hasnít worried about elderly family members and wished
it was easier to keep up with them from afar?
thereís technology that offers better care for the
seniors and peace of mind for the family caregivers,
employing advances in artificial intelligence, big data
and voice technologies.
company has a solution that tracks and analyzes a senior
loved oneís activity and routines and will alert
caregivers when something is out of the ordinary.
Another startup supplies "grandkids on demand"
to help with transportation, chores and companionship.
Still other companies have rethought the daily phone
call, supplied elder-friendly multilingual hospital
discharge instructions and matched up the elderly with
others who have room in their homes. Yet another
enhanced alerts for when your elder falls and canít
a large and growing market. More than 50 million
Americans are over 65, and 10,000 more reach that age
every day. While that age group is now about 13 percent
of Americaís population, it will jump to 19 percent by
2030 ó about 72 million people ó according to a U.S.
Census Bureau report. About $1.2 trillion is spent on
health care for American seniors each year, according to
most important, this technology can keep seniors safe
and independent, allowing them to live in their homes
ó their overwhelming preference, according to surveys.
Some of the technology could also prevent life-changing
injuries caused by falls. The big vision is to empower
the elderly to live more safely on their own while
easing the worries of their loved ones.
its mobile app, website or 800 number, Miami startup
Papa provides assistance and socialization to seniors
through young and enthusiastic team members called Papa
Pals. Itís like grandkids on demand, said CEO Andrew
came up with his startup idea from a personal need.
Andrew Parkerís grandfather had been diagnosed with
early onset of dementia that progressed into Alzheimerís
disease. As a family, the Parkers had a lot of
difficulty managing his daily needs and supporting his
primary family caregiver, Andrewís grandmother.
started as a simple concept, said Parker, who previously
worked at telemedicine provider MDLIVE, which was
founded by his father. "Our grandfather and
grandmother need support; others must as well. There is
a huge senior population that continues to grow on a
daily basis. There are also a lot of amazing college
students who want to become future nurses, doctors and
other leaders. Letís connect these inter-generational
groups and I bet something amazing happens."
Parker gathered a small team and started Papa to support
his grandfather, whom he called "Papa," and
other seniors. The service now has about 150 Papa Pals
on board. Most are college students earning extra money.
Papa Pal Valeria Sosa, a Broward College student, took
Olga DeMartino, 92, to her weekly hair appointment.
After Sosa walked with her to the car and buckled her
in, they chatted and joked about each otherís
DeMartino, Olgaís daughter-in-law, said before they
found Papa on social media, family members took turns
taking time off work to take her to her appointments.
loves them Ė she finds them all really interesting and
loves being with younger people," Regina said of
the Papa Pals. They walk her out of her appointment and
always have an umbrella so her hair wonít get wet, she
said. "If she needs help around the house, they do
Valentineís Day last year, a Papa Pal brought Olga a
rose. "How sweet is that?" Regina DeMartino
Papa, Room2Care also leverages the sharing economy but
in a different way. The Miami startup is creating a
network of vetted private caregiver homes, which provide
less expensive and more personalized care than assisted
living, said Richard Ashenoff, who founded the company
with Dr. Todd Florin.
is licensed and doing business in five states ĖĖ
Florida, West Virginia, Texas, Arizona and California
ĖĖ and has over 5,000 users and id growing daily,
Room2Care and Papa use tech to connect seniors with
humans for companionship, assistance and caregiving,
technology steps in to help at other times, too.
an elder-care platform powered by artificial
intelligence, makes bracelets that help track an elderly
residentís every activity. Currently it is available
only to large group senior-living facilities and home
care agencies, but the company hopes to offer the device
directly to consumers in the future.
an office space above a Boston Market in Plantation,
more than a dozen engineers and data scientists are
working on computers in an office adorned with large
portraits of senior citizens. In the next room, another
worker is carefully assembling the devices.
and CEO Satish Movva keeps a portrait of his parents
near his office as a reminder of his mission. His
parents, who are now 90 and 80, live just 10 miles away.
Still, despite frequent calls and visits, he couldnít
trust the answers he was getting from them about their
matter how many times I would call them during the week,
when I showed up on Saturday Iíd find new things I
didnít know about. It was frustrating," Movva
said. "I wanted a wearable device that would answer
all the questions I have about them every day."
in activity and behavior patterns show up well before
the underlying issues manifest into medical conditions,
said Movva, who has been an innovator in healthcare
technology for 23 years. He wanted a system to observe
his parents continuously but privately, so he could be
alerted to changes early enough to intervene. After
finding the existing technologies inadequate, he set out
to develop CarePredict in 2013.
idea is to monitor daily activities like eating,
drinking, walking, bathing, cooking, sleeping, Movva
said. "We couple that with contextual cues to
surface insights like self-neglect, for example, due to
depression." The data can also help predict falls
or suggest malnutrition, dehydration or infections
before the senior or another person reports them.
an artificial intelligence- and voice-powered virtual
nurse assistant, can play a similar role. She reaches
out via low tech but clinically intelligent phone
conversations, said Wolf Shlagman, founder and CEO of
look at the aging market and 90 percent or so choose to
age at home Ö managing themselves the best they
can," he said. "Angel is meant to be an
assistant that will help family caregivers by being able
to simply call mom just as a nurse would, asking a
series of questions."
asks a series of questions such as "how did you
sleep last night?" "did you take your
medication today?" and "what was your glucose
reading today?" If it detects cause for concern,
Care Angel alerts caregivers via app, text message or
phone. "Our mission is to help millions of people
take better care of their families for a fraction of the
cost of anything else out there," Shlagman said.
basic version Care Angel is available free for AARP
members and through other partners such as health
insurers. A premium version will be available next year
for about $9.95 a month.
a recently finalized study with a Humana Medicare
Advantage population, Care Angel received high marks
from recipients and also had a substantial effect on
clinical and financial outcomes. Results showed
engagement of about 83 percent, a reduction of 63
percent in hospital readmissions and $496,000 in
savings, Shlagman said.
founded in 2006 and headquartered in Boca Raton, took
the "Iíve fallen and I canít get up"
personal emergency response system idea pioneered by
Life Alert and turbocharged it. Help can be summoned at
the touch of a button worn around the neck or on the
wrist; unlike the first-generation systems designed for
use only in the home, MobileHelpís products can be
used on the go since they donít require landline phone
connections. The device also detects falls so help can
be summoned without a button being pressed. Its app also
provides verbal medication notifications and a tracker
that monitors activity levels for reports that go to
is designed to demystify medical instructions. It was
started by Susan Perry after her mother-in-law died
because she could not understand post-surgery
instructions given by the hospital. The application
operates in 16 languages, offering patients and their
caregivers the instructions in the spoken word and in
text in the language they understand. Thereís an
accompanying caregiver app, too.