Healthy Aging: Health Engagement for Seniors through TV!

By Gillian Christie

The rapid aging of populations globally will be a transformative force affecting societies in coming decades. Americans aged 65+ will double by 2045 to 80 million. This projection will impact social welfare, public health, and economic prosperity. Overcoming challenges associated with healthy aging will demand innovative solutions, which in turn have the potential to benefit society as a whole (just as Google’s self-driving cars will make it possible for blind people to get around independently).

Another such promising innovation is Angela, a technology-enabled independent living solution. Developed by Independa, Angela can be integrated into a television and provide health engagement tools for older adults. The product enables shortcuts to video conversations, emailing, the Internet, Facebook, and games and puzzles. Large screen fonts, higher contrasts, and brighter colors are offered on-screen for users with poor eyesight. Features also enable better medication adherence, maintaining appointments, and reminders for birthdays and anniversaries. Last month, Independa closed a funding round of $6 million to bring its total funding to $11 million. Angela currently operates on certain models of LG television and Samsung tablets, and will be launched as a direct-to-consumer device later this Spring.

Angela is one example that enables older adults to live independently. It is hoped that social isolation may be minimized, while years lived in health and happiness can be maximized.

Over the next two years, Vitality Institute Executive Director, Derek Yach, is chairing the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Ageing. The GAC will explore how stakeholders across sectors and geographies can capitalize on the economic opportunities presented by an aging population and encourage business and governments to adopt age-friendly practices, with a particular focus on Longevity by Design and Cognition, Banking, and Fraud. A series of events is being organized both in New York and globally – stay tuned for additional details!

Interested in finding out more about our work on health aging? Have a personal experience around how you or your elder family members interact with technology to improve their health? We want to hear from you! Share your comments in the section below or by tagging us on social media @VitalityInst.

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