Top 5 Ways Your Smart Home Can Help You Protect the Elderly

IoT has its downsides, ( see our article about hacking earlier) – but  at a time when we are banging on about personalised and community healthcare, here like a ray of sunlight, comes some essential truth, by Rafi Zauer, Head of Marketing at appropriately, the Essence company.

The ‘sandwich generation’—adults who have to simultaneously take care of their aging parents and deal with other responsibilities like work and raising their own children– is a consequence of increasing life expectancy in developed countries, and the wish of the elderly to stay independent and continue to live in their own home.

This can be a very stressful situation, and for those who find themselves in this position, every bit of help is more than welcome. And technology may be able to assist. A modern smart home will become an invaluable tool to help you take care of your aging loved ones. How? Here are five tips:

1. Be alerted about deviations from their daily routine
By installing motion sensors in strategic places around the house, you will know at what time your parents get up, or if they opened the fridge to get something to eat. You will be able to follow their daily routine and detect if anything is amiss. For example, you will receive an alert if they stayed in bed, or in the bathroom, much longer than usual. That way, you will be able to check on them and make sure they are well, without interfering with their daily habits, respecting their privacy at all times.

2. Make sure they aren’t wandering out of the house
Thanks to a smart lock you will be notified every time they enter and leave the house. This is not about spying on their every move, but about making sure they are safe. This is especially useful for seniors who are becoming increasingly frail or infirm, as well as for those in the early stages of dementia, for whom it may be dangerous to leave the house on their own. Also, with a smart lock you can even lock and unlock the door for them. For example, if they tend to forget to lock the front door at night, you can set a rule to lock it automatically at a specific time every night.

 

3. Keep track of their medication schedule
By installing a magnetic door sensor on the medicine cabinet door, you will know if your senior parent remembered to take his daily pills. By consulting the activity log from your smartphone app, you will be able to check if the cabinet was opened and when. What’s more, thanks to smart rules you can get creative with the way you remind them to take their medicines! For example, you can set the smart light in the kitchen to turn a different color when it’s time for the night pills, and not to return to its original color until the sensor in the medicine cabinet detects the door opening.

4. Ensure they are safe with smart safety sensors
Smoke, CO2 and water detectors will add an extra safety measure which could even become a life-saver in certain situations. Suppose your elderly parent forgets to turn the stove off while cooking or heating food up, and something starts to burn. You will receive an immediate alert on your smartphone, allowing you to react on the spot and prevent any serious damage. Likewise, with a smart thermostat you’ll be able to make sure the house is never too hot or too cold. This is not only a matter of comfort and convenience, as seniors are very sensitive to temperature changes, so on cold winter days forgetting to turn on the heat could put their health at health .

 

5. Use cameras to keep them safe while ensuring their privacy
Although some people may find it intrusive to have a connected camera in their home, there is no doubt that it is a very useful tool to take care of seniors as it allows you to check in on them at real time. For example, you can create a rule for the camera to send real-time video when any of the sensors detects an anomaly in the house, such as smoke in the kitchen. Also, if you can’t get in touch with your parents, you can turn on the camera and make sure they are well and haven’t perhaps fallen and are unable to answer the phone.

Beyond panic buttons, smart home technology is also useful in providing a helping hand for those taking care of seniors. It does not only offer peace of mind for everyone involved, both the caregiver and the elderly person, but can also become a life-saver in situations when time becomes a life or death matter, such as in the case of a fall, injury or accident, where a quick response is essential. Smart homes are helping enhance the quality of life both for seniors and caregivers, helping seniors remain at home and stay independent for as long as possible.

Rafi Zauer is Head of Marketing at Essence, providers of intelligent end-to-end IoT platforms for service providers offering home security, automation and senior care services. http://www.essence-grp.com

 

Is the EHR in Terminal Decline?

We ask the question that nobody wants to admit..

When the slides failed during Mahad Huniche’s erudite address on the personalisation of healthcare at the recent HIMSS eHealth Europe Conference – he did what every speaker should do.  He ad-libbed, and carried on.  And in doing so – he said two things that were seismic in their importance.

The first – that we are entering an era of disruptive clinical IT – everybody “got”.  The second – that healthcare will now be driven by you and I as “consumers”, and as such, will be governed by eCommerce technology, rather than clinical technology – nobody got.

