A major theme at the 2011 LeadingAge conference in Washington, D.C., last week was the need to leverage innovative new technologies to help providers serve a rapidly growing aging population even as budgets are strained by the economic downturn.
However, it’s critical that technology be used to enhance the human touch, not replace it, said Eden Alternative CEO Chris Perna, who was exhibiting at LeadingAge in partnership with two tech companies, It’s Never 2 Late (IN2L) and WellAWARE Systems. WellAWARE Systems has created a non-invasive technology that allows caregivers to remotely monitor key physiological factors without having disturb elders during sleep. IN2L is the leading provider of interactive computer technology used to provide therapy, engagement and interactive activities for elders and their families.
“We would have real difficulty within the Eden principles in situations where technology was used in lieu of the human touch,” Perna said. “What we’re talking here are two technology partners where the technology engages elders, provides the medical assistance they need but in the context of a very personal, interactive experience.
The Eden Alternative nonprofit provides support to and oversees implementation of its core principles in Eden-registered nursing homes. As part of that service, Eden partners with key vendors and companies such as IN2L and WellAWARE who deliver services and innovative technologies that support culture change, Perna said.
Below, I interview Jack York, CEO of IN2L and Jeff Noce, CEO of WellAWARE to discuss how their companies use technology to enhance care as part of the Eden Alternative “Mind Spirit Body” campaign.