Assistive tech for older adults gets fresh developer interest, funding

Companies and investors are waking up to the potential of technology to assist both older people, wherever they live, and families to keep in touch, live more safely and to compensate for impediments created by physical or cognitive conditions. Ozy, an online news aggregator new to this Editor, notes the $5 trillion annually that boomers and older adults spend in what’s termed the ‘new old-age economy’ (AARP has previously termed it the ‘longevity economy‘) and that there’s money in tech solutions to their problems. Examples: the Lift Labs [TTA 1 Oct 13] stabilizing food utensil that cancels out most active tremors (as in Parkinson’s) while eating; Caremerge which has EHR, care coordination and secure messaging features for the care team in long-term and transitional care, but also connects families with a smartphone app and residents with reminders; GeriJoy [TTA 3 July 14], a tablet that combines an interactive pet avatar/companion with engagement, reminder and education tools for older and cognitively impaired adults.

While we’ve noted many developments along similar lines over the past ten years, interest and financial backing is aligning. (more…)

Breathing monitoring, Google Glassing, AngelListing at Rock Health’s Demo Day

The Rock Health accelerator premiered its fifth class of startup/early stage companies last week. The most interesting are the assistive technologies developed by Lift Labs in devices for everyday use–a spoon that counteracts the effect of active tremors; the Spire clip-on breathing monitoring device that takes an additional step into biofeedback and stress management (the similar BreathResearch was in TTA 24 Sept); the Google Glass-powered Augmedix service for doctors that serves up patient information during exams; ThriveOn which creates an on-demand 8-12 week custom-built programs for mental health issues. Rock Health also announced its alliance with AngelList  (more…)