Whether we like it or not, the wearable technology that is ever more prevalent, will be the source of our own health data – and it will be transmitted, in real time, to wherever we want to send it – i.e., to places where they can monitor this and do something about it.  In short what this means is a reversal of the current necessity of a/having to travel to a place called a hospital;  and b/ having to use monolithic IT called “EHR Solutions” – to manage said information. It also means that the driver of future health improvements will be you and I, as we will insist that our healthcare givers can monitor us remotely; and that the hospital importance of people like CIOs etc, will fade into one of support. We just don’t need it any more.

This will do two things;  first, at a General Doctor level, fewer people will need to see their local GP – he will already know their info; this means that the GP (according to one that was discussing this with me on the plane recently) – can now spend as much time as they wish, sorting out the patients who are truly sick, as opposed to those who just “think”  they are.  It means less people coming into the A&E areas of hospitals (for the above same reason). And more important – less people requiring on demand beds in hospitals.  Our doctors will be able to tell us straightaway, remotely, if we need to be admitted as such.

The interesting point about all this – is that it;’s not like this technology is not available already,  Even places such as Turkey have their own regional connected patient record App, that will be the platform for the sort of enhanced personalisation we describe above – and this explains why Steve Leiber, CEO of HIMSS was already on a plane to Turkey even before the applause had died down from his opening Conference keynote speech.

The other interesting point, is that this consumer driven change – flies in the face of existing Hospital wisdom, who are continuing to invest in ever larger and all embracing “big patient record systems” – that will both be too cumbersome to give any actual clinical benefit, and too inflexible to cope with the personalisation that is not just required by the mobile wearable world we are all embracing, but by even now, some of the key modules that need to be stand alone in their own right – Theatre Management is a good example – if they are to cope with how individual communities want their healthcare.

What is worse – is that very few “communities”  are geared up at a bureaucratic level – to handle this. When we talked to several Kommuns in Scandinavia recently, their assessment was that it will be at least twelve months before they could look at a “Procurement” to put in place relevant services.

The result – is that not only will you and I start to define our own healthcare needs – but that we will go to places called Supermarkets, to obtain this.  The ICA supermarket  in Scandinavia is deep in expansion of its Apotek chain of walk in healthcare shops.  It can only be a matter of time before those services expand.

How so?

Because retail and supermarkets are the bedrock of eCommerce. And the very technology that drives the analysis of every purchase that you and I make in a store, is already being used to calculate the personalisation of Genomes and Genomics, as well as manage the health data wirelessly sent, all the time from yours and my Apple Watch.

Which brings me back to Mahad and his unfortunate slides. Sometimes you need to get to the horses mouth, the deeper vision. Who needs powerpoint anyway?

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New Ways to Share Sensitive Data

We look at the launch of the 360ofme Platform and the appointment of its new Key Execs

If you would take your clothes off,  – for less people  than the number of fingers you have on one hand – then your Doctor would certainly be one of them. It goes without saying that – you would not expect him to share that info, with the rest of world.

And you could say the same about Financial Data too. Sensitive info, is, well, sensitive info.  And that’s the problem. Because, in the modern world,  our personal data is digital, and insights into our digital data routinely need to be shared and accessible to  chosen people, for our own wellbeing. The question is – how do we do it?

The answer could be the new 360ofme platform.  360ofme is a new platform that provides consumers with portability, ubiquity and insights from their digital life. From healthcare to financial and insurance to automotive and home, 360ofme provides a simple means of securely sharing critical data with family members, doctors and others that consumers choose. Utilizing cognitive computing from IBM, new insights about people’s lives will be surfaced and consumers will gain control of their digital footprint.

The key point is that they attribute their future success to the appointment of seasoned industry experts, rather than the typical  “start-up”  routine of  inexperienced founders, which rarely work.   And they go on…

“360ofme, the world’s first personal data exchange platform, today announced that four new executives-in-residence will help to guide the further development of its groundbreaking solutions. Scott Dueweke, President of Zebryx Consulting; Becky Wanta, CEO & President of RSW1C; blockchain expert Evelyn DeSouza; and Steve Schlabs, VP of Sales Strategy at BMC Software, will serve as 360ofme’s Board of Technical Advisors. The new executives will serve alongside some of the brightest minds in consumer focused software development. Other members of the 360ofme Board of Advisors include Derek Collison, CEO, Apcera; Jan Plutzer, COO, Apcera; and Carole Bellis, Partner, Kilpatrick, Townsend, LLP.

