GE/Intel QuietCare video

2 mins 36 seconds. Title: GE/Intel: A commitment to the future of home healthcare

Excellent, non hyped-up, explanation of how telecare should, and can, work. In this case in an assisted living setting.

The human star of the video is ex-school teacher Honor Hacker who has featured in a number of pro-technology articles, and spoke last year at a briefing of the US Senate’s Special Committee on Aging. It’s good to see she is still going strong. Here are a few of her stories from previous years:

Technology helps seniors live independently. Minnesota Public Radio, December 2005

Silent Guardians. Star Tribune, Minneapolis-St Paul, February 2007

Capitol Hill Briefing Features Technologies That Could Transform the Lives of Seniors. American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, January 2008

Categories: Video Gallery.


  1. David Doherty

    I fail to see why this shouldn’t all be replaced by a personal mHealth solution…

    I cannot see anything in this video which couldn’t be implemented much more easily and at a much lower cost with a smartphone.

    To my mind the Intel table top device would be more useful if it had a smaller form factor (eg like the touch screen iphone mobile) and could be taken with the patient and used to support continuous care particularly when a patient is out of the home.

    The motion sensors would be much more effective if they tracked the patient constantly. A watch-like mobile (eg. the LG Watch Mobile) could offer this benefit and more (as we have seen with the success of the Vivatec wristcare devices/support services). The microphone on a mobile phone can easily be used to detect the sound of a door opening and would help us know exactly which patient was opening/passing which door in a shared home.

    To put a system like this into every home would be ideal but prohibitively expensive and I think in these tough economic times we need to plan for that scale.

  2. Donna Cusano


    I’d agree with previous comment that the design of this unit is clunky, although I’d say for the age group that a smartphone (and the monthly charges) are A Bridge Too Far.

    If they can get the size down to a smartphone size, keep it simple and make it portable (including on aircraft)–it becomes far more attractive. A real engineering challenge that I’m surprised Intel couldn’t solve in the three years+ they’ve been developing it.

    The problem with wrist devices has always been size and irritation/bruising in the elderly, particularly women, with thin skin. And for those with dementia, where it’s most useful, it can be a source of upset.

  3. David Doherty

    smartphone + monthly charges Vs. niche dedicated device, installation and fixed line rental

    The reason the monthly charges for a smartphone exist is because most are paid for entirely out of pocket and customers expect to be able to receive a highly subsidized device. The large part of these bills are actually paying for the finance agreement on this piece of technology. All the same it’s worth remembering that even $40 per month costs would offer considerable financial advantages if they could keep patients healthy at home (and out of expensive hospitals etc).

    The ongoing maintenance costs of a mobile connection is much less and easier to manage than a fixed line rental for low volume users – as can be seen by ever more homes “cutting the cord” in these recessionary times.

    You can’t be suggesting that the usability, cost, availability, support and open developer standards of the Apple iPhone (for example) are even comparable with those of the Intel Health Guide?

    I agree wrist devices on the market and available today may not be ideal but they are improving, but you couldn’t be suggesting that the Intel Health Guide is useful for patients with dementia?

  4. Donna Cusano

    Smartphone vs. niche device

    Agree re the charges if they can be held down to below $50/month. However smartphones are complicated. You and I “get” them but will a person who is currently 70+? Many seniors are still baffled by basic cellphones (thus the popularity of simplified phones.) I’d assume the less complex the interface, the less the senior has to do, the better. (I am not a designer, but a marketer.) In the future, with the group that is now 50+ and is accustomed to iPhones, Windows Mobile enabled devices, Blackberries–there we go, it’s falling off a log.

    Re iPhone vs. the Health Guide–they aren’t comparable (thus “clunky”). Unless very simple seniors with even early stage dementia would have difficulty using it

    On wrist devices–even if made comfortable and non-bruising, they can always be taken off.

  5. David Doherty

    “You and I ‘get’ them but will a person who is currently 70+?”

    Great point. To my mind this is the biggest issue so let’s take it apart by asking ourselves why we get them?

    I think it’s because WE benefit from the flexibility, reachability, ease of use, low cost, convenience, pervasiveness, always on, always accessible, inbuilt payment mechanism, permanency, availability at the point of creative inspiration, etc. etc.

    Why shouldn’t smart phones be able to deliver this to seniors?

    From what I can see it isn’t because the technology isn’t ready it’s because the services aren’t there yet…

    It is obvious that the services will be different and that it will take a stretch of the imagination of the best young designers but a wrist worn smartphone will be worn (despite the discomfort) by seniors when it can predict and alert the user to:
    • the fact that they are about to fall
    • the fact that they are about to have a heart attack unless they do A B and C
    • the fact that they are in an environment made up of dangerous levels of CO, smoke etc.
    • the need to take another medication in order to follow their highly personalised medication treatment
    • crime and other risks to their personal safety