How about a “Silver Line” for the Golden Years?

Mike Gillam, 5 May 2015

Apple, IBM and Japan recently announced a collaboration to target the booming aging population by pre-installing iPads with apps for the elderly, communication tools, and health tracking technologies. The goal is to have four to five million customers using the iPad service by 2020. The service will be offered as an extension to Japan Post’s “Watch Over” service which has postal workers regularly visit elderly customers.

Today, we have PCs and tablets that target the “pro-sumer”, the “media buff”, or the “gamer” – isn’t it time for a “Silver Line” for the “Golden Years?”

Devices have been shown to positively impact health ranging from weight scales for CHF patients, glucometers for diabetics, to blood pressure cuffs for hypertensives.

Every PC and tablet could have a “Silver Line” designed with technology to target the health conscious and needful – particularly in one’s elderly years. To simply setup for grandparents, health tracking devices could be purchased as accessories just like printers and extra cables are chosen from the purchase screen today. All of these devices could be pre-configured to be connected to tablet to simply the experience for the elderly. Every device could have a dedicated app making it easy for a patient to hand their device to their clinician to easily review all the data collected at home. As new EMRs open their data interface doors, the devices could push their data through the cloud to those EMRs.

The benefits of a “Silver Line” from a business perspective is that if it’s simple enough for grandma to use, it will be simple enough for all of us. Health for the oldest of us means health for all of us.

It all starts with simplifying the first step for the elderly consumer.

What else could a “Silver Line” for the Golden Years do for health? Comment below.

Mike Gillam, MD, FACEP 2015

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