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Tag: seniors

Addiction Recovery Provider Uses AI to Monitor Telehealth Meds for Opioid Use Disorder

Article Excerpt: In senior living communities and nursing homes, it’s often a challenge to keep residents with opioid-use disorder in treatment and monitor their medications when they can’t visit the doctor. An addiction medicine practice in Indiana found a fix by creating a platform combining smartphone and AI technology to connect patients with doctors and help providers comply with treatment regulations.

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Article Source: McKnights Senior Living


Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visits Fail to Meet Needs of Older Adult, Study Says

Article Excerpt: Medicare annual wellness visits do not adequately meet the wellness needs of the diverse population of U.S. adults, according to research conducted at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Physicians at the medical school weighed the opportunities gained and lost through the one-size-fits-all approach to Medicare annual wellness visits, according to a Sept. 6 news release. Annual medical visits address disease prevention and the promotion of health and wellness and are an important part of medical care for older adults. Medicare initiated annual wellness visits as part of the program 10 years ago. John Batsis, MD, associate professor in the division of geriatric medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said there is a missed opportunity to use the Medicare annual wellness visit in a manner to optimize quality of life and physical function among the millions of older adults in the United States.

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Article Source: Becker’s Hospital Review


Doctors Assess Opportunities Gained, Lost through Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visits

Article Excerpt: While medical visits that address disease prevention and the promotion of health and wellness are important parts of medical care for older adults, when Medicare was introduced in 1965, it did not address this important component of health care. Medicare took an important step to correct this deficit when it initiated Medicare annual wellness visits (AWV) ten years ago. AWV’s emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion for older adults was a huge step forward, however the current “one size fits all” approach does not adequately meet the wellness needs of a diverse population of older adults. In their recent special article in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, Patrick P Coll, MD, medical director for senior health and associate director for clinical geriatrics at the UConn Center on Aging at UConn Health, and John A. Batsis, MD, associate professor in the division of geriatric medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues reviewed the need to redesign AWV’s in order to optimally identify issues that are important to each individual patient.

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Article Source: UNC Health News


Meet Grandma’s New Robot Pal

Article Excerpt: New York State is giving hundreds of “companion robots” to seniors at risk of social isolation, The Verge reports. Named ElliQ, the lamp-esque robots — from Israeli AI firm Intuition Robotics — are designed to make small talk, crack jokes and more. ElliQ’s “face” pivots toward whomever it’s speaking with, lending the bots a disarming, Pixar-like quality. A companion touchscreen can display pictures and other data (like weather reports) and handle video calls. Why it matters: Researchers have linked social isolation to all sorts of negative health outcomes: Loneliness is associated with a 50% higher risk of dementia, 32% increased risk of stroke and 29% greater risk of heart disease, and “significantly increases a person’s risk of premature death from all causes,” per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Article Source: Axios


Uncovering heterogeneous associations of disaster-related traumatic experiences with subsequent mental health problems: A machine learning approach

Shiba K, Daoud A, Kino S, Nishi D, Kondo K, and Kawachi I. (2022), Uncovering heterogeneous associations of disaster-related traumatic experiences with subsequent mental health problems: A machine learning approach. Psychiatry Clin. Neurosci., 76: 97-105.

Researchers investigated the heterogeneous effects of disaster-related traumatic experiences on post-disaster mental health problems, using a new machine learning approach. Data was derived from a prospective cohort study of Japanese older adults (65 and older) in an area severely affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Baseline data were from 7 months before the earthquake (N=4,957 participants) and two follow-ups were conducted 2.5 and 5.5 years after the earthquake (n=3,567 and n=2,781 respectively). Disaster-related traumatic experiences were defined as home loss and loss of loved ones due to the disaster. Depressive symptoms and posttraumatic stress symptoms were assessed at the two follow-up time points. Researchers applied a novel machine learning approach called the generalized random forest algorithm to estimate the conditional average treatment effects of the disaster damages on mental health outcomes. Results showed significant heterogeneity in the impact of disaster damages across individuals, with unique patterns in characteristics of individuals who were more severely impacted. As an example, the most vulnerable group tended to be from lower socioeconomic status with preexisting depressive symptoms. The study demonstrates that this machine learning method can identify heterogeneity in mental health problems  among respondents following a disaster event. Analyzing such heterogeneity may be beneficial in designing future post-disaster mental health interventions.


