Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today

Bits & Bytes

Most Popular


High-Tech Health Trends

7 cool new devices to help you and your family stay safe, healthy and independent

The generation that snatched up the first Walkman music players, VCRs, home computers and game consoles continues to rely on technological advances as we grow older, with a host of devices that tackle health care challenges in innovative ways. These cutting-edge products combine clever design with digital smarts to make our lives safer and simpler.

Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter.

new technology for healthy aging

The Lojack safety bracelet helps public safety agencies quickly find and bring senior loved ones home. — Photo courtesy of LoJack SafetyNet

1. Adjustable-focus eyeglasses

As we move through middle age and beyond, many of us require glasses for both near and far viewing, meaning a switch to bifocal or progressive lenses. The snag here is that only a small portion of the lens has the right focusing power for any given distance, making certain tasks — like watching TV while lying down — very difficult, and leaving sections of your field of vision looking blurry. That's where the ingenious PixelOptics emPower! glasses come in, with electronic lenses that turn the reading portion of the lens on and off depending on where you're looking. The change can be made manually (by tapping the side of the frame) or automatically, so when you tilt your head downward, the reading area refocuses. Even with the sophisticated built-in electronics, the emPower! models look like ordinary eyeglasses. They have to be recharged roughly every two days.


Cost: About $1,200

2. Smart blood pressure monitor

Home blood pressure monitors have been around for years, but Withings makes it easy to keep track of potentially significant changes over time with its digital model, which connects to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Downloadable software controls the blood pressure cuff to take a reading, and that reading is then stored on the device, noting both the date and the time of day. You can view the history in graph form, and the results can even be shared with your doctor via email, uploaded to your personal page on Microsoft HealthVault, and tracked with several popular health care software programs.


Cost: $129.99

3. Ultra-portable ultrasound

This one's a real breakthrough for medical professionals: an ultrasound system consisting of a probe and a smartphone loaded with appropriate software, creating a highly portable imaging system that can share results with remote experts instantly over the cellular network. While most of us think of ultrasound as a tool for monitoring pregnancies, it's also used by doctors for diagnostic purposes in abdominal, cardiac, pelvic and peripheral vessel imaging. In addition to its portability, price is a major drawing card for the MobiUS system — it's $7,500, where traditional ultrasound systems cost tens of thousands of dollars, making the technology available much more widely.


Cost: $7,500

Next: Wireless testing gear for diabetes patients. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Social Networking

Step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the Web's most popular networking sites. Go


How to Use Your PC

Guides covering everything from setting up your desktop, to getting the most out of Excel. Go


Protect Your Digital Life

Keep your computer secure, your web surfing safe, and your inbox spam free with these tips. Go


Discounts & Benefits

Geek Squad Computing

Members save on Geek Squad services with Geek Squad® Tech Support & Guidance for AARP® Members.

AARP Discounts on ADT Companion Services

Members get 20% off NEW installation and activation of ADT® Personal Emergency Response System.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today


computer questions and tips

Computer Questions & Tips

Pick up some handy how-tos from this savvy group of techies. Discuss


Freebies Group

Favorite Websites & Freebies

Share your top sites for interesting information, helpful resources — and free stuff! Discuss