Hanh Brown: Hi, I’m Hanh Brown, the host of the Ball Wivet Podcast. The Baby Boomers have been changing the world for decades, and now it’s time for them to face their biggest challenge yet: aging gracefully. No one wants to go it alone, which is why the Woman in Broadcast is here to help, weep.
Hanh Brown: Provide accurate and up-to-date information on all the challenges and opportunities that come with aging so that the Baby Boomers and their loved ones can make informed decisions about their future.
Hanh Brown: Our guest speakers are experts in a few and they will help guide you through this process with ease and confidence. Whether you’re looking for information on senior healthcare, dementia, Parkinson’s, caregiving technology, adoption, affordable senior living options, or financial insecurity, we’ve got you covered. Thank you so much for joining us today, and we are excited that you’re here, so please ask questions. The more questions you ask, the more we learn, and the more we learn, we can be better equipped to make positive changes in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. So please ask questions.
Hanh Brown: So today’s topic is the age tech revolution. Get ready to experience the future of aging.
Hanh Brown: Age tech is a term that you’ll be hearing a lot more in the coming years. Age tech is used to describe the intersection of technology and aging, and it’s a market that has seen a lot of investment right now. Why? Well, because as our population ages, the need for technology that can help us stay healthy and independent grows. There are also lots of amazing things happening in the age tech space right now, from new smart wearables that can help us track our health to groundbreaking advancements in assisted living technology. Other emerging technology trends include, but are not limited to, virtual reality for rehabilitation and physical therapy, patient monitoring, aging in place technology, and smart home technologies.
Hanh Brown: But with any new technology comes social implications, and it’s important to think about how these will play out as we adopt age tech into our lives. For example, will our increasing reliance on technology mean less face-to-face interaction? Will we see a shift in how healthcare is delivered? Well, these are important questions that we need to ask as we move into that brave new world of age tech. So join me today as I talk to Christopher Kunney, one of the leading experts in this field.
Hanh Brown: We’re gonna talk about all things age tech. Christopher is a senior healthcare technology information executive and strategist. He has been called upon by his clients to provide guidance and thought leadership specific to emerging healthcare technology, regulatory compliance-related issues, and technology adoption. He has held a number of senior executive positions at some of the nation’s leading healthcare organizations and is widely recognized as an expert in the field. His insights are frequently sought by the media. So in recent years, he has focused on helping clients bridge the gap in implementing innovative health information and technology solutions.
Hanh Brown: So Christopher, welcome to the show. I am so excited to have you here.
Christopher Kunney: Thank you so much, Hanh. I’m thrilled to be here.
Hanh Brown: Well, thank you so much for your time and for shedding some light on your expertise in this very important topic. So yeah, so tell us a little bit about yourself, Christopher Kunney, professionally and personally.
Christopher Kunney: Well, I have had a long career in the technology arena, both in healthcare and beyond. I began my career working for a company like IBM and others, and I moved into the healthcare space in the early 2000s. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, advising various companies, startups, cultural organizations, as well as academic institutions and government agencies. I like to think of myself as a cultural technology evangelist. And of course, being a part of the last years of the Baby Boomers, I’m also personally interested in how technology will enhance our lives as we age. I’m so happy to be here to discuss this topic in greater detail. Thank you.
Hanh Brown: Thank you so much. All right, let’s get started. Now, what do you think of the term “age tech” and what does the future of age tech hold for us?
Christopher Kunney: Wow, you know, I tell you, that term has stuck in a conundrum of sorts. It’s still a return bread eater. Age tech is a term used to describe the merging group of technologies that are ideally suited to improve the lives of older adults. Our aging population is our greatest asset, and none of us wants to see it diminished. There are estimated to be over two billion people over sixty years old, which would account for about one-quarter of the entire world population. And those individuals are looking to live openly, active, vibrant lives. We, as Baby Boomers, large against the norm, might perceive ourselves here. We want to continue to paint the world with our mark, and we want to continue to grow. We want to continue to embrace life to its fullest. And nice that technology can enhance these efforts in a number of different ways. Now, technology in and of itself is not the silver bullet, but it does have some implications and positive impacts on the way that we live our lives on a daily basis. It’s safe to say that every decision we make, whether financial or personal, has technology built into it. And years ago, who would have thought?
