TV or not TV?
I was interested to read that CCGs in Staffordshire are rolling out a form of Telemedicine to connect elders with their GPs and Care Home staff with video technology. It’s probably less than a year since I described this functionality within Kraydel to sceptical investors and was told that GPs hadn’t the time or the motivation to get involved in this sort of thing.
Of course the truth is that the argument in favour of giving the elderly access to their GPs and other forms of care via video is totally compelling. The challenge is not the technology (well not really) but packaging it in a form that can be used by the elderly. Too many technologists live in a fantasy world where the solutions to the problems of elder-care involve giving them tablets and smartphones. Anyone who has worked with the elderly, or even (as we have done) set up numerous focus groups with them, will appreciate that what people under 60 find easy to use is confusing, worrying and unappealing to the vast majority of elders. And that will always be true – technologies are coming through faster and faster but as human beings, we lose our ability, and our interest, in embracing the new stuff as we enter the later phases of our life. What we want is the familiar, the comfortable, and the simple, and for today’s elders that means delivering assistance via their TV set, with a simple remote control. That also means giving them a big bright picture and loud audio – key to making the experience usable to those with diminished sight and hearing.
Kraydel started out with the intention of being a tablet based technology but we quickly realised that we were going about things all wrong and switched our focus to the TV set as the prime interface.
I wish Staffordshire luck with their trials and I will be interested to see how they deliver the video and how well it is adopted.