Thought GE & Intel announced in 2009 a partnership to develop technologies for retiring Baby Boomers to enhance their independence, they announced the finalized plans for the organization this week. According to a , the final legal steps are being taken to create the joint venture by the end of this year. The symbiotic opportunities of these two high-tech companies is stressed by the announcement: “GE and Intel share a common vision to use technology to bring more effective healthcare into millions of homes and to improve the lives of seniors and people with chronic conditions. With the dramatic increase of people living with chronic conditions, and a global aging population, there is a need to find new models of healthcare delivery and extend care to the home and other residential settings.”
What are some of the technological avenues that the new “Care Innovations” company will be developing?
According to Jane Langille at HealthyImagination.com, the new company will be concentrating (at first?) on enhancements to tested technologies to allow older people to enjoy their independence longer into their lives. For example, Care Innovations is working with the auto industry to develop ways for cars to help older drivers negotiate the sorts of ‘minor’ health issues that could affect driving. The goal is to create an “AwareCar” that can monitor fatigue, distractions, even pulse or blood pressure of the driver (I shudder to think of the blood pressure readings I’d give off while driving to work).
Another assistive technology will work with thewho already have been working on a hands-free/ultrasound system for parallel parking (Lord knows I knew a few million people who already could use this technology). Of course, these developments will be available to any driver wanting to purchase them, but they are geared toward those with weaker eyes and/or less neck mobility, yet who are perfectly capable of enjoying an independent post-trauma or maturing life.
The other focus of the new team is on health-care monitoring technologies, especially those that can help people monitor their own health at home – so-called “Remote Health Management” (RHM). Again, the developments are to integrate proven technologies (web cams, high-speed internet, database software…) into a suite of monitoring and communications services so doctors can reach out to their patients at their homes as necessary. This series of developments could be a real boon in cost savings (no wasted drives to the doctor or struggles to parallel park): assisting medical staff doing necessary procedures rather than checking & weighing folks who are just getting checkups, and conversations with the doctor being recorded in real-time with all the nuances of human conversation about one’s physical and mental state.
CareInnovations have posted this brief introduction into this latter service:
For a fuller presentation of the suite of technologies being drawn together, please see.
As Boomers turn 63 at a rate of one every seven seconds, more partnerships and technologies will be rolling our way as the market tries to meet the demands of older peoples still capable of living independently – and expecting to do so.