App-solutely Easy: Visionary Elder Tech - Skip to content

App-solutely Easy: Visionary Elder Tech


New Technology Making Senior’s Lives Easier

As we explored last year in Caring for the Caregivers, technology can make aging easier on both sides of the care equation. Here are some exciting new ways technology is fueling a positive aging experience:

  1. Doc-in-a-Box. The days of house calls have vanished along with corded landline phones, but technology is returning doctor visits to the home — via Skype and similar videoconference service providers. Just as seniors have embraced technology in droves, video visits will replace (or at least supplement) in-person office visits, with their typical long waits.reverse mortgage news
  2. Share and share alike. Complementing video doctor visits is an exponential rise in online medical records sharing. While privacy and information pirating are also growing concerns, an inappropriate medical record release isn’t likely to prove fatal, whereas lack of access to vital information in an emergency could mean the difference between life and death.
  3. Alfred, the Robo-butler. A tech-savvy reverse mortgage client might visit her doctor online, order groceries from the local market via their website, and Facebook regularly with grandkids. But wouldn’t it be nice to have someone like a trusted butler to handle all of a senior’s household needs, including setting appointments, or reminding them when to buy more milk? A real-life Alfred (like a personal assistant you never see) will handle all the particulars in the background of someone’s life — if they live in New York City or Boston. For everyone else, a virtual version, Hello Alfred, functions as an on-demand one-stop service portal. Because, as today’s seniors are proving by their behavior, rocking out means a concert, not a porch chair.
  4. Lights, camera, action: No matter how healthy an older person may be, certain faculties tend to decline with age — particularly hearing and vision. Fortunately, merchants everywhere are recognizing that if a senior can read what’s on offer, they’ll be that much more likely to buy. LED lights have begun showing up in unexpected places, such as on restaurant menus. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren, who at 75 understands this demographic, has gone one better: designing a tote bag with LED lights on the inside, to help a mature woman find the pen to sign her credit card receipt.
  5. Can you smell that? One company has developed an “electronic nose” based on nanotechnology that will interface with any smartphone. Creator Samuel M. Khamis explains how, with just a whiff, the e-nose will be able to provide information about a person’s metabolic state and the number of calories being burned, in real time. This data can help people lose weight — or warn users well in advance of a potential asthma attack. As his company refines the technology, it will be useful for many additional health care applications based around breath analysis.

What’s certain is that the number of elder apps will continue to flourish, helping seniors to track illnesses, along with medications and potential side effects. My Recovery, designed by a surgeon, helps patients prepare for their operation, understand what to expect during and after the hospital stay, and even guides them through rehabilitation exercises. The Flowy app uses games to help people manage panic attacks — and a pilot study has already demonstrated a significant decline in symptoms.

So while tomorrow’s tech-savvy seniors may have to contend with a bit less personal privacy than in the past, the flip side is the promise of greater independence in the home, for longer — possibly even to the end of their lives.

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  1. Amara,

    After reading your article, my eyes were opened as to how far behind I and my several friends are on a tech basis. Thanks for the information.

    • Hi RMMyths,

      You’re welcome.

      fyi, This is all cutting edge information, so don’t be overly concerned. As long as you’re comfortable with touch-screen technology and smartphones, you’re likely doing fine. 🙂

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