A quantum leap for iN2L

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Jack York, It's Never 2 Late
Jack York, It's Never 2 Late

Over the years I've enjoyed writing a multitude of blogs and posts. While I honestly have no idea who reads them or not, they're  cathartic for me to write. (Many thanks to McKnight's over the years for letting be pontificate!)  

I've been amazed at the dedication and passion of so many in senior living. My favorite topics share the stories of remarkably inspirational work done by remarkably humble people.

So today it's a bit out of character for me to write about a transformational leap that iN2L has made in the last year, the story of a product called FOCUS. For 18 years, iN2L has fought the good fight in trying to dignify activity and therapy programming through our systems primarily designed for group engagement. It's been a remarkably successful run. More than 2,500 communities now use iN2L in ways myself and our two other founders (brother Tom and Leslie Sweeney) could never have imagined.  

What started as a simple donation in 1999 has wound up transforming thousands and thousands of lives over the years. It never would have happened without the hundreds of activity directors, dementia experts, therapists, CNA's, social workers, etc. who have shaped the product.

The leap we have made with FOCUS is the ability to impact a person one-on-one. You can do it through our existing product, but it's not intimate to touch your picture on a 70” touch screen television. But now, after we've spent many hours and a lot of money, we're pleased to introduce an intuitive tablet that we are calling FOCUS. 

It's particularly ideal for the “household” model, as on one tablet several individuals can have their picture on the screen. By simply touching their picture their own content opens up, totally different content from one person to the next.  

Our CEO, Tom Bang, likes to talk about prescribed engagement. If it's 2 in the morning, and a resident is extremely agitated, before heading down a psychotropic drug path, touch their picture. Maybe you'll get their granddaughter saying hello, a priest saying the rosary, or the genre of music they enjoy. We're simply getting people what they want.

It's not that complicated, and its not at all outlandish to see the day when that's what a doctor will prescribe. If I was giving myself a prescription, it would be two doses of Bruce Springsteen, three doses of my daughter Perrin singing the blues, and one rerun of Nebraska destroying Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. I'll take that over 3 doses of Donepezil.

As we plan the roadmap of the company,  I like to think about what I would want for myself down the road. I speak all over the country, love to throw fun iN2L dinners with work colleagues, and am constantly talking and bantering at conferences. But at the end of the day, I very much like to be alone, to read books quietly, to dwell contentedly in my own solitude. The point is that I think the world of senior living can be obsessed with dragging people into group activities whether they want to be there or not. When it's time, I'll want to be Skyping with my kids, listening to music, playing Words with Friends, reading, and seeing what Francis from Cameroon is up to. FOCUS is the perfect tool for a person like me.

So that's it, my once-a-year promotion of iN2L. A huge thanks to the iN2L team, and our advisory group of customers,  who made this product happen. A particular shout out to Curt Frisch from iN2l: He was the glue that kept the FOCUS project all together, on budget and on time.

Thanks for listening and I promise my next words will be about one of you out there.

Jack York is the president and co-founder of It's Never 2 Late® (iN2L).

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