Member News - October 2017

CAST | October 18, 2017 | by Donna Childress

This month, CAST members release and adopt cutting-edge tablets, share products with post-acute care and senior housing markets, conduct transportation pilots, and receive kudos for their smart home technology.

iN2L Releases Personal Engagement Tablet; Front Porch Is First Adopter

iN2L Focus, a new tablet for seniors, is popular; more than 20 assisted living and long-term care communities have pre-ordered it from CAST Supporter It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L), based in Centennial, CO. McKnight’s Long-Term Care News announced the news.
The iN2L Focus tablet is designed to meet the needs of seniors, regardless of their physical and cognitive abilities. Its engagement and communication features offer residents, their loved ones, and caregivers a single, intuitive tool for social connection, intellectual curiosity, spiritual and emotional support, and personal interests. The portable tablets are a convenient way for busy staff members to deliver iN2L’s content to hard-to-reach individuals.
CAST Patron Front Porch, based in Glendale, CA, is the first senior living organization to purchase iN2L FOCUS and was among the first to beta test and adopt the Focus tablets. The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing released the iN2L FOCUS to residents across its residential, skilled, affordable housing and memory care settings at Front Porch communities in early September. 

In 2017, Front Porch residents and staff have logged more than 30,000 hours using various iN2L formats. In using the iN2L tablets, Front Porch noticed an increase in social engagement among its residents and caregivers and, in some cases, an alternative to medication for seniors facing cognitive challenges. Residents living at the beta test communities will continue to use the tablets.

iN2L Focus will formally launch in October, with demonstrations at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO, Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 in New Orleans.

Lyft Partners on Transportation Pilots and Receives Grant

LeadingAge CAST Supporter Lyft Mobility Solutions is launching a transportation pilot in two Erickson Living continuing care retirement communities in the Denver, CO, and Washington, D.C, areas.

Residents will gain the ability to go to destinations of their choice on demand. The pilot will teach residents and staff how to request rides through Lyft's app and web-based Concierge tool, which allows staff to request rides for residents. The pilot may expand to Erickson Living’s 17 other communities across the nation and more than 24,000 residents.

In another pilot, Lyft will give older adults free rides to their appointments at University of Southern California’s Keck Medical Center. The AARP Foundation awarded $1 million to fund the pilot, part of a $6 million grant from UnitedHealth Group. The news appeared in Becker’s Hospital Review, CNBC, and Fast Company.

Patients who are over age 60 and who have missed at least two medical appointments in the past year are eligible for the free rides. Research shows that older adults miss up to 30% of sub-specialty medical appointments per year due to lack of transportation. 

The appointments also reduce social isolation, which can lead to depression, declining health, and death for older adults. (To learn about technologies to reverse this trend, check out the new LeadingAge CAST Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Selection Tool.) 

Pilot participants will also receive a FitBit on which to track their physical activity. Additional pilots will take place next year in Chicago and Atlanta. Rides will be available for three months, and USC researchers will track the effect on participants’ health.

A new partnership in central and southern Pennsylvania featured in The Daily Item will enable passengers in ride-sharing program Rabbittransit to use Lyft when other vehicles are booked.

A recent article in Politico called “Uber, but for Grandma,” describes how ride-share companies are bulking up their services by partnering with senior care facilities and hospitals. For example, Lyft has staff dedicated to health care partnerships. The article outlines some of the challenges, such as the vehicles needed to serve riders who are in wheelchairs, the lack of smartphone use among older adults, and older adults’ ability to afford ride-sharing. 

LG Drives Tech Solutions for Long-Term Care and Senior Housing

Led by CAST Business Associate LG CNS Healthcare Solutions, “ONE LG” attended the 2017 American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living annual convention in Las Vegas Oct. 15-18, 2017. Attendance showed how the company is uniquely positioned to serve the nation’s expanding post-acute care and senior housing markets, according to HIMSS.

At the trade show, “ONE LG” highlighted the breadth of LG health care products, solutions, and innovations–including HVAC systems, LED lighting, and commercial displays to electronic health care records, telemedicine, population health management, interoperability solutions, and more. 

Together, LG companies deliver a range of solutions for the senior housing and long-term care market, according to Sean Lafferty, Head of Enterprise Business Development, LG Electronics USA. 

At the show, LG CNS and other LG companies demonstrated their commitment to collaborating with the American Healthcare Association and National Center for Assisted Living “to improve the lives of the millions of Americans in post-acute care and senior housing facilities,” Lafferty said.

Smart Technology at Georgia Tech’s Aware Home Is Featured

The Aware Home by CAST University Member Georgia Institute of Technology was profiled in a recent CNN piece, "Using technology to help older adults keep their independence." 

This living lab for smart home technology makes life easier and safer for older adults. There, researchers are developing gait-sensing technology to detect health problems and alert caregivers, as well as devices that warn older adults when the water is running, the TV is on, or the doors are unlocked. They have also devised technology that makes a picture frame by the door blink when the stove is left on.

LeadingAge Senior Vice President of Technology and CAST Executive Director Majd Alwan is on the Advisory Board of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies to Support Successful Aging with Disability (RERC TechSAge). 

So is Elizabeth Mynatt, a professor and executive director of the Institute for People and Technology at Georgia Tech, who was quoted in the story. In the future, devices "will learn more about your habits, your likes, your dislikes, your routines, when you're most likely to forget to take your medication, what are the aspects of your health that need the most attention," Mynatt told CNN. "They will become as personalized to you that you just can't even imagine living without them."