This week’s senior care technology roundup features a whole host of topics, including smart phones for seniors, health information technology system development for aging in place care models, and a new CMS rule on electronic health records. It looks like everyone—from tech device manufacturers to educational institutes to the government—is looking toward technology as a solution for caring for the growing senior population, with other tech companies forming partnerships or completing transactions to expand markets and reach wider audiences.
1. Doro: “Smart” Mobile Devices, Applications for Seniors
Doro, a Swedish company that makes easy-to-use mobile devices, recently revealed its application partners and content strategy for seniors along with its first “smart” devices and new easy-to-use mobile interface, the Doro Experience. Part of this is the Doro Selection, which provies a variety of mobile applications for seniors.
One of the application partnerships is with euronews, and the application offers a live feed of breaking news headlines in 11 languages.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Doro as this partnership moves us forward in our multiscreen customer segmentation strategy. We believe that smart devices specifically dedicated to seniors will be successful and euronews’ straightforward live application will contribute to this,” said Michael Peters, CEO at euronews, in a statement.
Doro has also developed an application that gives seniors easy, “lite” version access to Facebook, called Doro Friends.
“Doro is committed to bridging the digital divide faced by seniors around the world on a daily basis. Our strategy is to offer a range of recommended mobile applications and services through the Doro Selection—which are tailored to the needs of the senior user,” said Jerome Arnaud, CEO at Doro. “We will continue to help seniors by introducing further easy-to-use services within the Doro Experience.”
2. Grandparents.com, Inc.: Reverse Acquisition Transaction Between NorWesTech, Inc. and Grandparents.com, LLC
Delaware corporation NorWesTech, Inc. (OTCBB:NWTH), recently completed a reverse acquisition transaction with Grandparents.com, LLC, where Grandparents.com, LLC contributed its assets to NorWesTech in exchange for NorWesTech assuming certain of its liabilities. The corporation also issued one share of its newly designated Series A Convertible preferred stock and a warrant to purchase shares of its common stock to Grandparents.com, LLC.
As a result of the transaction, NorWesTech is now known as Grandparents.com, Inc. and owns and operates www.grandparents.com, along with all the related trademarks and intellectual property. Additionally, Grandparents.com, LLC now owns a controlling interest in the company formerly known as NorWesTech.
The www.grandparents.com website targets the nation’s 70 million grandparents along with its 50 million boomers and seniors who aren’t grandparents, with a goal of enhancing multigenerational relationships and “enriching the lifestyle” of grandparents and the 50+ community.
Grandparents.com, Inc. is now headquartered in New York, New York, and will continue to operate and develop its online platform under a management team that acquired the website from its founders in mid-2010, including executive officers who served in similar capacities for Grandparents.com, LLC.
Along with the closing of this transaction, Grandparents.com, Inc. completed a private placement of three million shares of its newly designated Series B convertible preferred stock to qualified accredited investors for gross proceeds of $3 million.
“We believe that the transaction and private placement will enable us to expand our business by developing the website for the new generation of active web users in the age 50+ community, attract millions of new members through a variety of entertainment, wellness, travel, insurance, financial and other offerings, further develop relationships with marketing partners in the Grandparents.com Benefits Club, and generate multiple new revenue streams as the social media site for grandparents and the age 50+ community,” said Steve Leber, the Company’s new Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer.
3. Worcester Polytechnic Insitute: Healthcare Delivery Institute for Developing Aging-in-Place Care Models
The Worcester Polytechnic Institute recently established the Healthcare Delivery Institute with a goal of finding ways to deliver high-quality healthcare to an aging population that’s growing rapidly. Areas of expertise include developing mobile and wireless “smart” applications to support patient care, studying the adoption and impact of health information technology (HIT) systems, modeling and redesigning the way healthcare is delivered, and using digital data that’s generated and archived by certain systems to identify ways to improve patient care and clinical operations.
HDI has approximately $4 million in current funding from the National Science Foundation and the Veterans Administration New England Healthcare System.
4. BAM Labs: New Partnership to Expand Smart Bed Market
BAM Labs, a Silicon Valley company that develops smart bed technology, recently announced it has formed a new partnership with Goodmark Medical, a professional healthcare solutions provider. This distribution relationship will expand BAM Labs’ market for its Touch-free Life Care system, which includes under-mattress bed sensors that work in conjunction with a cloud monitoring platform.
Benefits include preventing pressure ulcers by timing and documenting the movement of patients who can’t move themselves, and fall-prevention by predicting and documenting bed exits. Thanks to the partnership, the smart beds will now be available in settings ranging from individual homes to senior living communities.
5. CMS: New Rules on Electronic Health Records
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released Stage 2 requirements regarding the meaningful use of electronic health records, which have been published in the Federal Register. For this stage, the agency added guidelines about secure messaging and encrypting data at rest, and eWeek.com says “health care providers will need to pay close attention to the changes.”
“One notable change is the requirement that doctors keep a stricter account of computerized provider order entry (CPOE—a doctor’s electronically entered instructions for patient care) and whether or not they used an EHR platform to submit treatment orders, said Drazen,” the eWeek article reads. Find out more here.