Hanh Brown: Absolutely. Technology has become an integral part of our lives. It’s fascinating to see how it can enhance and support the aging process.
Christopher Kunney: Boomers are not immune to that, as well. If our river first generation of blog older adults get will be leveraging technology as a part of other the we age, and so it is a very same time not to mention the, you know, that we represent one quarter world’s population, we also represent probably the largest economic groups that exists. It says, Man, reported that you think about all the baby boomers, ah, I’ll be came back from war to ah, where he came home, you know, a dictator major economic train that happened from Gerber baby soon to Barbie dolls and the…
Hanh Brown: …Joe to Rock and Roll, and so when Arabian Desert are at our to go over business around three and this is Fox’s today and now technology and how we didn’t pack the technology to now we’re moving Jersey new years and and this major economic engine is also going to dictate the technology investments are going to be made in the future, and it isn’t that are there on fewer food, fewer and fewer people having big it again in the pass, and so there would be less younger folks are available on the doctor’s nurses, healthcare providers, etc., to take care of this eating relationships are we are going to have to rely heavily on technologies could be a wreath store for that group or to support us because we moved to our senior years of life.
Hanh Brown: Amen to that.
Christopher Kunney: And I’m part of that group are going into that you’re right now and for this affects me not only professionally, but I’m very deeply passionate personally. I’m with ya, okay, so what challenges know we’ve pay them as we age and technology advances?
Hanh Brown: That’s a very good question. I deal with that for four months or turn up as she’s advancing at X the Google read. An arm we are gives me were born, but the baby boomers were not born with your smartphone in their hair, smart device, their hands at art of younger digital race into generics is it was easy, Federer are really digital natives. They know nothing but this type of technology, and so for us, the biggest sellers will be to some degree the adoption hundred, the continued adoption of the as we get older, our and recognize that the things that we used to do that were process that would be war. Aren’t you are require to enter into who are going on, so you no longer or did you use of council on a piece of paper to God it all right and know or to send a letter in the future are obviously banking industry a seat and now you’re older people like to go into the bank right into the bank, you know, things will start to go away in the future as well to myself.
Christopher Kunney: A could our ability to continue to adopt a rapid change of church and the adapt to the technology as we get older. I will continue to be a challenge for us, be done for those individuals who may not have the lease or or his arm, you have a comfort to society of of our house and have not what can not make the investment in knowledge is to support.
Christopher Kunney: Arab on tradition as they get older will obviously not be very beginning sets of it is more to, and so you will have these disparities. The disparities will not have access to these resources, whether access to broadband access to, oh, are a I have high into knowledge is or robotic technology, etc., on will all be dependent on our ability to acquire this technology are and the latest technology will be introduced. You can do this, will not have the resources to do that are and so will not be a bit of also as we continue to adopt.
Christopher Kunney: RGB become more dependent upon it was right on, we’re talking earlier before we were prepping for better off, in fact, you’re open up before cellphones, we all knew a base for five different phone numbers, you know when your parent’s numbers with your of prisoners with your loved ones numbers are job etc. We just had to know that it’s to that I could tell year, maybe two or three numbers that I can are all sitting there myself, for I don’t know proceed to say are, and so we can now be really rely on technology to do some of the be.
Christopher Kunney: Kids that we use do with prior to it and I think you’ll continue to see that as well as we continue to rely on these technologies to do the best to trump’s or last on, unfortunately the pick technology fail when all technologies have no have some sort of error and sure you read and it will it will be there are. I’m will be impacted by that as well, so I think there’s is a double-edged sword in that, you know, we have to also be prepared to find alternate ways to continue to provide our care for our loved ones that community will along with these technologies are not available tools but also understand that they have a place in our lives and hopefully we can.
Hanh Brown: …Pred’s tracker of our accounts for about a man and so on, you talked about access right so.
Hanh Brown: I know there’s not a silver bullet solution to this price, the when I get your take, how do we make sure that everyone has access to the benefits of a tech, what is your take, how do we make sure that everyone has access to the benefits of a stack of again another question and our knowledge you will find as as it continues to evolve, have much of the countries have become commodities you think about it off?
Christopher Kunney: …Thirty-six years ago got the telephone, the in many many households didn’t have a phone else thirty-six years and.
