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Silicon Valley Takes on the Challenge of Family Caregiving
Date:7/16/2014

Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 16, 2014

A new report from the National Alliance for Caregiving (the “Alliance”) identifies key steps to better support family caregiving through the use of mobile, online, and in-home technologies. The report, Catalyzing Technology to Support Family Caregiving, follows an April 2014 roundtable featuring experts from government, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, caregiving advocates and researchers. The roundtable developed six recommendations, summarized in the report, to inspire and guide the industry.

The report begins by noting that millions of Americans are engaged in providing care to family members, friends or neighbors, and that the amount of caregiving is likely to increase as the population ages. To date, however, technology has played only a minor role in helping caregivers with their tasks.

Gail Gibson Hunt, President and CEO of the Alliance and co-convener of the roundtable, is hopeful that the recommendations will help to spur development of new tools to coordinate care between caregivers, patients, and healthcare providers. “Technology needs to meet caregivers where they are, making their lives easier and their efforts more effective,” Hunt explained. “This report offers a roadmap to develop tools that a caregiver would find helpful in day-to-day life.”

The report’s recommendations include developing better data to define the impact of caregiving, increasing awareness through national and local conversations about the realities of caregiving, providing personalized “coaching” to caregivers, and developing business cases for employers and healthcare providers that quantify the benefits of supporting caregivers.

Experts called for development of an “Intelligent Family Care Assistant,” a system to keep track of and coordinate the family’s care tasks. Functions of such a system should include understanding the overall context of the family’s activities, notify
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