In a November 16, 2011 Fast Company article by Francine Hardaway, WeSprout was listed as one of 12 healthcare start-ups to watch because WeSprout launched Kinsights.com a website to crowdsource children’s health information to the community of parents. Parent to Parent advice sharing happens already informally so why not codify and monetize it to a web platform? It reminds me of Healthtap.com, which crowdsources answers from thousands of trusted physicians to answer submitted medical questions. Both of these remind me of an listserv I used to follow from from Family Caregivers Alliance. The family caregivers in this forum expressed their lonely desperation and stress, shared inspiration and offered solutions and information. The old user interface of the listserv limited the interaction to a string of linear conversations but the value of connecting and communicating with others in a similar situation was evident.
What would the next generation online experience look like that connected informal caregivers, older adults and their eco-system of care?
Shared by Gretchen Addi of IDEO, a design thinker on aging that I follow and admire.
Imagine “…today’s young technophilic changesurfers as old farts in 2062, wearing out-of-date fashion and telling rambling stories about being embarrassed by videos of themselves passing out at dubstep gigs.” We all get old and will appear out of date to younger generations. A video from the future.
Facebook touts it “…helps you connect and share with the people in your life.” In what other others ways could technology connect you with the people in your life? Could a lamp or a pillow do that?
ApartmentTherapy.com alerted me to Pillow Talk by the design firm Little Riot, which is designed to connect two long distance lovers, but I change that to two long distance people who love each other. “Each person has a ring sensor they wear to bed at night, and a flat fabric panel which slots inside their pillowcase. The ring wirelessly communicates with the other person’s pillow; when one person goes to bed, their lover’s pillow begins to glow softly to indicate their presence. Placing your head on the pillow allows you to hear the real-time heartbeat of your loved one.” Be sure to watch the video.
The first time I heard of techie, glowing, subtle connection innovations to connect people was in 2003 from Eric Dishman of Intel when he described the Presence Lamp, “…a simple off-the-shelf motion sensor on a lamp. It could let an adult child know that Mom, who is 85 and living alone in another home or city, has gotten home safely and is sitting in her favorite room in her favorite chair. The system would turn on a lamp in the home of the person the elder chose to share that information with-and vice versa, because we found that the elders weren’t really willing to do this unless it was a two-way street. They wanted to know when the person they cared about was home, as well.”
There are many ways technology can connect us in our personal lives with those we love. How do you use technology to remain connected?
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall ( formerly Parker Bowles) used a mobility scooter, because of a broken leg, as she presented Afghanistan campaign medals to soldiers of the 4th Battalion The Rifles at Bulford Camp on May 5, 2010 in Salisbury, England.
What is the impact of a celebrity highlighting aging, frailty, and in this case the temporary use of mobility assistance? Who can identity the make and model of the new royal carriage?
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,300 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.
The busiest day of the year was January 6th with 104 views. The most popular post that day was THE GREEN HOUSE® Design Charrette.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were, digg.com, and linkedin.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for Mcdonalds Happy Meal, Ideo method cards, ambient intelligence, Ron Arad product design, and bathroom concepts.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
THE GREEN HOUSE® Design Charrette January 2009
McDonald’s Happy Meal of the Future November 2008
2 Likes on WordPress.com
Bathroom Innovation October 2008
Not Your Father’s Grab Bar. January 2009
Every wonder how great it would be if everything was designed with everyone in mind? Samsung did. They introduced the Samsung 4-door refrigerator. The fridge has a counter height drawer that puts things easily within reach.
What is important to notice is the absence of someone representing a later lifestage. In fact, the lack of an older demographic in the commercial probably helps Samsung reach out to people who might have been scared away with the special design that could accommodate a special need.
What would happen if you stopped marketing your later lifestage product or service directly to that demographic and removed them from the marketing conversation completely? What new ways would you create to excite and engage people?
It is becoming increasingly important to create living environments that allow people to live in their own homes of choice for as long as comfortably possible.
Builders and housing developers can help extend livability in a home by incorporating design solutions that maintain quality of life and independence as people age. Milgard is a window and patio door manufacturer that develops universally accessible products with a user-centric design process.
An example is Milgard’s patented SmartTouch™ lock, an innovation that made Milgard the first window manufacturer to receive the Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation, and the only window manufacturer to receive a 2008 Bronze IDEA award for design.
Milgard also makes two vinyl patio door lines that come standard with the patent-pending SmartTouch™ door handle. The handle is recognized for one-touch ease of use, and is also a recipient of the Arthritis Foundation Ease-of-Use Commendation.
Be sure to download the Milgard white paper on “baby boomer behaviors toward livability and home ownership.”
Other companies and manufacturers need to join the efforts of Milgard to design products and solutions that support people to live in their homes longer, more safely, comfortably and enjoyably.