Christopher Kunney: …You know, or are they were found these party Elizabeth to Levers as well where it was a very insulting to all of our or even just thirty years ago, or twenty-five years ago, with the cellphone your many people didn’t all the cellphone because it was too expensive as war two, but over time the technology continues to improve.
Christopher Kunney: …Becoming much more c’mon ties, it allows a broader population to be that he began his of time, I do think that the long.
Christopher Kunney: …Are socially conscious tech companies are the world, a beautiful benches see him, but tech companies today, as many of them are very such as well too, and they think about you know how these technologies will impact be a less larger, the mortally, in fact, it be okay in our society and thinking about ways and either admit that tech.
Christopher Kunney: Of way, and I do think they have to be Sir government mandates as loud it started trying to control the for are are these technologies. Well, we’d we’d like our must be meeting about technology today, especially you at it.
Christopher Kunney: Specific technologies. I’m they are really now the next utility, you know?
Hanh Brown: Almost impossible to run a business without a like for three today.
Christopher Kunney: His uncle’s impossible to run the businesses now plumbing I wore an hour of the Are you today is almost impossible to run the business is the most businesses they will our technology you can’t, you know, process the road you can order inventory Egypt in I’ll pay the bills are we are now highly rely upon technology as a part of our dated, a functioning for process and that technology game continues to get commoditized overtime as advanced as or me, and I do think be in our government has seen for play a role in making sure that the for my technology to go to the the both undeserved good though.
Christopher Kunney: “We’re dealing with very social determinants out and we also have to be responsible capitalism as well country is this is my for a while, but the park this acknowledges the market can we bring them in ways that will impact the brought a number of people”.
Hanh Brown: Absolutely, thank you, thank you for your thought, I want to add a little bit more about the challenges in creating some of these products.
Hanh Brown: I think.
Hanh Brown: Oh, well, accessibility and then also user friendliness, right?
Hanh Brown: For both younger and older folks appealing to both older and younger of were younger fall and more affordable, but still ensuring the quality and safety of the product and then knowing the I guess effective way to market the products to the.
Hanh Brown: Older consumers, so those are I would say I’m going challenges that we all can do a better job.
Christopher Kunney: Not an absolutely and and he has to be a part of the user experience or open up dove products are being developed and so it’ll be a baby boomer’s me, he could be involved in the design process, the are it can be just a bunch of you’re young, you’re twenty-two-year-old kids in a row.
Christopher Kunney: Own design technology for senior citizens (AH) but has to be a couple, one a collaborative effort and ever line on the input from those who ultimately will be to use the technology (AH) to try to understand how the technology will will work best for that target audience, I do believe that Italy advanced little to it is like.
Christopher Kunney: Ah, artificial intelligence ah Indian voice technologies, the I am on virtual or reality, and augmented reality or technologies will also make it easier for us nuisances that at Cedar posted to the to do our the use of these platforms in a future you look at, for example, and a lot.
Christopher Kunney: AXA no platform today where it’s was edited in I’m so the older individual can say to that device on you can check my temperature and maybe put their hand on all devices didn’t monitors it or can you call the pharmacy and or reorder automatically?
Christopher Kunney: Are the technology in and of itself the be proactive and asking you to wake up and ask you how are you feeling today, you, Christopher, in L on you are you, are you doing logo, where are you having difficulty, it’ll get out of their a it, you know?
Christopher Kunney: Ah, assessment of how you’re feeling and using that data did to enact some sort of practice on.
Christopher Kunney: Or a prick your meals in or on all.
Christopher Kunney: The go-on activity that might help you improve your current situation is watching, so maybe the and notifies than I care provider who didn’t call you and say, “Hey, how are usually today we need with important to the doctor get year and a half I’m actually physically tomato your all and provide care of attracting one of the things that now on will continue to do”.
Christopher Kunney: You, from an altar perspective, if twist culture outside the flaws of a traditional hospital and it’s not clear it, we will start to receive more technology within our home and an operational settings are which will allow as your kid and gear to live healthier lives and that technology will be more proactive in the way it.
Christopher Kunney: Collect data about us so we’re gonna fight he just prior to the becoming AH episodic are serious enough that would require a half half.
Christopher Kunney: Asian or some harm gear. He.
