Friday, February 15, 2019

Digital Health Technology Series

After two years of testing this material with attendees at local Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, I have prepared this 6 part series on Digital Health Technologies supporting Aging In Place. Your reviews and comments will be welcomed. Thank you.

Digital Health Technologies Supporting Aging In Place

1. An Overview of Digital Health Technologies

Digital health technologies have the potential to transform health and wellness for aging clients, and to provide assurances for their family members. Broadly speaking, consumers of these emerging technologies need context, a framework of analysis, and a sense of the dynamic marketplace for such services. Learn what the promoters and the critics of these technologies have to offer. Key ethical issues will be discussed, and you will discover a device certification program, and its distinctive logo. The overall goal of the presentation is to help you make informed decisions on the cost, utility and quality of digital health technologies

2. Care Robots: Managing Care and Providing Companionship 

Care robots have the potential to increase the productivity of caregivers, provide emotional support and companionship, and to serve as effective accountability partners in such matters as medication adherence and physical exercise. Experiments with robotic pets in senior settings such as memory care units are increasing. In this class, you will learn to identify the types of robots currently available and to understand what the promoters and the critics have to say about these devices. You will have hands-on experience with robot pets and a robot companion called Vector. The overall objective is to ensure that you have the tools and insights to be an informed consumer of care robots.

3. Virtual and Augmented Reality's Potential for Health and Wellness 

The immersive experience of virtual reality (VR) is being used both for diversion therapy as well as a growing number of clinical applications, like pain management. Augmented Reality (AR) allows users to view digital information and images as an overlay to the real world. Increasingly, AR is being used to provide surgeons with an array of clinical information while operating, and it is playing an important role in medical education. We will examine use cases for both VR and AR and identify leading VR and AR vendors and their respective products. Attendees will experiment with VR viewers, including the Oculus Go by Facebook

4. Voice-activated Devices: Improving Care Coordination and Patient Engagement

Voice assistants have achieved popular adoption with over 50 million consumers in the U.S and an estimated 100 million users worldwide by the end of 2018. The devices are expected to play a major role in care coordination and patient education. Like any new device, they have strengths and limitations, which we'll explore. While Amazon and Google are current market leaders, we'll identify other tech companies coming into the market, especially with smart display devices. Use cases for voice in clinical trials and in senior settings will be identified. The Amazon Echo Show and the Lenovo Smart Display (With Google Assistant) will be available for student inspection and interaction.

5. Smart Homes and the Internet of Health Things

Smart homes, featuring wireless security, safety and utility devices, are entering the mainstream, after years of experimentation at leading academic institutions. For example, Lennar, a major home builder, is now marketing a Wi-Fi Certified™ Smart Home featuring Amazon Alexa. Internet of Health Things are devices/wearables which track vitals, monitor medication use, and issue fall warnings. Apple’s Smart Watch (Series 4) is a prominent example of such devices. Discover the strengths and weaknesses of both technologies, the interplay between each, and future projections. 

6. Telehealth/Virtual Care

Telehealth has potential to make care available to underserved areas, extend the reach of specialty medical and psychiatric care, and to reduce care and transportation costs. Nearly all US health systems are planning to offer telehealth options to their constituents. We will discuss factors which will promote telehealth growth as well as factors impeding such expansion. Special attention will be paid to virtual physician visits, which are becoming more available to healthcare consumers. Case studies of telehealth market leaders like the Veterans Administration and Avera Health E-Care will be considered. We’ll examine what the skeptics of telemedicine have to say as well. Lastly, we will showcase the new ClearHealth Quality Institute Telemedicine Accreditation Program sponsored by the American Telemedicine Association.

February 2019

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