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Safely Connected...How AT&T Is Using Consumer Insights to Help Seniors Age in Place

Safely Connected...How AT&T Is Using Consumer Insights to Help Seniors Age in Place

I was excited to hear about some amazing new technology from AT&T that is currently in the early testing phases. Stefanie Elder delivered a presentation about How AT&T Is Using Consumer Insights to Help Seniors Age in Place.

There are over 40 million seniors in the United States. Most of them face the reality of having to move into an assisted living facility at some point in time - only a few are able to stay in their homes with full time care. AT&T found that the vast majority of seniors would much rather stay in their own home yet lack the care or help they might need.

This is where AT&T is stepping in with Digital Life - a security system and home automation that includes video monitoring and sensors that will make it possible for seniors to stay put in their homes. Some of the most innovative features will utilize sensors - one of which will keep track of when the person gets out of bed and alerts someone (via mobile technology) if they don't. Monitoring for the system will be available 24/7 via web or app access.

They are currently testing this technology, in partnership with Burke, which is available to AT&T employees and their families. They are collecting feedback from seniors and their caregivers who are in many different situations - giving them a broad range of ideas and possibilities for the future. With this new technology, the future of seniors is looking pretty bright!



Live from #TMRE:  Improv Improves Innovation

Live from #TMRE: Improv Improves Innovation

For the 2nd workshop today, I was glad I stayed in the Professional Development track.  As an information hound and being in this business for many years, it's always fun when I feel like I learned a new way to approach innovation.  And that was what this was all about. Michelle James, Chief Emergence Officer of The Center for Creative Emergence, took us through several exercises designed to break us away from the common fears we all have:  worry about not looking good, fear of saying something stupid, etc.


The Improv Principles and Improv Mindsets

she discussed (and we experienced) are all about acting "as if" what others are giving you is a gift...and then "adding to it."  And from that, there is freedom.  Feeling free, and that you will be accepted allows teams to STOP worrying about fears and in that moment, begin to create.  I love that:)

She also mentioned how natural it is to come to the edge of your comfort zone with resistance but that forcing through it (i.e. 'playing' by these principles), a new environment is created with those around you...and those who feel like they helped create, also feel as if they own the outcome!

Day One Begins with Innovation Tips

Day One Begins with Innovation Tips

I hurried over to the Disneyland hotel shortly after my arrival into Anaheim today. I knew I would be a bit late to the afternoon workshops but I really wanted to check them out.

As I entered, I could feel the energy in the room. The afternoon speaker, Holly O’Neill, was “Talking Business” about innovation and ideation techniques. She was discussing with participants on how to get the right people in the room. She suggested that it’s more important to get a creative administrative assistant in an ideation session than the ‘less than creative’ vice president.” One participant followed up to ask, “How do you know who is creative?” (which I found to be a great question) She quickly answered that if “you can give a quick test to get a read on creativity, it really helps. For example, as a pre-work exercise, have everyone list 10 things you can do with a brown paper bag? From that, you can gather a quick assessment on creativity level.

Some of her other tips included:

1) Bring in an expert. For example, if the category is regarding a new food concept, bring in a nutritionist or hire a professional ideator.

2) Have attendees do a homework assignment. For example, send everyone to the health food store and have them bring something unique and interesting into the session. Then, create an innovation table with everyone’s finds. This stimulates new thought from the onset of the session.

3) Make the room fun with toys, food and drinks as well as music.

4) Create a room set-up that includes using comfy seating, and extra space for exercises.

This 3-hour workshop managed to keep everyone on their toes with many ideation techniques, and we were all put on the spot with a starter activity called “Merry Names-Go-Round.”

April Bell

Please feel free to email me at if you’re here at The Market Research Event and know of something important I should cover on Tuesday’s blog.