Hanh Brown: Absolutely, thank you so much, I would like to acknowledge, I guess, Carrie, okay, thank you so much, Carrie, I appreciate your time here and.
Hanh Brown: Yeah, it is an important topic, and I know it’s one that you are also very passionate about and thank you so much for your we for all their okay.
Hanh Brown: All right, so I wanted to ask about not only the development of the technology, but what about the marketing of products and services aimed for the aging population? What are some challenges you see in there?
Hanh Brown: Have you know?
Christopher Kunney: We’re zero others to see room for folks aren’t worth of necessarily using also Boomer Modern Platform for Social Me to Tiger, are you know on Instagram or some of these other ones where a lot of marketing efforts are taking place today are those we’re not are are no have not necessarily?
Christopher Kunney: The tools that you the season since I’ve been using to get information about products and technology, so we do need to think about or what ways are available to AH that that specific market. I’ll get wouldn’t be able to market the seasons of the weather that you know pushing type it to the silver of Oregon.
Christopher Kunney: Traditional methods like television on our through again and unfortunately snail mails person burns because we still use that I’ll have a tool for seniors on to get hoping that route embrace the use of these other social media platforms will be multiple ways I think that we can get the message out about this.
Christopher Kunney: Solutions make a more were them and more talking about going to get up to technologies like these are perfect for, like Alexa, for example, they can communicate and an arm advertise on tech deserve as it directly to the falls within their homes.
Christopher Kunney: In denies, you know how on these technologies where there’s reason for or the electrical or possibly listen to us and tried to orders Bertha you what we’re doing and him pushing taunted to us as well, so that will continue to deal or method and day that on technology companies.
Christopher Kunney: I’m providers will get gather information about the person’s behavior and what their interests are and then use that as a mechanism to or again target specific knowledge for their there are through the city.
Hanh Brown: You know, and I also see that let’s see what works for and retiree in Florida may not work for the same person living in Northern State, and then seniors have limited income, throwing money around a fixed income, and they’re reluctant to spend money on anything that is an essential ethanol, a challenge right so, and then, of course.
Hanh Brown: There is no one, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing to or segmenting the demographic, the baby boomers and are several whole heart in Dhaka and And.
Hanh Brown: I mean, that’s a big deal because I think when we are talking, let’s thing you and I, you know, we can equip the baby boomers together, but there is let’s say fifty-five, sixty-six, sixty-five, and sixty-five-seventy.
Hanh Brown: There’s medical heart and between and definitely have different expectation, lifestyle choices, and interests and fell for it and the marketing till death do you really have to deeply segment every hmm now, yeah?
Christopher Kunney: I absolutely no a good idea to do that, yeah, the V Arsenal, and I think that goes back to our these companies who are looking to develop technology for the garden audiences have to include those technology audiences are those ideas in the design of the technology and the marketing know that technology to should be asking them questions.
Christopher Kunney: How how would be best to convey this information to you all, how would you be screens to look in order for you to use of technology more effectively or the Emmy Awards technologies, how would you wanted to your app with you as well so that you feel comfortable with sharing information with are these platforms?
Christopher Kunney: And so I think it will continue to be a collaboration between the two companies, as well as AH, the demand of those groups of demographics within those roots, it the other exam that you, you see, what these platforms are are a lot of the remote, my remotely monetary and technologies, the sensors and devices that can.
Christopher Kunney: Be worn on deck and collect information passively, as well do unto others will sit there are your a your, your I should watch, or you know these other types of technologies that are capturing information about the person’s physical or condition will continue to be as an article close.
Christopher Kunney: The that has is monitoring down on technologies go with it, it is walk to so you’ll be able to kill your for a person is prone to purchase a following based on the way that they’re they’re walking your a gate you know you’ll be able to your heart rate is that our you are and what time of day what were they doing at that particular time when it happened.
Christopher Kunney: Try to do a lot of information that were what a the gal from those individuals will be done in a very passive way through the use of these answers are these remote A technologies are the A.I. that will be driving on some of the decision critical decisions around it as well.
Hanh Brown: You mentioned A.I. sensors, there’s all meant it reality block chain machine learning internet of things by Jean at we’re though these are elite when I see technology trends as being invested right now, what do you think the as a little magic, all of those things lay the foundation for eight?
