Prescription bottle caps with light reminders make list of top 'Nana' technologies

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Microchip-embedded prescription bottle caps, a stylish activity monitor, an exercise program and an emergency assistance device stand out as great products for Grandma and Grandpa. That is according to George Mason University Professor Andrew Carle, who recently released the top “Nana” technologies for 2010.

Carle, director of the university's Program in Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration, coined the term “Nana" technology in 2004 to define the growing industry of microchip-based products for seniors. This year, he singled out four: GlowCaps, Wellcore, DriveSharp and ActiveONE-Personal Assistance Locator.

GlowCaps are designed to replace the cap on standard prescription bottles. They provide light and sound reminders at programmed times. Meanwhile, the Wellcore activity monitor is an update of the wearable emergency pendant and incorporates automatic “fall detection” technology and other information. DriveSharp provides 20-minute training programs to strengthen attention and peripheral vision. Carle's last pick, ActiveONE, is a cell phone-size device that offers live 24-7 operator assistance. Services range from emergency assistance to medication reminders.