I watch my 89-year-old father struggle with his iphone. He pokes at it, tries to call numbers from memory, having no clue how to access “recents” and has never ever used it to access the internet because he does not know that the internet can exist anywhere other than a computer. He feels plagued by technology and when he lost his phone in June, he was happy to be phone-free until I forced one on him before a trip where he flew solo to meet my cousins in Chicago. Meeting someone at an airport when the meetee has no phone is a comedy of terrors.
This picture is NOT what I experience with my Dad!
So, when I read about new technologies on one of my favorite sites, Aging 2.0 (www.aging2.com) I tend to view the technologies that serve the people working with the growing senior market as more viable, in the short-term, than those targeted at those over 65.
But I am starting to change my views due to a combination of seeing more agility with technology with “up and coming” seniors, facile with the ubiquity of the internet for the past 25 years. I also see tech providers making their offerings simple. Also, I see the most compelling technologies as those that hit the things that seniors care about the most. We all know the grandparents that became PC or Mac users in order to FaceTime or Skype with grandchildren or to receive and share pictures.
UNIPER CARE TECHNOLOGIES www.unipercare.com
This Israeli company offers a TV solution that provides a combination of medical assistance (medication management), socialization (connection to families, to lectures, games) and connection to family through an app for family members. The company uses artificial intelligence to create an aging-in-place platform “helping older adults ‘thrive’ at home in an independent, connected, fun way.”
This company is one of the candidates in Aging 2.0’s Global Startup Search.
I like the way it uses a TV interface for the older adult and an app for the family. The company is clearly in early stages, still developing the platform for providers. This is one I’ll watch!
Then there is Silver Bills (Silver Bills https://www.silverbills.com). This site gets at something that approaches the level of importance of grandchildren – money!; or, more precisely, that money spent on healthcare. The founder left real estate investment to start this company after watching her elderly relative deal with the complexity of paying her bills. In her own words: <<Marci [Marci Lobel-Esrig, Founder and General Counsel] launched SilverBills which allows her to combine the social mission of helping the elderly age with dignity and security with her years of professional expertise. SilverBills harnesses the power of technology to benefit clients. Instead of being inundated by paper bills, having to remember deadlines and write checks, clients are enjoying life without these stressors. SilverBills receives, scrutinizes and ensures that Clients’ bills are paid correctly. Clients don’t have to open envelopes, write checks or remember due dates. Paper is not innocuous, it can be a portal to fraud and identity theft. SilverBills gets rid of much of clients’ paper, thereby reducing the risk of elder financial fraud.>>
This sounds like a technology that can also be embraced by adult children, eager to help their parents optimize their healthcare spending, and avoid fraud.
I will keep sharing interesting technologies, apps, and innovations as I find them. Please share any you find interesting with me.