These Web-Based Medical Apps Make House Calls

Think you might have bronchitis, a sinus infection,  or other non-life threatening illness and can’t wait for an appointment with your regular doctor?  Not sure if you should go to the ER?  Have travel plans and worried if you should fly?  Then these online medical-care sites and mobile apps might be your answer. The sites help patients and doctors converse through smartphones, tablets and computers.  In fact, the U.S. telehealth patient population is expected to grow six-fold to 1.3 million …

¿Es malo usar los ‘gadgets’ para distraer a los niños?

Es pleno diciembre, se acerca la Navidad, la hora de comprar regalos… Ahora imagí­nate que estás en una reunion familiar con padres, tí­os, abuelos y otros parientes y dices con emoción que vas a regalarle una tableta a tu niño de 4 años. ¿Cómo crees que reaccionarí­an? Grupo 1: Los tradicionalistas se rasgarí­an las vestiduras y amenazarí­an con no pasar Navidad juntos porque les parece el colmo que gasten plata en un dispositivo que el niño no sabrá manejar y, …

Shopping With Credit-Card Readers Attached to Smartphones

If my friend Beth’s recent holiday buying is any indication, shoppers are in for a more-connected experience. Last week, my 82-year-old buddy wanted to buy a platter at her church bazaar. She was met with a “newfangled credit-card” gadget. “The salesgirl told me to slide my credit card through a little square thing attached to her phone,” Beth told me.  “She said it was safe, I did it, I hope it was ok.” That small device called Square is a …

40,000 Health Apps: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Christine Porter is hooked on the My Fitness Pal app. In October, after deciding to lose 50 pounds, Porter started typing in everything she eats, drinks and any exercise she gets. “This is like my main page here,” says Porter, who lost 42 pounds in nine months. “It’s telling me I have about 1,200 calories remaining for the day. When I want to record something I just click the ‘add to diary’ button. I’m on it all day either through my …

Senate Aging Committee to Showcase Virtual Talking Dog

As you’ve probably noticed, congressional events increasingly seem to feature movie stars such as Harrison Ford and other celebrities as a way of gaining public attention for an issue. But at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Healthy Aging Forum, scheduled for May 23 on Capitol Hill, there will be an even more unusual guest: GeriJoy, the talking virtual dog developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. GeriJoy is specifically designed to give older people with dementia …

Are Ageist Smartphone Commercials a Dumb Move?

If you watch TV, by now you’ve probably seen the pool-party commercial for the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. The spot shows hip college-age revelers befuddling their iPhone-using elders with all of the phone’s flashy technology – such as the AirView feature that allows users to answer the phone by sweeping their fingers over the screen without actually touching it, a camera mode that allows them to take rapid-fire pictures of moving objects and an app that transforms the phone …