Christopher Kunney: “Dat the advancement of the tech are a little block chain from our privacy and security standpoint, obviously we we’re very concerned about is pretty big brother, watch an or other don’t dark the forces out there trying to get dog or cat for information and even technologies that are really are being used to help support our lives, whereas peace”.
Christopher Kunney: Lakers or other devices are implanted enough, we don’t want those technologies somehow being hacked into it and ultimately.
Christopher Kunney: No crossing supporter of on top issue grasp on because of the security protocols are the weaknesses in the security protocol and so as technology considered the of reacting to consider my arm again, technologies like blocks will help to support summer and whatever new advances in security protocols it will happen over time.
Christopher Kunney: And then you’d even imagine are other things like Ahmed Reality in virtual technologies will the use of ways for individuals, you know, feel isolated in some cases as you get older, you find become more, more isolated as an individual, you have fewer friends because I’m forcing you to begin the pass away you have left you to a new for or.
Christopher Kunney: So the technology will be able to be used, stay in your circle world beyond your local group of people don’t virtual community of seems, for example, it’s not just interacting with someone you know with the new building or down the street to be somewhat a literary across the globe and building those relationships with the virtual way.
Christopher Kunney: Also, with Wolpert mental health going forward and will get you dance know or beef the A.I. and other honestly, learning analytics will allow for capture that data analyzer it and provide on actionable information to tear providers so proactively they can the are.
Christopher Kunney: Before wrong signal users and critical uses happen with that individual and provide more precision medicine onto these individuals as to the the age as well selected, I’m very excited about the possibility that to technology continues to provide AH but we still have part ways to go in.
Hanh Brown: Sure, he now that we address, he realizes that a built into these technologies, fancy I, for example, machine learning technologies arm, and also to your put an earlier the process of seat know them as watch, have been able to provide a sapper technology to a broader set of demographics this.
Hanh Brown: On institute socio-economic conditions as well.
Christopher Kunney: Yeah, absolutely, because you know we want to have the math a fourth as because it isn’t just for the selected deco we think about the cost of healthcare today and were stride also helps your today are it’s driven bigger premier because of chronic diseases that exist in our community.
Christopher Kunney: Ah, you know, that there’s a subtle between and ten percent of the population contributes to over sixty percent of the overall healthcare cost and that’s being primarily driven because of chronic disease and so when you think about found the find diabetes and obesity?
Christopher Kunney: Congestive heart failure, things of that nature.
Hanh Brown: Impact the cost of the delivery of healthcare if we can get help from that, you know, as we age and try to proactively monitor I hope, and for to encourage our older Americans to live a more healthy life a path to have them do that more effectively.
Christopher Kunney: The fact the cost curve, also on the delivery costs associated with healthcare in a live healthy lives to do as we get older or not, life depended upon AH.
Hanh Brown: The highest cost part of our healthcare use, yeah, I agree.
Hanh Brown: Let’s talk about the social implications of the use of technology, for example, here’s what I’m thinking: “Yeah, I have concerns, when kids were younger and that I have concerns my mom doesn’t use technologies, she’s in a late stage of dementia, believe my older siblings, so I see social networking, you know, let you connect with friends and family, share news and experiences, and also.
Hanh Brown: You’ll find like-minded people, it has lots of benefits and also, and sequences I am sure you know there is bullying, harassment in it, it’s addictive, which can lead to problems such as isolation and depression will cancel the whole effect, you know, that we’re driving towards, so do you see the social implications and how do we guard, how do we do better to manage the situation?
Christopher Kunney: Are other Dubrovnik really good points, you are causing, like, to believe he tried to live there for the youth, there has been me, it argued with a decent, there is gonna positive use and associated with, because mostly negative consequences, so whether it’s, you know, going from the horse and buggy to the car and now the autonomous car or the whole Arab of social media, our impact on quality or in global warming is wrong that type of automation on your these technologies will have both positive and negative implications as well, so we, as a society, have to be very conscious about it, our legislators have to be more about the these technologies and to on are consequences to be in start to think about how we legislate on a made is the accountability Robbie technologies will there’s a term for also for the AS.
Christopher Kunney: How it talks about how these different around conditions each from the the economic conditions impact our lives whether it’s education or a job or on your race on that may have an impact on the quality of care you receive, so I think it is looking for policies, you know what are the barrel?
Christopher Kunney: Laws and the legislation the past, as it also impacts the use of technology or the accountability that these companies have on the people that will be impacted by the technology and ensure we hold down on an upward you on providing solutions and I’m hopefully going to do no harm.
Christopher Kunney: How and I do think that bomb for us like this after the D. To expose to our EG community are the implications are both positive and negative implications of the use of the technology, so I think it will continue to be are evolving process of legislation that will hopefully these groups are accountable platforms like this to educate on know populations on Canada good, bad and ugly of these are too.
Christopher Kunney: Allergations of our corporate citizens who are also taking into mine their duty and responsibility or to hopefully the whole arm to individuals to use a little more common sense alert mean we should not be solely dependent on technology to do everything in our lives, we should work to that we should be bigger about how we little more about, like technology is a tool to help his liberal got a light, but it’s not we should not be so he depended upon it is, to there is a basic things we should be doing to do you the so healthy life which is interact with human beings, not only virtually brilliant person exercise it diet.
Christopher Kunney: You know, go out, get outside, enjoy the fresh air and spend time with your friends or loved ones, you know, you can’t replace that with just using the technology, although I think we have to continue to try to strike a balance between that arm and oh we should do is be be.
Hanh Brown: Keep the peace with a place and an open technology these in our lifetime or be able to replace a great point great so let’s talk about technologies in the healthcare industry.
Hanh Brown: The challenges in terms of let’s say I woke we talked about the senior, the older adult, the baby boomer’s adaption to technology, but now we’re moving toward the healthcare industry, adapting to the technology me I see this as.
Hanh Brown: You’re costly, the cost of adaption, the resistance to change, and then the need for standardization right there with her biggies, can you elaborate on that just say are?
Christopher Kunney: Absolutely, I think he announced.
Christopher Kunney: To your point: “Yeah, this is what it is, it is it’s really starting to recognize the real value and the possibility the technology to bring to the healthcare delivery, but you think about the way that this will help for delivery, the model case of the economic system door behind it, it is actually based on people being sick.
Christopher Kunney: You know, you go to the doctor to use it out, the doctor makes money because you’re sick, if you’re not, they don’t get paid.”
Hanh Brown: So, how did you shift that paradigm to what it says, “How do we use technology to keep people well?”
Christopher Kunney: Like impacting our entry into the healthcare system, but also creating a business model that compensates for a focus on health versus healthcare. Oh, and I think that technologies like this have huge implications around that. Again, we’re talking about sensor devices, remote monitoring devices, and how analytics have shaped our perception, enabling us to be more proactive and focus on health issues, and hopefully avoid healthcare-related issues as well. But it’s going to take a shift in the way we think about healthcare as a business to support the adoption of these technologies and business models that could sustain these organizations.
Christopher Kunney: On the bottom line, it’s about money. If there’s less revenue, that’s an issue. I can provide care to patients, but funding is vital and allows me to do that. And again, we need to talk about legislation that will support reimbursement for these health-related services, versus just healthcare-related.
Christopher Kunney: So, how do I generate revenue from monitoring your health versus just reacting to it when you get sick? How do I generate revenue from ensuring that your overall well-being is positive, as you go about your daily routine?
Christopher Kunney: The basis for compensating services has to shift our attitudes. It’s a broader issue. More than just the doctor. The baby boomers are now retiring from healthcare roles. Who’s stepping into those roles?
Christopher Kunney: Mostly, it’s a generation that grew up with technology. They’re expecting technology to be a part of the way they deliver care, the way they do business. So, there’s a level of adoption issue now. As the older generation moves out of the system, there’s also a business model issue on how you can continue to be a viable service delivery system, especially if we’re trying to focus on preventative medicine versus healthcare in general.
Hanh Brown: Thank you. I want to touch on technology enhancing patient outcomes. Video conferencing, telecommunication, using data analytics to collect and analyze data, detect trends and patterns. Can you elaborate on that?
Christopher Kunney: Sure, I can. Today, data is the new currency in our information age. This information can be leveraged to help inform and assist physicians in making smarter and better decisions about the treatment of patients. It’s not just a general way of treating all patients anymore.
