Publisher Letter: Time to Embrace Technological Advancements

Photo of Bob Hunt, publisher of the Idaho Senior Independent

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My Med Supplies

By BOB HUNT, Publisher

Remember the good old days before the internet, smartphones, artificial intelligence, and self-driving electric cars? These advancing technologies are now in the mainstream.

I entered the publishing business years ago, fresh out of college. Producing a newspaper involved a lot of people in an office and systems that today are obsolete.

Computers back then were slow, and we had no internet.

We captured photos on 35mm film, which required developing in a darkroom. Full-color print was expensive and rare. We reduced or enlarged images using a reduction wheel then sent them down a dumb waiter to the photo mechanical transfer room, where they were resized and converted into halftone dots for reproduction on a printing press.

All of those processes were replaced with software and computers. Now we do preproduction with a stroke of a key and tracking on a mouse pad. We don’t even have to go into an office anymore. Our staff all work remotely from home.

The publishing business is not alone in dealing with change and progress.

I went to my dentist a few weeks ago and got a crown replaced in one sitting. Three hours, and I was out with a new tooth that fit better than the original. Dr. Dodrill in Kalispell, Montana, uses laser and 3D technology to map and build a tooth in minutes.

Those of you who have suffered through a crown the old way can now benefit from a painless, short morning visit, so you can go out and play a round of golf afterwards.

A few years ago my knee was really sore, and I was seeing specialists to ease the pain. I ski, so that left knee is as important as a wheel on a car. During the ski season, I had been wearing a metal and Velcro unloading brace to help.

The pain persisted. I had to resort to a partial knee replacement. Major surgery, yes, but I was out of the hospital in one day and fully recovered with physical therapy. I look forward to a full ski season this year.

Orthopedic surgeons today can now perform ankle, hip, and shoulder replacements with decent outcomes. Not so long ago it wasn’t easy.

And now, smartphone apps track your movement, send medication reminders to you and heart monitor reports to your physician. Bluetooth blood pressure cuffs record daily measurements and track trends. Linking  to your smartphone, the cuff readings warn of any problems, which you can share with your medical provider.

Tech designers have engineered solutions with aging in mind, making it easy to embrace technology at any age. You can learn to use these smart devices and even get good at it. Hell, I know folks in their 90s who are now leading the charge. ISI

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