Senior Care Technology: 2012 in Review

Looking back on 2012 senior-care related technology news, the biggest trends have to do with a federally-backed shift to electronic health and medical records and providers utilizing technology to improve their position in the care spectrum as hospitals start forming post-acute care relationships. 

The continued emergence of remote monitoring and emergency alert systems that facilitate independent aging was another major theme, and many of our senior care technology reviews were studded with new platforms meant to aid aging in place in a variety of settings. Robots and senior-oriented social platforms also popped up frequently, and there were also a couple tech company mergers, acquisitions, entrances, and exits along the way. 

Visit SHN’s Technology category to access the past year in Senior Care Technology Reviews, and peruse the articles below to refresh your memory on tech-related happenings in the industry this past year.


Feature Stories: 

Technology’s Role in Senior Care Continuum: Reducing Costs, Maintaining Occupancy

Tech company Healthsense talks about how its remote monitoring and emergency alert products (and other companies’ similar offerings) can help reduce care costs and maintain occupancy in senior living communities. 

Harnessing the Potential of Technology in Senior Living Facilities

The opportunities afforded by technology allow administrators to provide services in senior housing that can’t be done in peoples’ homes, and it can make providers more productive and efficient in the way they conduct business.

Robot & Grandma: Robotic Care Could be Next Big Thing in Senior Living

Similar to the storyline of Robot & Frank, a 2012 movie about a retiree’s relationship with a robot programmed to look after him and help him remain independently at home, a recent study suggests that acceptance of robots is growing—albeit not substantially—among older adults.

Independent Living Monitoring: Walking the Line Between Safety and Intrusion

Technology is often touted as a way to help seniors remain in their current setting, whether it’s home or even an independent or assisted living apartment, but sometimes it can be a delicate balance to keep various monitoring platforms from being overly or unnecessarily invasive. 

When Considering Senior Care Technology, Choose Vendors Wisely

Senior living providers should consider several factors when choosing a technology vendor for their community in light of recent vendor exits from the senior care space. 

Communities “Future-Proofing” With FiOS for Senior Care, Entertainment

The combination of a wireless FIOS platform and monitoring and response systems can help communities provide a higher quality of care that enables aging in place while improving staff productivity and more efficient use of time. This article looks specifically at a Virginia CCRC that recently installed Verizon FiOS and Healthsense technology. 

Remote Monitoring

Care Innovations Collaboration Yields 75% Reduction in Rehospitalizations

An Intel-GE Care Innovations program used in an Indiana health system study on preventing avoidable rehospitalizations contributed to achieving a 75% reduction in the number of readmissions among participating seniors. 

Half of Seniors, Even More Boomers Willing to Use Remote Monitoring Technology

A Deloitte study showed that half of seniors and 57% of boomers are open to the idea of using remote health monitoring technology, but fewer favor the concept of applications that provide medication reminders.  

Senior Care Technology the Antidote to Killer Side Effects of Loneliness from Aging in Place?

Loneliness comes with killer side effects for some aging-in-place seniors, but certain technologies geared toward social engagement may provide an antidote. 

Study: Senior Care Telemonitoring Doesn’t Reduce Hospitalizations

Telemonitoring did not result in fewer hospitalizations or emergency department visits among older adults participating in a telemonitoring study conducted by multiple healthcare professionals.

Studies Show Technology, Telemonitoring Can Increase Medication Effectiveness & Safety

Despite the study mentioned above which concluded telemonitoring doesn’t reduce hospitalizations or ER visits among older adults, other studies have concluded it can increase the effectiveness of medication and safety in their administration. 

Social Media and the Internet

For the First Time, More Than Half of 65+ Seniors are Online, and They’re Hooked

The Pew Research Center released a survey revealing that a record number of seniors are online, and are likely to continue using web-based products such as email and search engines. 

Senior Living Providers: Ignore Social Media As Communication Tool At Your Peril

A white paper from LCS talks about the growing need for senior living communities to use the Internet and social media platforms to communicate with an older population that’s increasingly tech-savvy. 

Is Facebook the New Frontier for Marketing Retirement Communities to Seniors?

A consumer resource site suggests senior living providers may want to consider Facebook as a marketing platform considering Pew Research Center studies showing the spreading use of the Internet, online search engines, and social networks among seniors. 

Marketing to Mature Consumers Requires Holistic Approach—Including Social Media

Following the “Facebook as New Frontier for Marketing” article, other market researchers cautioned that while social media can be used as an effective marketing tool to boomers and other older demographics, it shouldn’t necessarily replace other tried-and-true avenues such as television ads. 

On the Record

On the Record: Louis Burns, CEO of Intel-GE Care Innovations

Louis Burns tells SHN about his company’s plans to “double-down” on senior care-oriented product offerings and his vision for technology’s eventual widespread acceptance as a way to deliver care.

On the Record: Kian Saneii, Founder & CEO of Independa

Kian Saneii talks about the growing presence of technology in many seniors’ lives and how his company is forming strategic partnerships that can help senior care providers better manage resident care. 

On the Record: Majd Alwan, Executive Director of LeadingAge CAST

While technology can’t be considered a “silver bullet” for what’s projected to be a shortage in senior care staffing, its continued development and adoption can be expected, especially when it comes to electronic health records and telehealth, says Majd Alwan.

EMRs, EHRs, and Healthcare Data

As More Turn to Electronic Medical Records, Need for Cyber Insurance Emerges

Senior living providers are facing a mounting danger of losing or compromising protected health information—for both employees and residents—and some are turning to cyber insurance for protection against fraud and abuse.

Assisted Living Providers Improving Partnership Profiles With Electronic Records

Assisted living providers can help increase their attractiveness as a post-acute care partner to hospitals by using electronic records and tracking data and outcomes on residents, especially in relation to those that have been hospitalized. 

Staff Preparedness the Key to Maximizing Benefits of EHRs

Implementing EHRs, as with any new system, can come with a lot of baggage and maybe even unintended consequences resulting from unfamiliarity. However, to maximize the benefits of paperless systems, it’s a good idea to properly prep and train staff so they’re ready once the new system goes live. 

Collecting Resident Health Data: With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Liability

A variety of companies have created innovative monitoring systems that are being implemented in senior living communities across the nation, but increased knowledge of residents’ health information and data is closely followed by increased responsibility and liability, and not all providers are equipped to handle it.

Tech M&A

RealPage Acquires Senior Living Software Provider Vigilan for $5 Million

Yardi Acquires ALMSA to Expand Assisted Living Technology Solution

EmFinders Exits Tracking Device Market, Competitors Look to Snag Clients

3M Discontinues Remote Monitoring Product Line

Companies featured in this article:

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