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Aging Services Technologies: Today and the Near Future. Majd Alwan, Ph.D., VP CAST LeadingAge 19th Annual Cellar Conference on Technology and Aging Aging 2.0 -- Technology, Trends and Transitions Friday, April 8 th , 2010. What is CAST?. Providers of Aging Services. Tech Industry

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Aging services technologies today and the near future

Aging Services Technologies: Today and the Near Future

Majd Alwan, Ph.D., VP CASTLeadingAge

19th Annual Cellar Conference on Technology and Aging

Aging 2.0 -- Technology, Trends and Transitions

Friday, April 8th, 2010

What is cast
What is CAST?

Providers ofAging Services

Tech Industry






The Center for Aging Services Technologies is a national coalition of more than 400 organizations working together to improve the aging experience through technology

Aging services technologies today and the near future



Shift left through technology


Healthy, Independent Living


Community Clinic

Chronic Disease Management

Doctor’s Office



Assisted Living


Specialty Clinic

Skilled Nursing Facility

Community Hospital









“Shift Left” through Technology

Technology enabled care
Technology-Enabled Care


Personal Health Maintenance






Older Adult


Adult Child

Improved Communications



Preventive Interventions

Cast focus areas
CAST Focus Areas

  • Pilots: Identifying needs that can be addressed by technology and accelerating applied research with older adults and aging service providers

  • Policy: Identifying barriers to the proliferation of proven and appropriate technologies and advocating to remove these barriers (Federal and State)

  • Standards: Promoting development of standards to ensure interoperability and widespread access to aging services technologies

  • Education: Disseminating information and resources

Home for life





Home for Life


(Quality of Life)

Supportive Services

Physical Environment

Safety technologies
Safety Technologies

Wearable devices: (PERS, automatic fall detectors, fall prevention patches, tracking)

Safety technologies1
Safety Technologies

  • Environment/Passive (motion-based sensor monitoring systems, embedded fall-detection systems, stove use detectors, temperature/smoke monitors, safe lighting technologies)

Physical behavioral mental health wellbeing
Physical, Behavioral & Mental Health/Wellbeing

  • Wearable devices (activity monitors, cardiac monitor, ambulatory blood pressure monitors)

  • Environment/Passive (motion sensors based activity monitors, sleep/bed sensors)

Physical mental health wellbeing
Physical & Mental Health/Wellbeing

  • Telemedicine/ Tele-health (biometrics: pulse, BP, glucose, temperature, weight; daily wellness check; 2- way video health consultations care coordination; medication compliance)

Physical mental health wellbeing1
Physical & Mental Health/Wellbeing

  • Medication Reminder systems

    • Portable (wrist watch, pager), cell phones with pill reminders, dispensers (mostly unmonitored).

    • Monitored dispensers

Reminder systems cognitive orthotics
Reminder Systems/ Cognitive Orthotics

  • Assisted way-finding using indoor localization data or GPS (CMU, Rochester, Michigan)

  • Cueing on handheld devices (Rochester and Michigan)

  • Coaching in activities of daily living (Toronto)

Social connectedness
Social Connectedness

  • Phones (amplified phones, easy to use cell phones)

  • Two-way video conferencing phone

  • Entertainment/ Theraputainment (Cognitive and/or Physical exercise)

Ehrs point of care technologies
EHRs & Point of Care Technologies

  • EHRs

  • Point of Care systems; Electronic clinical charting; Documentation systems; Shared care planning systems; e-Prescribing; e-MAR systems; bedside medication dispensing; Wound care applications.

Trends and recommendation
Trends and Recommendation

  • Convergence between different technologies

  • Push for standardization:

    • Interconnectivity

    • Interoperability

  • Providers are looking to adopt technologies that:

    • Are Versatile

    • Are Expandable (multiple peripherals from the same vendor/ product pipeline)

    • Use open or known interconnectivity/ accepted interoperability standards.

Aging services technologies today and the near future


Perverse payment system

Liability exposure for providers

Shortage of workforce

Lack of cross state licensure

Shortage of funding

Perceived intrusiveness- overemphasis on privacy

Inverse relationship between the need for, and the ability to use, technology

Lack of information systems’ interoperability and device interconnectivity.