360ofme offers an online solution that enables consumers to regain control of their digital assets, allowing them to manage, share and act on their digital data. From healthcare to financial and insurance to automotive and home.

The current Board of Advisors guided 360ofme to its recent beta launch in just 10 months and will be instrumental in onboarding its first cohort of consumers. 360ofme recruits advisors in areas of critical strategic importance and relies on their guidance to ensure that significant company disciplines and processes develop and operate according to industry best practices.

“We feel so fortunate to have the advisement and counsel of these recognized senior executives. As we complete the beta release of our platform, these executives are ensuring that we can scale, delight our customers, and maintain the trust that is expected and required,” said Cindy L. Warner, CEO and Founder of 360ofme. “Becky, Evelyn and Steve will be invaluable in our journey to becoming the market leader in consumer data privacy, and Scott will be instrumental in our next phase of security architecture, as we create the most secure personal data exchange in the world.”

Is There Too Much Data?

We look at the plethora of  Conferences in 2017, all focussing on the same Chief Data Officer market, and ask – why is life so complicated?
I don’t want to say we are not grateful. The specifically focussed “new generation” of Speakers and Vendors, all have something relevant to say. But this is the problem. Taken as a whole – there is just too much that people have to say.  It used to be just the one Conference, and the concept of the CDO was  twinkle in the eye. Now, we have the Chief Data Officer Europe 2017 Conference in London, from the 20th Feb, focussing on GDPR.  We have the Chief Data Officer Forum, from IQPC, in early May;  and then we have a Chief Data Scientist Conference, in September. I don’t know what a Chief data :Scientist”  is. All of which means that the whole area of expert opinion of a CDO, is diluted because from what we can see, there is no wrong opinion. What works for you, works for you.  But it might not work for someone else.
So where’s the value here?
The answer is in making it simple – and choosing the vendors, and venues, that intuitively make you feel at ease, and where the value is explained in something that mortals can understand. But “managing”  the process of your data is not just important for any corporate – it is vital and financially risky if you are not in control of the information which may reside anywhere in your ,multitude of databases.
Best up are the Adaptive Blogs, – you can register online at; http://www.adaptive.com. Their regular weekly Blog explains Metadata whilst giving you the options of digging deeper.
We talked a few days ago with Samantha Geenty at IQPC, who started the whole market in our view, just a couple of years ago; their “forum”  concept, which we have reviewed earlier on this Site – is a clever way of bringing people together at like levels of expertise and need.
And we are delighted to be reviewing the upcoming event in Covent Garden from Corinium, on the 22nd Feb.  As I said earlier, it’s not like I’m not grateful.

How to sell in a Digital Market. Get back to basics.

We learn a timely lesson on how to make retail sales.

It’s so easy to forget, in this ecommerce world – that sales go to real people. When people go online and fish out their credit card – we are dealing with the same influences as if that person was sitting in front of us.  In fact less so – because they are not sitting in front of us.  And that process is more difficult because of that.
The eCommerce Show just a week or so ago in London – and this is similar to all of the others across Europe and USA – has increasingly forgotten that the “sales process”  is not about fulfilment, as important as this is. It is about the man relationship, or the semblance of this – during the virtual ordering process.
One of the key reasons why so many eCommerce companies bite the dust and do not have a long life expectancy, is their failure to get alongside their customers, face to face, and do this repeatedly, so that they both build up a relationship, but they also get a sale.
How do we know this?
We spent a day last Saturday signing copies of our own new Book, that was published by Austin Macauley and earlier launched at the London BookFair.  We travelled to a lovely market town in Wales, the shop owners gave customers small glasses of mulled  heated wine, and we did our magic engaging with customers. We sold ten times more books in one day than the average daily turnover.
The moral of this little story is;  get your “good customer sales process”  right – and you keep your customer for the long term.   Hide behind your digital process – and the customer will not come at all.

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