LeadingAge CAST updates its telehealth selection portfolio (US)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/LeadingAge_Square_Logo_Large.jpg” thumb_width=”100″ /]LeadingAge, the association of over 6,000 non-profit providers of aging services (the US chapter of IAHSA), this week issued an updated version of its telehealth selection portfolio, adding six new products to the online selection tool and product matrix, in addition to a new interactive guide (requires log in). Developed by their Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST), the selection tool and product matrix exhaustively compare 28 different products from 23 vendors across 220 different functionalities. An indispensable help for those involved in the selection and purchasing of telehealth for senior housing, post-discharge/rehabilitation and home health. LeadingAge release. Hat tip to Scott Code of CAST.

Panasonic enters telehealth, debuts On4Today

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Panasonic-on4today.jpg” thumb_width=”175″ /]Panasonic’s new Health and Wellness Solutions group has tossed their cap into the socialization ring with tablet-based On4Today. The Wi-Fi connected tablet is targeted to senior housing communities to assist residents, especially those with cognitive impairment, in staying connected and managing their daily activities. Launched this week at the LeadingAge annual meeting of non-profit housing and long-term care providers in Nashville (IAHSA internationally), the tablet features a calendar, provides reminders, receives messages and lets the user view photos, videos and video chat. It does not, at present, do any clinical monitoring. This Editor received a preview at the Aging 2.0/New York meeting in New York earlier this month showcasing Jewish Home Lifecare and Panasonic. (more…)

LeadingAge/CAST telehealth comparison tools; Independa whitepaper (US)

A release from telehealth/TV + internet-based remote care services developer Independa drew this Editor’s attention to several useful new tools from non-profit aging services provider/supplier association LeadingAge‘s Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST). If you are outside the US, the technologies may not apply, but it’s a useful model for comparing and evaluating telehealth technology and services in long-term care:

  1. The Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Selection Tool helps the user identify needs and provides choices of available products and the functionalities they offer.
  2. “Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring for Long-Term and Post-Acute Care” is a whitepaper which explains their methodology and defining telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) technologies, uses and benefits.
  3. The Telehealth and RPM Selection Matrix has an extensive comparison of technologies with features detailed by business line (e.g. acute care), system type, embodiment (type of unit), program development and support, hardware and software (front-end and ancillary).

Independa in their release (PDF) highlights their inclusion in the CAST tools. The Independa TV with embedded remote care services, developed in partnership with LG, was also reviewed in a recent whitepaper written by aging services researcher Laurie Orlov, focusing on its potential utilization in post-acute care transitions to the home and skilled nursing.

A change of guard at GrandCare Systems

This Editor has often referred to her former competitor GrandCare Systems as one of the ‘grizzled pioneers’ on the Conestoga Wagons of Telecare–even more grizzled than QuietCare (circa 2003-4) since their ur-system dates back to 1995-6, when it kept track of founder and CEO Charlie Hillman’s mother Clara. In the years since, the closely-held company has broadened its original telecare and activity monitoring tech into telehealth, socialization and home automation/monitoring into the most fully featured system in telecare/telehealth for older adults. Without making huge splashes, being beholden to VCs or moving from bucolic West Bend, Wisconsin, the company has grown through multiple alliances, the most unusual being home automation association CEDIA. GrandCare has a residential base of customers but has also developed a solid footing in senior communities both in assisted and independent living. Earlier this year, they reached into UK to partner with Saga [TTA 24 Jan10 Jan] and received the CE Mark for approval of its telehealth features for EU distribution.

The news is that they have a new CEO–Daniel Maynard, who is joining from (more…)

Engaging with aging tech

LeadingAge, the main association for non-profit ‘aging services’ providers, hosted a ‘hackathon’ of sorts called HackFest at its annual convention last week. Eight international teams of students were given a 24 hour challenge to come up with an idea and create a prototype application, device or website. The winner was Team Global EngAge who developed a platform for retirement communities to offer their activities–book clubs, religious services and clubs–online so that home-bound elderly can participate via video conferencing. The purpose of the hackathon was to focus on technology needs in senior services and was sponsored by investor Ziegler and Asbury Communities. Unfortunately neither McKnights or LeadingAge list or explore the seven other concepts, which would have been interesting as all these teams can look to further develop and fund their ideas.

Disturbing program on assisted living (US)

The other (and darker) side of how many live out the last years of their lives and the poor (but expensive) quality of care will be televised tonight in the US. PBS’ Frontline will air what is termed in Forbes a ‘powerful exposé’, Life and Death in Assisted Living, premiering Tuesday 30 July at 10 pm Eastern Time. It focuses on major problems in assisted living housing, especially at market leader Emeritus. For our many readers who cannot view PBS, the ProPublica investigative journalism group who worked on this series is also publishing a series online with the same title over the next few days and as a Kindle e-book. One case taken up is a woman with advanced dementia and chronic medical conditions who would have been previously in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility (SNF). Your Editor noted that assisted living was developed as an alternative (see next article) to nursing homes in the late 1980s, ironically by the founder of Emeritus who is no longer with the company.

LeadingAge, the association representing US non-profit aging services providers (AL, SNF, home care) and the US branch of IAHSA, has wisely prepared a heads-up for members and press talking points differentiating themselves from for-profit operators like Emeritus, starting with “The Not-for-Profit Difference: Unlike for-profit communities, the leadership at our organization does not “push to fill facilities and maximize revenues.” We are not driven by bottom lines.” On point advice on talking to the press here including a communications lifeline from the association.