Facebook for seniors, by GE Healthcare?

GE Healthcare and Intel have a new “digital tablet for seniors” that can combat loneliness and enhance health. It looks easy to use. Large, blocky layout, personalized, with touch screen, and it even allows you to check the weather.

But this is no Facebook. And it is unclear if it is really what elders want. It is a software platform that seems mostly focused on care providers being able to “test” wellness among their patients. In promotional interviews, wellness coaches and caretakers say they use it to check to see if there are any red flags among their patients. Add this to our growing arsenal of health surveillance devices.

In the only interview with an elder user that I could find, she reports “trying” to use it every morning. Perhaps she’s invested in her own wellness. Maybe she likes doing wellness surveys, and receiving medical compliance reminders. Maybe it is simply something to do.

The technogenarians I know want easy emailing, access to news and games like Solitaire. Regardless of our age, these are things we all use to combat loneliness.

Then again, plenty of us want nothing to do with computers. At the local Green House care facility, the computer room sits largely unused.

I’m guessing that this will be an easy sell to care facilities. I just hope GE and Intel have thought about what elders want and need.

Take a look at the care innovations connect website.  Would you use this?

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2 Responses to “Facebook for seniors, by GE Healthcare?”


  1. 1 joared July 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Found this blog from your comment at Ronni Bennett’s blog “Time Goes By.” Some interesting information and links here. Nice to see someone under forty interested in elderbloggers.

    Based on influencing ideas from Ronni I’ve tried to interest health centers in a couple retirement communities I serve in computer use benefits for select patients — a work in progress awaiting technical and monetary commitment. One community is developing a green house setting.

    • 2 Meika Loe August 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Hello Joared, thanks for your comment. I’m glad to hear about the proliferation of green houses. I write about them in my new book. I am a fan of that elder-centered
      model of care.


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