Tag Archives: seniors driving

Ford looks to introduce health, wellness apps to its cars

Cars are already being programmed to parallel park, sense slippery road conditions and alert drivers to impending collisions. Soon they’ll be helping diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels, detect unhealthy air conditions and offer wellness advice.

That’s the plan from the Ford Motor Company, which is working with healthcare companies WellDoc, Medtronic and SDI Health to include health and wellness in-car connectivity solutions on the Ford SYNC platform. The platform makes use of AppLink to allow drivers to access smartphone apps by voice control.

With studies showing that Americans spend more than 500 million “commuter hours” per week in their automobiles, the concept of providing access to information while they’re driving or stuck in traffic is certainly attractive.

“Ford SYNC is well known in the industry and with consumers as a successful in-car infotainment system, but we want to broaden the paradigm, transforming SYNC into a tool that can improve people’s lives as well as the driving experience,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technology and vice president of Ford Research and Innovation.

Ford is joining with WellDoc, a Baltimore-based developer of chronic disease management solutions, to integrate WellDoc’s DiabetesManager System in the SYNC platform to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their disease while in their car. The integration is designed to allow diabetics to enter data such as medications, exercise and diet information through speech-to-text interaction while in their vehicle, then gain access to WellDoc’s clinical decision support tools.

“WellDoc was founded on the concept of helping people manage their chronic disease with the help of everyday personal tools that are easy to use and accessible on a regular basis,” said Anand K. Lyer, WellDoc’s president and chief operating officer. “People with diabetes must adhere to a strict regimen to manage their disease. Through our research with Ford, we’ve created a unique in-vehicle environment that supports those with diabetes so they can be continuously connected to the tools that help them maintain their daily routines without interruption.”
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Seniors Driving Safely and Responsibly

An older driver does not necessarily mean an unsafe driver. Many older drivers compensate for declining abilities and continue to educate themselves on driving and traffic issues.

Regardless of age, certain functional abilities must be present in order to drive safely. Chief among these are:
· Cognitive-the mental process of acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception
· Visual- basic and complex vision as well as depth perception and night vision
· Physical-being able to coordinate and move the body

As we age, these abilities naturally decline, and a majority of the time, medical issues and/or the medications taken can further decline these abilities. The changes are often subtle and not always recognized by individuals.

Get an evaluation of your loved ones driving skills or suggest they take a refresher course…
AARP Driver Safety Education Class

How to Talk to Senior Parents About Driving

As the oldest baby boomers turn 65 next year, many of them see their parents still behind the wheel and wonder if it’s time to put the brakes on mom and dad.

As part of a continuing “Senior Moment” CBS News series, in conjunction with their print partner USA Today, News correspondent Michelle Miller took a look at aging drivers. For the entire story and video

Resources on senior driving:
• Bring the older adult to the DMV and have them take the written, vision and driving test.

• Reach out to DMV to find out the guidelines and if your parent can pass the components to be a safe driver.

• AARP sponsors a driver safety program to help people deal with aging issues and driving.

• Association for Driver Rehabilitation has specialists that can help improve an older person’s driving or test to see if he/she can still drive.

• The AARP and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration