniors themselves.  It organizes startup pitch events in various cities -- and recently held one in Boston, where five of the startups could fit easily into the market segment of improving baby boomer health with the support of technology. They include: 

category tags: 

Connecting two cans with a string -- health wearables for boomers

If the market for consumer wearables is so ginormous, then why won't boomers adopt?  Picking up the two cans and string is the basis for hearing the missing conversation. That means finding and listening to the right party -- the patient who most needs the technology. Apparently, in order to realize the $6 billion market by 2018, useful data must be provided to the user. That would seem self-evident to innovators, but maybe not. The makers of health wearables are hustling to integrate with Electronic Medical Records (good luck!!!!), forge relationships with corporate wellness programs and health care organizations that can make the magical happen -- compliance.  Forbes quoted a PwC executive a few weeks ago saying the wonderful and obvious: "People like the idea of these devices. They just don’t want to bother with them." Useful data, however, is not static -- familiarity with your steps and sleep patterns -- let's face it -- that's boring. Configuring what's interesting, exceptional and changing -- that's difficult.  And horrors, what if wearables aren't even all that wearable?

category tags: 

What ARE health tech innovators doing to help prevent falls?

The NY Times series paints a bleak picture about seniors and falls. Falling is a serious problem for the elderly -- and as the population of boomers age into their 70's, 80's and beyond, the scale of the problem is worsening -- as Katie Hafner's series this week illustrates. In 2012, 2.4 million older adults (age 65+) were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls -- whether down stairs, tripping on rugs, slippery bathtubs, even their own pets, never mind problems caused by drugs that produce dizziness.   At the age of 80, half of seniors fall annually.  Pathway lighting from bed to bath is incredibly cheap -- from under a stair step or motion-sensing night lights plugged into outlets.  Note cushioned floor mats as well.

category tags: 

Five new technologies from the 2014 Connected Health Symposium

So many MDs, so much interest in behavioral change.  No doubt, there was plenty of medical method to the selection of members of panels and the final agenda of the 11th Annual Connected Health Symposium, held last week in Boston. I will leave it to others to mull over the latest variant of 2010's Nudge (how to get you to change your behavior?), how we should ignore market research (Consumer.ology) and move forward with getting patients engaged. Let's do it the 'brainy way' -- Why People Engage with Health -- see engageIN, the new company of the speaker, Dr Kyra Babinet from Stanford.  In addition to the MD/MPH packed agenda, there were 10 short pitches from startups at the event -- let's consider the information from five of them that could be useful to boomers.

category tags: 

Up is down and down is up in the world of health technology

Tired of typing mHealth/wearable health/mobile health/digital health/HIT?  It's those rosy-eyed worlds of health, accelerators, and wide-eyed venture capitalists. Because investors are so excited - another multiple has emerged -- note the growth of accelerators for (select one of the previous). So that's the reason this site is called xHealthtech.com.  Consider the advice author Lisa Suennen gave:  "Accelerators that focus on digital health should hone in on a specific area -- such as cancer."  Let's go that one better:  Companies that enter accelerator programs should meet criteria (like this one in Life Sciences) -- rather than the vagueness of StartUp Health $5 billion so far into "entrepreneurs transforming healthcare" and the Rock Health Report of $2.3 billion, much of it into digital health, which in the old days was just called IT, or maybe even Health IT).  Entrants should not be characterized by preliminary solutions looking for a problem -- instead they should offer a solution to a problem that has been scoped (at least by them), validated by those that can deploy, and designed with market research underpinning assertions.

category tags: 

Text messaging, portals and email influence on boomer health

Healthcare portals are popular for provider groups.  Just about every health system has felt or will be compelled to create an information-rich web portal with a plethora of pertinent health advice, scheduling apps, and an almost kitchen sink level of features. As of 2012, 57% already had them in place; typically they are specific to a health group, or perhaps more significantly, to a proprietary EHR implementation. Headaches arising from proprietary lock-ins are the unintended side effect, not to mention the need to integrate with a particular medical practice that may also have a practice management application -- and perhaps the doctors spend time at multiple hospitals, each with their own EMR/EHR system.

category tags: 

Seven health technologies that can matter to boomers

Baby boomers aren't all that healthy compared to seniors. Last year JAMA published a study that compared baby boomer health status to that of the previous generation's health status during the same age range.  The results were not good -- only 13.2% reported excellent health in comparison to 32% of the previous generation. The boomers had noticeably higher incidence of obesity, did less exercise, and had a greater incidence of hypertension. Not surprisingly, they were more likely to take medication for various conditions.  But they outpace the prior generation in smartphone use and are well-versed in searching the Internet for health information. So assuming they had a smartphone, tablet or web access, what emerging health apps (information from the vendor websites) might be useful?

category tags: 

Turn off that app -- health tech investment needs focus on privacy and security

Regulatory roadblock -- the FDA wants to review apps.  Surprise - counting steps is not the same as tracking arrhythmia. Is it really so crazy that an app that tracks irregular heartbeats should be reviewed by the FDA? Are you surprised that there security issues in mobile apps?  Is it surprising that Apple is hiring people with expertise at bringing health tech to market? Are we concerned that this is 'slowing down' Silicon Valley, when less than a third of popular health apps have privacy policies?  What's going on with the Silicon Valley obsession with health anyway? At 41, Sergey Brin seems to be having his first mid-life crisis -- that could explain why Google is so focused on health and the body, but of course not data sharing with insurance companies. But of course. But they never said they wouldn't target ads to you based on your searches on health sites. They have acknowledged that aggregated search behaviors would be shared with marketers interested in your interests.

category tags: 

Pages

Subscribe to Boomer Health Tech Watch RSS