On April 22, 2010, the US Senate Special Committee on Aging convened a hearing, Aging in Place: The National Broadband Plan and Bringing Health Care Technology Home (view webcast of the hearing at bottom of committee page). The concept of Aging in Place is becoming a mantra, not only for our aging parents but for people my age (boomers) who are thinking about retirement even as we help to support our parents.
The Senate hearing is compelling because the people who testified (testimonies are available here as PDF files) are all deeply committed to developing and using broadband technology tools that can help people age with grace as well as monitor medical conditions, all in the comfort of their homes. Three of the witnesses are involved with the development of these wireless broadband medical devices:
- Eric Dishman, from Intel Health Group as well as the Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST), offered examples of technologies and programs that are already working. His testimony presents some short case studies.
- Richard Kuebler, from Telehealth at the University of Tennessee Health Center, describes a clinical distance delivery program that has been successful for nearly 12 years.
- Professor Robin A. Felder of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Chair of Medical Automation, discusses in-home monitoring, particularly passive technologies that can quietly monitor and support the medical needs of an elderly person.
To gain a better understanding of passive medical monitoring tools that can work over broadband, watch this video from the Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST).