kraydel_admin – Kraydel

It’s time to make customer support more personal for older adults

03 May 2021 | 0 Comment


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For a decade we have been moving towards a predominantly digital world; online banking, online shopping, remote working powered by video conferencing and the convergence of wearables and healthtech to name but a few.
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Is perception the biggest barrier to technology adoption amongst older adults?

18 March 2021 | 0 Comment


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Older adults face unique challenges when it comes to the adoption of new technology. The barriers can range from the physical to psychological.

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Government support has been key to healthtech surviving Covid-19

18 March 2021 | 0 Comment


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The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated societal level change at an unprecedented scale and scope. Working from home has gone from an occasional perk, to the new normal. Health technology has gone from a slow burn to a national priority.
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Thank you for the iPads and iPhones for care homes. I’m sure Apple shareholders will be thrilled – but will older adults?

27 October 2020 | 0 Comment


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While Matt Hancock’s drive to deliver digital transformation in the health care sector should be applauded, the recent announcement of iPads for care homes is short-sighted and ignores the market research.

The 11,000 iPads amount to less than one unit for each of the UK’s estimated 12,500 care homes; a drop in the ocean for the millions of vulnerable older adults likely to be shielding this winter.

It’s also bizarre to be providing touch screen devices for communal use during a pandemic where the public is constantly reminded that the virus can be transmitted through hard surfaces such as mobile phone screens. Hopefully, they come with plenty of cleaning wipes.

Then there is the massive cost of purchasing and distributing the tablet devices, which start at £329 per unit, as well as the monthly cost of a 4G mobile subscription and training the User on a device and technology that most are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with.

Research conducted by Kraydel in July 2020, showed that under a quarter (23%) of older adults felt comfortable using a tablet device, and just 18% were familiar with using Whatsapp, 15% with using Skype, and 9% using Zoom.

As we demonstrated to Mr. Hancock in 2019, the User experience of a smartphone or tablet device has been shown time and again to be suboptimal for older adults and drives anxiety which reduces use. For example, a tablet device needs constant charging every 7-10 hours. A tablet also needs to be on hand when a loved one is calling, not left on a table, in a draw, or another room. Smart devices also limit calls to just the person handling the device, excluding other loved ones in the room.

Older users of tablet devices also often struggle with the fatigue in their arm and neck muscles whilst holding these large devices. Additionally, with the onset of old age, many people experience reduced circulation in their fingertips making operating an iPad both frustrating and impractical to use.

For the loved ones they are attempting to communicate with, there’s also nothing worse than a wobbly, handheld video call featuring extreme close-ups of grannies nostrils or ear lobes.

Now compare this experience of a tablet, with a two-way TV-based video call. Whereas only a small minority of older adults are comfortable using a tablet, 97% of people we surveyed owned their own TV. That TV is the biggest and brightest screen in their home, with an entire room arranged to sit comfortably around it. Every care home and house in the country has a TV room; no one has a tablet room! This is precisely why care homes have approached Kraydel for TV-based video calling in residents’ rooms and also in communal areas.

TV-based video calls mean no more extreme close-ups on a handheld device – instead, you can see the older adults’ whole environment and body language. There’s no device to charge, and no device to hold throughout a call; meaning longer and more engaged conversations that the entire family can participate in.

Kraydel’s Konnect platform has been specifically designed for older adults, can be set up in minutes, and takes no training. By removing the barriers to use, we are tackling social isolation and loneliness; connecting older adults to their loved ones but also enabling telemedicine.

To complement TV video calling, Konnect enables doctors and healthcare professionals to make video calls, schedule appointments, and set reminders and notifications through the TV. We’ve integrated the widest range of IoT health, well-being, and environmental sensors to enable care professionals to get a fuller understanding of the Users health and resilience through our analytics dashboard.

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A healthcare system too rigid and risk-averse to embrace the shift to home-based care?

12 July 2020 | 0 Comment


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There have been an abundance of reports with an almost embarrassing wealth of evidence about the quality and productivity of care outside of hospital settings.

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Tired of the gimmicks, Healthtech needs to get its act together

28 June 2020 | 0 Comment


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The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that health and particularly social care delivery is under public scrutiny like never before.

