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Innovation @50+

Intel Helps Older Americans Age Smarter

The quiet revolution that could benefit all of us

Intel’s Rattner is spearheading another initiative called “Context Aware Computing.” It calls for many of your connected devices to actually work together to be proactive. That’s already being incorporated into some of the Care Innovation products. Eric Dishman points out that one product, the Care Innovations Guide, has intelligent software that uses awareness of context (time of day, responses to questionnaires, the patient’s care plan, recent vital signs) to help make sense of what is happening with a chronic condition like congestive heart failure. That can help teach or coach the patient on, for example, how to properly take a medication at just the right moment.

For those of us still on the go, Rattner paints this scenario: you’re traveling to New York. Because you have a history of looking up Indian restaurants, your smartphone alerts you to one that’s a block from your hotel. Based on the music on your smartphone, the device tells you that one of your favorite groups is playing at a nearby club. And Rattner says face recognition technology might soon be used to help you identify acquaintances in a crowded room, which could eliminate some embarrassing memory lapses.

While Intel performs basic research for future products, the company still has to persuade its customers to bring the insights it’s developed to end users. Dishman notes: “The biggest challenge is driving universal design principles to make all consumer and electronic products user-friendly to seniors, first-time users and people with disabilities, instead of creating specialized, often stigmatized technologies for those populations. If we can design for people with extreme needs, the resulting products will be easier, smoother and more pleasant for all of us.” But in the end, it will be up to Intel customers such as Hewlett Packard, Dell, Lenovo, LG and a host of others to make the decision about what will ultimately be available to consumers.

Will those efforts be as revolutionary as redefining aging? Perhaps not. But Intel feels the potential uses for its technologies to improve the quality of our lives are almost infinite. And if Intel succeeds in its research efforts, as we age we could all find more of Intel inside.

Also of interest: HP helps boomers and seniors with tech solutions.

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