The Wired Adult

What Consumer Electronics Can Do for Your Health

By Adriane Berg

How would you like an at-home health monitor that takes your vital signs, sends results to your doctor, your dentist, or your adult child, then calls you with health suggestions and reminders to take your pills? Well, it’s here.

Amidst the iPhone apps, the kids’ games, and the cutting edge 3D TVs, the real excitement of the Consumer Electronics’ Show in Vegas was the combined Silvers Summit and Digital Health Summit, the brain child of Susan Ayers Walters, who started focusing on electronics for older adults before it was cool.

You can review the products, presentations, and partners at, but here is a brief review of the gadgets and devices that will change your future, one successful aging step at a time:

Don’t like e-mail but need to use it?

Presto, is a “no computer” system that keeps us all connected. It converts a written note into e-mail, and then converts your return e-mail or digital photos into auto printed messages, delivered through the device. Presto looks like a fax machine, but is actually much easier to use.

Don’t like computers but know you need one?

“Go,” a computer offered by MyGait, is the “fear-free” solution. It’s an adult-friendly personal computer that’s graphically beautiful, functionally complete, and non-intimidating. Find it and many other items I describe below at the ultimate catalogue store for older adults,

Don’t like cell phones? Need one?

Telephones may dance and sing, but plenty of older adults still have seeing, hearing, or just functionality trouble with them. The Jitterbug, introduced by firstStreet, is a phone that is user friendly and has big buttons and easy applications. never confuses. Those with hearing issues (and that’s one out of seven boomers) might opt for a Clear Sounds phone, Clear Sounds has so many unique features that I invited Strategy Guru, Michele Ahlman, to appear on my internet radio on January 20th, 1-1:30 pm to explain its benefits. Tune in at

For anyone with difficulty holding a phone, doro weighs in with Doro Care Electronics products developed in collaboration with Ergonomidesign, specialists in the field of “Inclusive Design,” design for individuals with special needs. Aside from their award-winning phones, they offer a simple to operate TV remote control.

Need relaxation?

Although not at the CES show, my favorite at home health electronic system is Mr. Steam. I especially like its Butler’s Package of steam shower, chromtherapy, and aromatherapy.

Want health monitoring but hate doctor’s visits?

MedApps Remote Health Monitoring Solution offers a three-step digital health system for the home which connects your personal data with your healthcare provider’s records. The process begins with HealthPal, which tracks your daily health readings and forwards the info to your health professional. Just attach it to your glucose monitor, scale, pulse oximeter, or blood pressure monitor. Next, HealthHub is a docking station for HealthPal, which sends the data to those authorized to receive it. Finally, your medical pro goes to HealthCom where he or she can view the data.

Quallcomm also offers a wireless health monitoring system that collects biometric feedback and diagnostic data through sensors on or even in your body. Data is received and analyzed remotely. You can watch how your heart rate or blood pressure reacts to your spousal fights, a cup of coffee, or a good belly laugh. Maybe you will fight less, and laugh more

Need to know if your tech stuff all works together?

Visit Continua Health Alliance to learn which companies have met standards and criteria of excellence and are making the effort to integrate all these devices so you can make sense of your needs. Continua Health Alliance is a non-profit organization and a coalition of over 200 leading healthcare and technology companies dedicated to providing personalized health and wellness management.

Want research and innovation?

Carnegie Mellon’s Quality of Life Technology Center, established with the University of Pittsburgh, is the home for innovators seeking solutions to the challenges of lifelong independence and successful aging. With a $15 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Co-director Takeo Kanade asserts, “We envision a future of compassionate, intelligent home systems — individual devices that you can carry or technologies embedded in the environment that monitor and communicate with people.”

Need people who know the technology?

You have people! “Care cierge” provider Lloyd Wilky of Extended Family creates strategies for making sure you can always “age in place.” Located in Denville, his assessments include a review of the latest technology to keep you home and healthy, or to monitor your loved one. Wilky can sift through the new health and communication devices and make sure you have what you need. Extended Family’s “Safe at Home “program makes sure you make the transition from hospital back home with all right technology to keep you from relapse.

Adriane Berg is a keynote speaker and CEO of Generation Bold, a business consulting firm helping companies and not for profits reach the boomer and senior generations, and author of “The Critical Path Success Method of Business Development”, teaching you how to succeed in a start up business, and “How Not To Go Broke at 102: Achieving Everlasting Wealth,” Wiley 2008.