Exciting Age-in-Place Technology from the 2015 mHealth Summit in DC

In Touch Health Robot

When loved ones are living independently and you can’t be there all the time, you often worry about their safety and well-being. You may wonder if they are eating often enough, taking their medications, or what would happen if they fell. Now, with age-in-place technology, you can remotely monitor your loved one’s medication, see the number of times they open the refrigerator, when they go to the bathroom, or even when they head out the door. And now, there is even more exciting technology that is enabling seniors to live independently even longer than before.

The mHealth Summit, a conference and expo for exploring what is new in mobile, telehealth, and connected health, convened in DC last week. This year’s event featured influencers from over 50 countries that discussed the advancement of mobile and connected health, including some exciting new technologies for aging-in-place. 

The Summit featured 70 new and emerging companies, and 20 startups that offered demos and interactive events showcasing the latest wearable devices and trackers, smart watches, and implantable sensors. Below are five of the most exciting innovations that were exhibited at the event:

– ECG Monitoring
: Coming in 2016, Biotricity’s Bioflux is an ECG monitoring system that will be prescribed by physicians to diagnose and remotely monitor cardiac patients. Biolife empowers users to make lifestyle changes by combining medically-relevant ECG data with social media interactivity and a lifestyle log. Learn more here.

– Games/Performance Metrics: Blue Marble Games entertain, engage, educate, and challenge physical and cognitive skills for people of all ages and abilities. They offer players rewarding entertainment, while updating medical professionals with their client’s valuable, accurate and detailed human performance metrics. Players can play the games anywhere at any time using a mobile tablet. Learn more here

-Analytics/Data: Cascade Connected Care is a powerful analytics platform that takes data from wearable technology, such as FitBit and other sources, aggregates it, and provides detailed insight to care professionals, emergency services, GPs and families. Data is then used to guide strategic planning. Learn more here.

-Patient Education: Telesofia enables patient education and engagement with personalized patient videos, accessible on any device. Founded by a team of medical doctors and Internet industry veterans, Telesofia videos are tailored to the specific patient, directed to low literacy level, and available on devices with no need to install a specific application. The fully branded videos are sent to patients through text or email messages, or embedded in patient portals/apps. Learn more here.
-On-Demand Doctors: Pager’s on-demand service connects patients with board-certified doctors that provide the care they need, whenever and wherever. Doctors will come to your home, office, or hotel within 2 hours – a convenient alternative to crowded emergency rooms and busy doctor’s offices. Learn more here.

Other New and Exciting Technology Worth Mentioning 

Trainables’ and the Internet of the Body: Wearable technology goes beyond the fitness band and smartwatch to take a proactive role in managing health. Some innovations in this area include running shorts that talk to you, a clip-on posture coach, and more. The chip giant Intel has a New Devices Group working on marrying wearables to fashion. Learn more here.

Stroke-Treating Robots: In Touch Health offers an advanced stroke diagnostic tool that can be attached to a robot that travels to patient rooms, analyzes charts and talks to the patient while a physician may be sitting somewhere else. It is so effective that last year, this company did 70,000 stroke treatments. That is 10 times more than any hospital system.

Dog Walking App: A lot of seniors have pets as companions, but what happens if they are unavailable to walk them. A new app called Wag! can bring on-demand relief to dogs and their busy owners. All you need to do is download the iOS app, and fill out a short profile with your dog’s name, age, breed, notes about his or her personality, and the veterinarian’s name and phone number (optional). Then add a credit-card number, and you are ready. Walks can be scheduled in advance or using a “right now button” anytime from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. The service requires the setup of a complimentary company lockbox, similar to those real estate agents use.

Smart Wheelchair and Walker: Students at the Furtwangen University (HFU) in Germany have developed a smart wheelchair and walker that use sensors so doctors can monitor patient health remotely. The wheelchair and walker are aimed at helping patients who live in remote areas where it’s difficult to reach a local hospital or doctor but still may need fast and urgent care. Learn more here

Wearable Fitness Trackers: Wearable fitness trackers, such as FitBit are not new, but have been proven to be effective. In The Conversation, a nonprofit online news site, it was reported that three-fourths of the users, half of whom were Americans, began eating healthier food, smaller portions and less takeout. For those interested in saving money, a University of Pennsylvania study, published in February in JAMA, found that most smartphone applications were just as accurate as a wearable device in tracking someone’s physical activity.

As our country ages, the needs of older adults interested in remaining independent and at home multiply. However, what happens if your loved one is resistant to adopting new technologies? Read our blog post, “Amazing Technology to Age-in-Place (But Mom is Reluctant)” for details on helping a loved one overcome their resistance, and for additional age-in-place technologies that are available.

When Aging-in-Place is no Longer the Best Option 

Most people want to stay in their home for as long as possible. However, if you or a loved one cannot live independently and are showing signs that living alone is a strain, it may be time to consider other alternatives.

Whether the outcome is in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home care in the future, it is always wise to plan ahead.
Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting assets from having to be spent down in connection with entry into assisted living or nursing home care, while also helping ensure that you and your loved ones get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Please contact us as soon as possible to make an appointment for a consultation:

Fairfax Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney: 703-691-1888 
Fredericksburg Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney: 540-479-143 
Rockville Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney: 301-519-8041 
DC Medicaid Asset Protection Attorney: 202-587-2797
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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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