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The challenges of moving from lockdown to “new norm”

19 May 2020 | 0 Comment


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We’ve had several weeks of listening to the Government, and for those outside England, listening to our devolved leaders, tell us to stay at home to protect ourselves and the NHS.

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AgeTech: How UI design has had to adapt for elderly tech users

27 March 2020 | 0 Comment


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For those who’ve grown up in the digital age, UX and UI design have become intuitive. We can navigate around any site on any device.

But for many older users, parts of a user interface (UI) simply have no point of reference. This poses real challenges when developing tech for the elderly.

Let’s consider icons and symbols

For those that haven’t studied UI design let me explain the difference between icons and symbols. An icon is a representation of an object, an action, or an outcome that relates to something familiar in the real world. So, a picture of an old-fashioned SLR camera on a button that takes a picture is an icon. Most people can work out through reason alone what buttons with icons are going to do.

Symbols, however, are arbitrary and must be learned. The symbol for the number “3” has no “threeness” – you have to be taught that it represents the concept of three items. A drawing of a dollar bill is an icon, the dollar sign “$” is a symbol – it means nothing until someone tells you the meaning.

Distinguishing between the two concepts is super important when the user may have no reason to be familiar with the symbol. In Japan the check mark (aka tick mark) and the X cross mark both mean “wrong” or “no”. The symbol for “correct” or “yes” is a circle. Yup – this one caught us out.

But things can get messier when over time an icon becomes a symbol.

Most applications use a simplified drawing of a floppy disk to represent the “save to disk” function. That’s an icon to a middle-aged guy like me because I’ve used floppy disks, but to a Gen Z it’s a symbol. Most of them have never seen a floppy disk, they’ve just learned through exposure what the symbol means.

Now consider the “home” button that is often found on remote controls and in user interfaces. It’s a picture – so that would suggest that it’s an icon. But it’s not – because pressing the button doesn’t build you a house, teleport you to your home, or open a real estate website. It’s a symbol because it represents the abstract concept of returning to the normal “point of entry” into the system. You have to learn the concept of a home screen before a picture of a home can trigger it. My mother had no idea at all what a button with a little blue house would do if she pressed it – so of course she didn’t want to press it.

The concept of menus

We understand the concept of menus as rows, or columns, or grids of icons where a “highlight”, which might be a box, a colour change, a 3D transformation or something else, indicates which of the current icons is currently “selected”.

But these are arbitrary conventions. It’s not obvious why, for example, when you press an arrow key it’s the highlight that moves and not the row or column. So ask a naïve user whether to press the left or right arrow to shift the highlight to the item on its left, and they are just as likely to say “left” as “right”.

When I tried to get my mum to use a media browser connected to her TV so that she could watch her favourite shows (I Claudius, The Barchester Chronicles, Downton Abbey – great stuff) she blew my mind with some of her observations. Once I asked her to use the “up arrow”, and she peered at the remote control and said “there is no up arrow”. I said “of course there is” and pointed at it. After a moment she observed “No, that’s a forward arrow”. She was quite right of course. When you point the remote at the TV the arrows are all in the horizontal plane. And so you have left, right, forward and backward – there is no UP arrow to navigate a vertical menu!

On more than one occasion I realised my obvious frustration trying to explain to my own mother how the UI on the media player worked. It upset her enough to say “Now you’re getting cross with me, I don’t want this thing, take it away”.

How Kraydel has evolved

We’ve worked with seniors at a Living Lab to understand the frustrations and barriers that prevent older people from using tech.

That input has gone into designing Kraydel’s plug and play TV video calling platform. We knew that installation had to be simple and straightforward – so we built a hardware unit that seniors could install in under 2 minutes.

We knew that complex tasks such as changing HDMI channel confuse even experienced users. So we developed a TV takeover function – allowing incoming and outbound calls with the simple click of a button. We also knew that almost no one makes use of the dozens of buttons on a remote control. So we designed our own lightweight, easy to hold remote with only three large buttons to control navigation.

Like so many things in the world of design, it’s about keeping things simple. By putting users at the heart of everything we build, we hope to transform how tech delivers for the elderly.

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POSTED BY kraydel_admin