Celebrating the Past, Present, and Future of Technology in Boston

| November 18, 2015

In his November message, CAST Executive Director Majd Alwan describes how the 2015 LeadingAge Annual Meeting helped CAST celebrate the illustrious past, the exciting present, and the hope-filled future of aging services technologies.

CAST has just returned from the LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Boston, where we had the pleasure of celebrating the illustrious past, the exciting present, and the hope-filled future of aging services technologies.

Celebrating the Past

We celebrated the past by honoring Larry Minnix, who will retire as president and chief executive officer of LeadingAge at the end of this year. During various conference events, CAST was reminded of the important role Larry has played in its history. 

It was Larry who saw, more than a decade ago, that technology would help shape the future of our field. Inspired by that vision, he took bold steps to make sure that LeadingAge would be at the forefront of innovation in this area. 

The Center for Aging Services Technologies was established on Larry’s watch and under his leadership, and we will always be grateful for the role he played in establishing CAST and making it a driving force in national efforts to improve quality of care and quality of life for older Americans. 

Personally, I feel blessed and honored to have worked with Larry, both as a volunteer Commissioner representing the University of Virginia in the past, and later as a LeadingAge staff member and executive director of CAST. 

Celebrating the Present

Other Annual Meeting events illustrated the progress that CAST and LeadingAge have made on the technology front over the past decade. The meeting’s educational program featured 16 well-attended sessions designed to help members thrive in a technology-driven business and care environment. 

In addition, CAST was honored to be involved in planning a General Session focusing on the intersection of technology and policy. That session featured CAST Chair Mark McClellan and Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is a CAST University Member. 

The session made several references to CAST’s efforts to understand providers’ needs and develop tools to help them strategically and operationally plan for, select, and implement technology solutions. The fact that the session was so well-received is a strong sign that LeadingAge members recognize the importance of technology and understand its growing role in the work they do.

Celebrating the Future 

The bright future of aging services technology was on display during the 3rd Annual LeadingAge HackFest, which I refer to as a “labor of love.” Sixty young innovators worked in 10 teams to design software applications that fill a void in the senior technology market. 

As you will read in this issue of Tech Time, the 4 winning teams developed promising technology solutions:

  • A "Momentum" app that uses a smartphone and the Cloud to encourage older adults to exercise. 
  • A “Knock Knock” app that creates person-centered experiences for volunteers and the older adults they serve.
  • A “MeMe” communications console for people living with early cognition challenges.  
  • An Alumni Mentorship Program that matches older alumni as mentors with students.  


We Need Your Feedback 

Speaking of the past and the future, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that last month CAST released its latest portfolio of tools focusing on Functional Assessment and Activity Monitoring

In early 2016, we plan to update this portfolio. We’d also like to launch a new portfolio of tools focusing on Shared Care Planning and Care Coordination Technologies. Please review the components of the Functional Assessment portfolio, including the whitepaper, online selection tool, selection matrix and case study. Then, take a few minutes to complete this quick survey on the portfolio. 

Your input through the feedback survey will help us make this tool better. It will also give you the opportunity to tell us what tool you’d like CAST to develop in the future.

CAST Case Studies 

This issue of Tech Time features 2 case studies focusing on the innovative products that CAST Sponsors are introducing.

One case study describes a pilot project to use the “On4Care Mobile” solution from CAST Supporter Panasonic to monitor the health of 22 clients of the Pleasantville Senior Center in Pleasantville, NY.

Our second case study describes how Pioneer Center for Human Services in McHenry, IL, is using the Sprout all-in-one computer system from CAST Supporter HP to empower  adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Also in This Issue 

This issue of Tech Time is filled with lots of great news about CAST Partners, Sponsors, Patrons, and Business Associates. 

Two articles focus on taming the mountain of data that accompanies health and health care these days. 

Philips, a LeadingAge Silver Partner and CAST Supporter, has found a way to help consumers reap health benefits from the mountain of data they collect through wearable technologies. 

CAST Commissioner Dave Wessinger, chief technology officer at CAST Partner PointClickCare, offers 5 tips to help providers manage the data explosion in post-acute care by implementing electronic health records.

Our November issue also shines a spotlight on how partnerships are helping CAST members improve their products and expand their market reach. 

Be sure to read about how CAST Supporter HealthMEDX is partnering with CAST Supporter ProviNET Solutions to expand its client services

Don’t miss our article about a new partnership between CAST Supporter It’s Never 2 Late and LeadingAge Member Bethany Life.

In addition, our roundup of Member News is full of news about partnerships that CAST Business Associates Stanley HealthCare, HealthSignals, Collain Healthcare, and Medocity are forging with LeadingAge members and others. That roundup also features news from CAST Business Associates The Right Place, TouchTown, Keystone Technologies, and Caremerge.

Finally, CAST Patron Selfhelp Community Services received well-deserved attention this month for its innovative Virtual Senior Center Program. 

We also congratulate CAST Business Associate RCare for winning the top cash award during the “LeadingAge Idea Sharks” event at the Annual Meeting in Boston -- and thank the company for matching the award and donating it back to LeadingAge’s Larry Minnix Innovations Fund.

I hope you enjoy these and other articles in this issue of Tech Time. Please contact me with any comments or questions.