Effective advocacy

Evangelization of the vision

Tapping into untraditional funding sources

Better understanding of seniors attitudes towards technology

Designing better technologies

Critical gaps
Critical Gaps

  • Lack of Awareness

  • Technical Uncertainty

  • Limited Evidence of Value

  • Absence of Business Models

Business model realities
Business Model Realities

  • Stuck in legacy reimbursement/ payment mechanisms

  • Critical need for integrated socio, cultural, economic model of care; may evolve more quickly in other countries

  • Promising aspects of current models (VA, Kaiser, PACE, P4P, etc.), exist but hard to generalize to other systems

  • Medicaid related programs may evolve more quickly due to extreme pressure.

Cast activities
CAST Activities

  • Introduced senate bill S.908, amendments to H.R. 6357, and provisions to the stimulus bill (ARRA)

  • Participating in EHR standardization efforts on the national level

  • Launched state technology policy initiative

  • Launched pilots initiative to help providers objectively evaluate technologies, compile evidence to change reimbursement

  • Creating knowledge and raising awareness: State of Technology reports, EHR in NH & HH

  • Sharing provider stories, experiences and case studies.

Arra hit provisions
ARRA HIT Provisions

  • Definition of Health Care Providers inclusive of LTC

  • Broad definition of Health Information Technologies (HIT)

  • Study of the need for payment incentives for LTC providers

  • Grants to States/ State-designated entities Requests for Proposals already issued

  • Loans to care providers (uncertain)

  • Study of Aging Services Technologies.

Now what
Now What?

  • Advocating to shape Grant RFPs to encourage active participation from LTC providers

  • Advocating to ensure that any investment in the national infrastructure is inclusive of LTC

  • Prepared a state advocacy template letter and Guide for LeadingAge States Affiliates and members:

    • Get informed

    • Partner with acute care providers

    • Identify Health Information Exchange facilitators and explore partnership on grants

    • Push the state to obtain stimulus funds and provide loans to LTC providers


Healthcare reform bill
Healthcare Reform Bill

  • Certified EHR Grant Program for Long-term Care Facilities

  • Demonstration Project for Use of HIT in Nursing Homes

  • Development of Medicare Part D Prescription Dispensing Techniques in LTC Facilities

  • New Models of Care that leverage Technology

    • The ‘‘Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act’’ (CLASS Act)

    • Use of Technology in New Cost Efficient Payment Models-Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

    • Use of HIT in Health Homes for Enrollees with Chronic Conditions

    • Use of Technology in New State Options for Long-Term Services and Supports

Next steps
Next Steps

Follow through on the agency level

Robotic assistive devices
Robotic Assistive Devices

  • Robotic household

  • Smart robotic walkers

  • Robotic wheelchairs (touch screen, voice, and even thought controlled wheelchair)

Concluding remarks i
Concluding Remarks- I

  • Technology is a tool that can increase staff efficiencies, improve care coordination, improve accuracy and timeliness documentation (and hence impact the bottom line) in different care settings

  • It has the potential to enable providers to deliver levels of services equivalent to assisted-living in the home cost-effectively and efficiently

  • Keep your development projects grounded in reality and in the context of other systems

  • Pursue interconnectivity and interoperability to facilitate integration with other systems

Concluding remarks ii
Concluding Remarks- II

  • Conduct the research in partnership with the target users in community settings

  • Conduct objective assessment of the technology with focus on quality measures the ROI to the provider, as well as the payers

  • Focus on translation aspects including:

    • Produce practical implementation guides

    • Explore new care delivery and sustainable business models that may be feasible with today’s technologies, including financing options

    • Effective dissemination with large provider communities: Peer to Peer, effective storytelling, social networking, etc.

  • CAST and LeadingAge can help with dissemination among LTPAC providers.

Aging services technologies today and the near future

I will win


Used two-way video to talk to her son and the grand children.

Electronic medication caddy notified son she took her medicine, so he did not have to nag her.

Wearable sensors transmit health vitals to healthcare professional.

Her senior-friendly cell phone has a GPS chip, and an emergency alert button.

Telemedicine helped her send a picture of a scrape to her doctor, avoiding a trip to the office.

Instrumented walker assesses gait and balance.



Majd Alwan, Ph.D., VP CAST


(202) 508-9463