Christopher Kunney: We can provide more precision medicine to that individual because we’re capturing data about their condition, and not just a broader set of people that may be experiencing similar symptoms. I can now monitor you and provide a protocol specific to your needs and see the impact on your health.
Christopher Kunney: There’s an improvement in your prognosis as well. It’s all based on a source of information being collected about me. And my access as a patient advocate allows me to go out and do research, gather information about my condition and make smarter decisions about what type of treatment I want to engage in, or what was prescribed by my doctor.
Christopher Kunney: This makes us much more informed as patients. We can make better decisions about our treatment of care because we’re not just relying on individual knowledge anymore. With the wealth of information about changes in healthcare research,
new drugs developed, new protocols of surgery, and other treatments coming up on a daily basis, it’s absolutely impossible for a healthcare professional to stay up to date on all of that.
Christopher Kunney: We have to rely on these repositories of information and tools like machine learning and AI to digest this information and serve it up as they need it, so that they can be more informed care providers and deliver the most accurate care.
Hanh Brown: I want to touch on the challenges hospitals face when adapting to new technology. I get some concerns I see is that it’s a huge investment, there’s fear of change, and even if a hospital is ready to invest in new technology, they may not be willing to embrace it. So, can you touch on that some more?
Christopher Kunney: You’re absolutely right. To change the status quo is not easy. For example, electronic health records, which is really the lifeblood now of the delivery model for healthcare, it touches almost every part of a hospital and healthcare provider’s delivery system. These systems have developed over the past three decades.
Christopher Kunney: Starting out as basic data repositories for patient documents and transforming into a tool that allows management of the financial aspect of running a hospital. Now, we’re relying heavily on these systems to provide accurate, timely, and more comprehensive patient information.
Christopher Kunney: Team tools that allow the permissions start to be the PC thirty or with a digital format, and so now I’m not rely heavily on just paper are as a means of getting the our information about the patient in our to ensure that data to a broader set of individuals and I’m more timely fashion and provide more accurate up.
Hanh Brown: Incomplete information about it and you should have other, just what was written on it.
Christopher Kunney: I referred to two hours ago in South Africa.
Christopher Kunney: This is taking place today, you know, just a summary of your – there’s now many who did not have electronic health record systems within their environments. This is because of some legislation that was started with the Bush administration and doubled during the Obama administration. This legislation really helped to subsidize the acquisition of these technologies and mandated that healthcare providers become digitized.
Christopher Kunney: In this industry, there was some initial reluctance to adopt technology, primarily because when you think about it, you want to ensure that the information going into this technology black hole is accurate. Is the information I put into this right? I would want to get around information anytime I wanted.
Christopher Kunney: There was a tradition that would require a conversation. What if a caregiver couldn’t take care of your loved one, and unfortunately, they pass away because they couldn’t get access to the information inside their electronic health records system, or they were given the wrong information?
Christopher Kunney: That’s why initially there was reluctance to adopt these technologies. Also, because of some of the machine learning and rules-based engines that were built, which were directing them on how to treat a patient. There was this mindset, “I don’t want them to tell me how to treat a patient.” These technologies had advanced.
Christopher Kunney: Conditions have seen the benefits of them. There are still challenges without a doubt, and there will always be an evolving ability to improve the technology. I think you can see the benefits of it more today. There’s now an insatiable appetite for the technology and now they’re seen as…
Christopher Kunney: I want to use it for your job, but I need it to work better for me. I don’t need to be spending my time typing something into the computer when I should be talking to the patient. I should be examining the patient. Why can’t I have technology that captures that information for me while I’m treating a patient and providing what I was trained to do?
Christopher Kunney: To provide care and have a human interaction. I think as you see technologies advance, more of that kind of ability and voice technology and AI will be built into where the need is no longer having to spend time typing, but now just listening.
Christopher Kunney: The interaction that is happening with the patient, capturing that information about the patient’s condition and putting it into the system on behalf of the healthcare provider. AI can also analyze that information and serve up recommendations to the clinician on how they should treat the patient.
Christopher Kunney: It’s more of an advisor to the clinician rather than a tool that takes away from their productivity, and that has a negative impact on their cognitive workload. If it doesn’t serve a good purpose, what providers will do today is find workarounds or just abandon it altogether.
