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Market Research Reports

Published (10-09-2015) Boomer Mobile and Wearable Health Click here


Updated: (01-29-2015) Technology Market Overview Report Click here


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Updated (7-31-2012) The Future of Home Care Technology Click here


Published (2-14-2012) Linkage Technology Survey Age 65-100 Report Click here


Published (4-29-2011) Connected Living for Social Aging Report Click here

What mattered -- blog posts in aging and technology in 2015

2015 was an intriguing year for technology and aging. The market opportunity has become more apparent, as the oldest boomers reached aged 69.  Just for instance: there were multiple age-related fund launches; home care with tech underpinnings began to attract the lemming-like VCs; PERS offerings began to be integrated; speaking to devices (not typing) became increasingly possible; smartphones became tablet alternatives; senior housing organizations attempted re-branding of their offerings, likely to better match boomerdom. As we get closer to 2016 and summarizing key forward-looking trends, consider blog posts from 2015.

Consider aging tech and service long-term successes

When firms collapse noisily, peers notice.  Last week several firms commented (anonymously and by name) on the failure of Lively, a sensor-based home monitoring hub that tried too late to pivot into the PERS industry. Why do startups fail, anyway?  In this industry, it appears more often than not that the founders believed they were different from the other players in the market (Lifecomm or AtGuardianAngel); that consumers would shop in BestBuy for an unfamiliar category (Wellcore); that a celebrity would make a big difference (Floh Club).

Aging in place tech firm Lively is out of business – what can we learn?

Lively’s failure is making other market entrants nervous – so let’s consider.  This past week, the remaining assets (no people) of the Silicon Valley firm Lively (mylively.com) were acquired. So let’s take a few moments and reflect on what might have happened. What can startups and current players learn from this? Actually, not too much -- Lively was not typical of the industry it entered. It was founded in late 2012, launching in the spring of 2013 and sank quickly, going out of business just last week.

So wrong: Japan’s hope for the tech-enabled and robotic aging life

Remember the Cyberdine demo of HAL at ASA some years ago? The Hybrid Assistive Limb (HAL) was designed by a venture firm in Japan to help a wheelchair-bound individual stand and move. It was very cool. It was priced at that time (2009) at around $5000. By 2014, the device could be rented for the equivalent of $1400/month. And now it has again been modified. This time, according to the WSJ article about Japanese demographics, the country needs its older laborers to work substantially longer. So a 67-year-old worker in the construction industry can stack wood just like someone half his age. Yay. And then there is the charming Pepper robot, selling for an equivalent of $1600, leading recreational activities in senior housing, charming the residents. In Japan, 13% of the population is 75+, and in another statistic, 15% of the 'elderly' population has dementia.

Is aging in place technology at the 2.0 stage -- or beyond?

In the exhibit hall, there is often hope, sometimes disappointment. Startups hope for a committed investor, the inked partnership. Or perhaps a positive nod from a health firm or senior-housing community -- sell-once, deploy-many. At the mHealth Summit, now a HIMSS property as part of the multi-show Connected Health Summit, the obvious signal sent by HIMSS was its lack of interest in mobile and wearable mHealth – the summit was just one of several events scheduled at the same time. Attendees looked at the relatively limited scale of the show, noted its IT emphasis, compared to previous – some very big players did not even bother to participate (Walgreens, but not CVS?). Too much health IT, not enough mhealth? Or is all health tech now actually health IT?

Rock Health Survey: Digital Health needs trust -- and older users

Rock Health buries the lead -- consumers don't want to share with tech firms. [Rant on.] Digital health firms are having a tough time, despite upwards of $6 billion from me-too investors, and that's just last year. The Rock Health Digital Health Consumer Adoption Survey 2015 of 4017 people is a testimonial to the mismatch between investor optimism and consumer skepticism. On the skepticism front, blame is placed on a variety of factors, including lack of sharing of data across health providers ('Tech companies don't have the problem, it's the siloed health institutions.') But wait. "The contenders–Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Samsung—all fared poorly, with approximately 5 percent of people saying they’d share with these companies. Facebook was the outlier -- only 2% would share health or DNA data with the social network." Duh. Despite a few hysterically enthusiastic reads of this data, like Forbes, a few saw gloom. Kudos to MIT Technology Review and a few others for noting the tech company chart, small and at the end of the report.

Why not an insurance to protect from a disruptive technology future?

Optimistic boomers think future technology will be a piece of cake.  Asked to picture the future, boomers think they will be different from their parents who resisted new technologies.  Even Best buy agrees that this is a boomer-senior problem – that the next generation won’t need genius bars or geek squads. Even boomers insist that their tech-savviness today will serve them well in 20-25 years – they will accommodate whatever ‘innovations’ Silicon Valley designers, all still 20-somethings, will foist on them. Boomers see the unknown tech future as something they can and want to deal with, the way they mastered (sort of) home network setup, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Skype, and Instagram. And they will want to deal with it, because, well, they are boomers.

Five technologies from the 2015 mHealth Summit in DC

Less mHealth and more HealthIT. When Lenovo displays a full size cutaway blade server at the entrance to its booth, you can surmise that the mHealth Summit is more IT than personal/mobile. HIMSS, the media company for health IT events, seems to have lost interest in selling booth space for their mHealth Exhibit Hall. Most visitors I talked with were disappointed at the reduced scale of the event, which is now combined with the Cybersecurity Summit, PopHealth Summit, Global mHealth Forum. Perhaps this was an optimization strategy? Free up the month of December? At any rate here are five new technologies from this event that could potentially benefit boomers and seniors, content is from the companies:

Why do aging services organizations change their names?

What's in a name? At last week’s LeadingAge, CCRCs became Life Plan Communities. The change was made because "continuing care" implies a setting where older adults are being cared for. (Duh.) And apparently 84% of consumers younger than 65 didn’t know what a CCRC was.  Probably young folks also didn’t get it when AAHSA became LeadingAge in 2011. To the outside observer who last attended in 2010, the LeadingAge conference seems unchanged, and the business of the members? Also unchanged. The book of session topics, exhibit hall booth purchasers, and the roles of executives attending – appears to be the same old, same, as it were, old – not-for-profit CCRCs, uh, Life Plan Communities. Oh, and the for-profit equivalent, ALFA, will not to be outdone namewise - that association is now called Argentum (Latin for 'Silver').

Five technologies from LeadingAge 2015 Annual Meeting in Boston

An age-friendly event in young Boston. Last week, LeadingAge returned to Boston after an absence of 23 years, now that the city has a convention center that can hold the 8500 attendees. Perhaps more remarkable, is the desire of the city to become age and dementia-friendly, as opined by the Mayor, Marty Walsh, who received a citation for such efforts. For convention attendees, that may need some more work. The pedestrian walk time duration near the convention center was just enough time to (walk quickly) and only reach the road's median. No surprise – as the town is for the young, and this new area was likely designed by them: Boston's median resident age is 31.7. The event exhibition hall was the expected mix of food service providers, furnishings, bathroom supplies, technology suppliers, and health-related products for the senior living industry.  There were quite a few sizable technology companies known in the CCRC/Senior Housing market, including CDW, Stanley Healthcare, Panasonic, LG CNS, Hamilton CapTel, IN2L, SimpleC, Care Innovations. Here are just five new technologies drawn from the event, with the material from the company websites:

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