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BEST Panel at Silvers Summit

by Louis on January 16, 2012

I predicted my panel would be the best at the Silvers Summit. I was right! Not that the competition wasn’t fierce. There were plenty of great folks talking about great things.

I lead off with the twin themes that Aging in Place is not about isolated homes and individuals but homes that are part of communities thoughtfully serving all residents and that following what provides dignity and respect for older citizens in community policy, products and services will lead to benefits- even unexpected ones – for all. I referred to the Clarity study which basically says putting our older citizens in nursing homes is a fate worse then death. Then I moved through the elements of livable community

1. Places to go- retail, spiritual and recreational

2. Transportation- on your schedule not operator convenience

3. Affordable and Appropriate housing

I showed just a few slides depicting  a. an attractive no step entry and curbless shower, b. Universal Design, c. corollary benefits like close captioning and curb cuts, d. that ‘walk and roll’ communities permit those who don’t drive- younger and older – to get where they want to go, as well as out on the street, lowering carbon footprint as well as increasing interaction. e. I finished with my point- that DOING the RIGHT THING will always pay off.

Chuck Parker from Continua Health Alliance continued explaining that interconnectivity is critical. Seeing the plethora of devices in the Digital Health, Silvers Summit and entire CES it is clear this is the case. Without connectivity and standards we will create technical silos worse than the funding and eligibility silos we already have.

Alex Go from Virtual Health* talked about the community of providers his startup is orchestrating to make sure people are not stranded with technology monitoring their health but no coordinated services following up on the data.  This makes Virtual health different than GrandCare, IdealLife, Telekin, Life StationIndependa, and others using similar technology.

Adam Vollmer from IDEO talked about out of the box solutions relating community and health focusing on electric bicycles. Adam’s team recently won the Oregon Manifest bike competition for their electric entry, the Faraday. The implications are far wider than you might think.  This is great technology use, augmenting your physical abilities and stamina, making it easier to be outside, get some exercise, enjoy and be a less polluting part of the community. It turns out I know lots of folks who have/ride them. My friend Marc Gunther has written about it and our mutual friend Charlie Richman has a site ElectricCyclist.

The line of folks ready to continue the discussion proved to me that the point was driven home. Aging in Place uses technology as well as design, Universal Design, and works because thinking about dignity and respect for older citizens results in new and exciting services, products and policies with benefits for all.

*disclosure- I am in discussion to do some strategy consulting for Virtual Health


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