Christopher Kunney: So you have to make sure that these technologies work well and help improve patient care and the patient’s experience, and ultimately provide value to the clinician as well.
Hanh Brown: Great point. Thank you so much, you know, I wanted to acknowledge our guest, thank you so much, John.
Hanh Brown: And thank you so much, Cheryl. Oh, well, Christopher, do you want to comment?
Christopher Kunney: Yes, Jan, if I understand correctly, we need to put more data into the hands of the patient.
Christopher Kunney: Right, that’s the point. Donn and Arden made good comments today. Much of the data collected about a patient, the patient doesn’t have control access to it. It is still the hospital or the provider who manages that data. I think where patients are now is they want to have more control over their data.
Christopher Kunney: To me, this data that’s been collected about them and how they navigate the healthcare system.
Christopher Kunney: So the patient’s records should actually be controlled by me, the patient, and I determine which healthcare providers should receive access to that data. I can also use that data and the tools that would be made available to me to help navigate the healthcare system.
Christopher Kunney: The treatment that I believe is in the best interest of me and my loved ones. Having more access to that data allows you to have greater control over that information and who sees it, and to be how you want to use that data as part of your healthcare future.
Hanh Brown: Thank you, Jan, and thank you, Cheryl. We’re at the tail end of our conversation, do you have anything else that you would like to add?
Christopher Kunney: And thank you. I’m excited.
Christopher Kunney: I’m so excited about the possibilities. There’s so much more we could talk about in this day and age. As we look at some of the things that are challenging for us as we get older, for example, transportation issues.
Christopher Kunney: And the use of transportation. You’re starting to see technologies that are being developed that help support the ability to stay mobile. Home care technologies are also being introduced so I don’t have to leave my home to receive treatment, I can get that locally.
Christopher Kunney: Companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are making big strides in this area. Amazon has made a huge play into space with acquisitions of businesses like PillPack and others. They recently purchased obstetric medical services.
Christopher Kunney: Now they’re getting into the delivery of care. Just think about the advancements a tech company like Amazon will incorporate into that model.
Christopher Kunney: Wow, and so that will have huge implications, especially for rural communities where access to pharmacies and other services may be limited. They will be able to get better quality care as well.
Christopher Kunney: I think advancements in just the overall mental health and personal experiences that we have as we get older will continue to improve with the aid of technologies, social media platforms, and others that allow us to continue to connect with our loved ones.
Christopher Kunney: However, we must use it as a tool for our lives and not be overly dependent upon it. If it has a negative impact on us and we can’t use it, we shouldn’t let it replace good old-fashioned human interaction.
Christopher Kunney: We want to continue to be connected to younger generations. We have a wealth of knowledge and information we want to continue to share with them. We still have value in life. We want to find ways to keep connected as we get older.
Hanh Brown: I love that. I echo all of that. Gosh, thank you so much for your expertise and your passion in the industry, Christopher. Have a blast.
Hanh Brown: In closing, I want to let you know about some of our upcoming topics.
Hanh Brown: The first one is about baby boomers, blockchain, and how Web 3.0 technology can improve healthcare. Another upcoming topic is research on age-related cognitive decline, and connecting the world of neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry. The third one is about how we can help breathe new life into multifamily and senior living assets.
Hanh Brown: The fourth is about aging in place safely and successfully while preparing for long-term care and reframing perceptions and experiences of growing older. Thank you so much for tuning in today and thank you for all the folks who asked questions, we learned a lot from you.
Hanh Brown: If you want to be kept informed of these upcoming events, please comment and subscribe, and I’ll make sure to add you to our list. Thank you so much, Christopher. Until next week, take good care.
Hanh Brown: Thank you for listening to another episode of “The Boomer Living” broadcast. I know you have a lot of options when it comes to podcasts and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen this one. Please share this podcast with your friends and family, write a review on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play. It helps others discover the show.
Hanh Brown: You can also contact us at 763-350-6842 to leave a review and request content for the show. We love hearing from our listeners. Check out our TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube channel, Aging Media Show, and subscribe for weekly tips on how to best serve the senior population.
Hanh Brown: We want to help them have a great experience as they age. Thanks for tuning in until next time.