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Tech Republic 01/08/2016

Tech gets a little more senior friendly at CES 2016

Read about four tech solutions at CES 2016 that help seniors live healthier, more independent lives. Also at the event was an exoskeleton suit that simulates what it feels like to age.

Five years ago at CES, according to Kathy Birkett, there was literally nothing for senior citizens. Birkett is a founder and editor of Senior Care Corner, a website that provides resources for families caring for seniors. Birkett’s seen products, particularly health care products, aimed at seniors start to appear slowly over the past few years. “We’re seeing some of the devices like the new one from Omron (Project Zero blood pressure monitors) that are easier to use, portable, easy to read, so [manufacturers are] kind of getting the idea of seniors being able to actually use them independently.”

Here’s a look at some of the tech at CES 2016 geared towards helping seniors.

Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology

This wearable band stimulates sensory nerves to alleviate chronic pain, drug-free. It also communicates with a smartphone app to track use of the band and the wearer’s sleep quality, which may be diminished by chronic pain.

Will seniors actually use devices like these?

One thing to keep in mind: senior citizens are a diverse group with diverse needs when it comes to tech. Birkett mentions her parents are in their upper 70s, and they have iPhones and iPads and communicate via Facebook and FaceTime. They’re not likely to buy products made specifically for seniors.

“I’ll give you the example of my stepmother,” said Birkett. “She’s older and she’s very active, but she doesn’t think of herself as an old person and she wouldn’t buy a Fitbit that was geared towards a senior, she would buy a Fitbit. And she’d probably buy the blinged-out one.”

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