There are some new developments since a popular Senior Planet news feature appeared about Kiosks for Living Well, a new program that uses kiosk technology to help people better manage health and wellness.
The Kiosks, an initiative of Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) in Massachusetts, offer people the chance to use large touch-screen programs that entertain while promoting health learning. The venture, a partnership with software and hardware provider “it’s Never 2 Late” (iN2L) is an enhancement, not a replacement, for more common health centers or the expertise there.
However, the Kiosks also work with trained on-site advisors and specialists (like nurses or social workers) who provide health counseling, monitoring, and inspiration. This combination of iN2L technology and face-to-face interaction makes the Kiosks a social magnet, drawing people to the senior centers, libraries, or housing complexes where they’re located. The Kiosks’ big touchscreen monitors make it easy for consumers to find health information, manage issues like hypertension or problems with memory or mobility, and have fun with cycling, airplane piloting, or golfing programs.
Since Senior Planet’s July report, readers hoping for a Kiosk near them have cause for optimism. The Kiosk program has grown to five Kiosks operating multiple times a week, one that’s active once a month and seven Roving Kiosks that move to locations throughout the North Shore of Massachusetts during the month. Looking ahead, Valerie Callahan, Director of Planning at GLSS, said GLSS has been contacted by organizations from at least four states outside of the Northeast about implementing Kiosks into their communities. “We are hopeful that by next year, there will be a growing network of Kiosks in many different states,” she said.
The newest part of the technology piece of the Kiosks is eTools for Health – interactive, specific “buttons” on the large screens at the Kiosk sites. In other words, if you have a health-related issue, there really is an app for that. “It’s really a low tech/high tech and everything in between concept,” said Callahan. “The really cool thing is that there’s a nurse there at the Kiosk, who can answer questions, offer tips, and just make it more meaningful.”
Want to quit smoking? Deal better with anxiety or hypertension? Press the button on the big screen and get useful information that can help everyone get – and stay – healthier. Featuring videos, interactive quizzes, games, and printable tip sheets, there are buttons for a wide range of topics, including planning for emergencies, travel training, mobility guides, and even a guide to available social services. “There’s trivia and competitions, or you can do it independently if you want, but there’s always someone there to talk to or answer questions,” Callahan said. Future eTools could include the ePillBox, eTools for Caregivers, and eTools for People Living with Disabilities she added
Also, since Senior Planet’s last report, the Kiosk program was presented with the Aging Innovations Award, the highest honor presented by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, a leading voice on aging issues, while GLSS added Silver Otter Strategies, a wholly owned subsidiary of GLSS, to focus on better overall health and lower costs through new programming and supports
(Watch a short video on the Kiosks) https://vimeo.com/158970372