What: A free web talk on how big tech is intersecting with care for older adults, presented by Renew Senior Communities, in partnership with the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and The Aspen Times.
Who: Valencell, a leading innovator of biometrics technology. Presenters include President and Co-Founder Steven LeBoeuf and Vice President of Marketing Ryan Kraudel. Renew CEO Lee Tuchfarber will host.
When: Aug. 12, 3 p.m. MDT.
Where: Register online at www.renewsenior.com.
Biometrics technology isn’t new, but continuous innovation is proving its capabilities for health and longevity, especially as it relates to caring for seniors.
Lee Tuchfarber, CEO of Renew Senior Communities, is especially excited about the possibilities for seniors and their caregivers. Wearable sensors could alert caregivers of seniors’ increased risks for social isolation, falls or heart attacks, and this real-time data could actually help them live longer, healthier lives.
“At Renew, we’re about transforming senior care, and part of that is through supporting the development of technology that helps give seniors more independence, greater quality of life, and longer, healthier lives,” he said. “As a senior housing community, we’re very interested in technology development that helps us create great environments for seniors.”
Renew is presenting a web talk on Aug. 12, hosted by Tuchfarber and featuring speakers from the technology company Valencell, a leading innovator of biometrics technology. Valencell President and Co-Founder Steven LeBoeuf and Vice President of Marketing Ryan Kraudel will present.
Improved access to technology
Biometrics measurements can analyze heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, sleep quality, cardiovascular health and more. Valencell develops new biometric technologies and licenses the technology that ends up going into devices developed by other companies.
For example, the embedded sensors in the Starkey brand hearing aid Livio AI, with which Renew has worked, were invented by Valencell.
This and other wearable sensor technology has caught up to the medical sensor technologies used in hospitals and in healthcare, Kraudel said.
“You can now get the same level of accuracy of data outside of a medical facility,” he said. “It makes it easier to collect point-in-time data, but it also allows longitudinal collection (repeated observations) that provides insights that haven’t been seen before.”
Sensors can detect how often you’ve entered a specific room, such as a bathroom or a food pantry, providing insights into how often a senior is using the bathroom or eating. These are the types of uses that Tuchfarber is interested in from a caregiving standpoint.
Since Valencell was founded in 2006, LeBoeuf said the uses of biometrics technology have expanded. The technology itself is broad and can measure so many different data points gathered from any area on the body where blood flow can be measured non-invasively.
Let’s say you wanted to know how the body responded to a certain experience, you could analyze the heart rate and blood flow data during that time. In addition, you can get contextual information about what the person is doing from location sensors and inertial sensors.
“We have outputs people can use that you wouldn’t be able to get from other technologies out there,” LeBoeuf said.
Different customers, different desires
In the application of wearables for seniors, the customers might not be the same person who wears the device. Customers could include professional caregivers or family members, who often have different goals.
“Family members just want to know their loved one is alright, but that’s not exactly what the wearer cares about — they want to be more independent,” LeBoeuf said.
When considering these technologies specifically for senior care, there are also considerations for issues such as tight wearables on aging skin and the sensitivity and battery life of the sensors.
LeBoeuf said there’s also potential to reduce insurance and healthcare costs thanks to wearables. After a cardiac event or procedure, patients are often required to return to the hospital or medical office for follow-up testing. With wearables and smartphones, these tests could be done from home.
“You could pop in an ear bud to get health measurements and even be able to talk to the physician through that device,” he said.
Wearable sensors have a seemingly endless amount of applications beyond just biometric modeling. As we think about this wearable technology, LeBoeuf said it’s important to never lose sight of what kind of future we want.
“This is a means to an end, and the end needs to be improvement in public health,” he said. “Help people take more control in their health, get the feedback they need and take more charge of their health in a way that also drives down costs.”