Geisel Researchers Receive $4 Million Grant to Improve Office Visit Interactions Between People Living with Dementia, Care Partners, and Clinicians

Article Excerpt: A team of researchers at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and New York University (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine has received a $4 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to improve “triadic” interactions between patients living with dementia, their care partners, and their clinicians. An estimated 6.5 million Americans aged 65 or older currently live with Alzheimer’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease-related dementia, and that number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million by 2050, placing an even greater burden on patients, caregivers, and the healthcare system. People living with dementia and their care partners (typically family members or friends) rely on primary care clinic visits for information about their disease, its management, and community referrals. While research has shown that quality interpersonal communication is associated with improved health outcomes, the degree to which effective communication is achieved during triadic visits is unknown, and few interventions have been developed to support it.

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Article Source: Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine News


Feasibility and acceptability of a technology-based, rural weight management intervention in older adults with obesity

Batsis JA, Petersen CL, Clark MM, et al. (2021). Feasibility and acceptability of a technology-based, rural weight management intervention in older adults with obesity. BMC Geriatr 21, 44.

Researchers evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of technology-based health promotion program among 53 older adults (at least 65 years old) living in rural New England with body mass index of at least 30kg/m2 Participants were enrolled in a 26-week program that consisted of video-conference nutrition and exercise sessions and Fitbit device monitoring. A Samsung tablet and detailed instructions to connect to Wi-Fi was provided for each participant. A Fitbit with user instructions was also provided for each participant. A registered dietitian nutritionist delivered 18 individual 30-minute sessions centered on nutrition and 7 1-hour group sessions on caloric intake, vitamin D, and protein intake. Weekly food records and attendance were collected. A trained physical therapist also conducted 75-minute, twice-a-week video conference group sessions that focused on exercise. Exercise sessions included resistance, flexibility, and balance training. Participants were encouraged to complete 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic walking outside of the sessions. Feasibility, acceptability, and health outcomes were assessed at baseline, 2, 4, and 6 months. Participants reported a high overall satisfaction of the program and the Fitbit. The Fitbit was worn by participants for on average 81.7% of the intervention time. Completed participants observed a mean of 4.6kg loss of weight. The researchers found improvement in physical functioning test outcomes and subjective measures of late-life physical functioning. The researchers concluded that a technology-based obesity intervention is feasible and acceptable for older adults living in rural areas and can lead to weight loss and better physical functioning.


Wearable Electronic Skin Could Monitor Your Health

Article Excerpt: Doctors may be just a few years away from tracking your vital signs via electronic skin worn on the body. Researchers in Japan say they have developed an ultra-thin, lightweight e-skin that is stuck to the chest area using water spray and can be worn for a week at a time… Designed for older people or those with who have difficulty using a smartphone, it will show heartbeat data transmitted by the e-skin in the form of large and easily understood graphics. It can also display simple emojis — including a heart and a rainbow — sent by friends and relatives from a smartphone, to help older people feel connected to their loved ones.

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Article Source: CNN


Virtual Reality Exercise as a Coping Strategy for Health and Wellness Promotion in Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gao, Z., Lee, J. E., McDonough, D. J., & Albers, C. (2020). Virtual Reality Exercise as a Coping Strategy for Health and Wellness Promotion in Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(6), 1986. MDPI AG. Retrieved from

Older adults are at higher risk for adverse health outcomes from COVID-19 including declines in motor ability and physical activity, increased obesity, and psychological distress. Virtual reality exercises are increasingly used in healthcare interventions. This study conducted a targeted literature review to summarize the evidence for the effectiveness of virtual reality exercise on physical and psychological well-being in older adults in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only studies with older adults are included. Findings show that virtual reality exercise can improve motor skills and muscle strength, as well as help to manage and prevent obesity through virtual reality integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and physical activity exercises. Virtual reality interventions also show promise for improving visuospatial processing, memory, and other cognitive functioning. Among older adults, virtual reality exercises and CBT can improve anxiety and depression outcomes. Virtual reality interventions can be completed at home, which is advantageous during the COVID-19 pandemic when older adults may quarantine for safety reasons. Overall, findings show that virtual reality is a valuable tool for older adults and effective in promoting physical and mental health. However, many studies are limited by small sample sizes and short implementation periods, and future research is needed to further evaluate virtual reality as a treatment among older adults.