Nicely edited interview I did with All Things Considered about the market potential for technology for seniors.
CCRCs as destiny? Unlikely. Over the past few weeks, various statistics have caused me to roll my eyes (40% of doctors now consulting online -- huh?). But this one got my attention: the Wall Street Journal article about Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). The article, which was about financial risk, cited an AAHSA estimate that "at least 745,000 older adults live in [1900 of] these communities", comprised of independent, assisted living, and nursing homes. Given the 39 million people over the age of 65, even if CCRCs double in capacity before 2020, they will reach a small percentage of that year's 55 million seniors. >>> Read more . . .
It’s time for a quick August update of more new and notable tech offerings, from emerging vendors and new offerings from existing vendors – including beta testing. Please let me know about others you know about and are not spotted via the Product Snapshots term on this site: >>> Read more . . .
Advice to vendors of technology solutions. From tech integrator Susan Estrada, Happy @Home:
Mark Weiser eloquently stated "The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it."This is where Age Tech needs to head - towards technology as a servant. But, we are definitely not there yet. This is a high-touch market that requires high-quality staff that does honest, careful identification of client needs then installs and supports reliable technologies. I need to be able to pay my staff living wages.
GE-Intel Joint venture: transcends the past, picks up the pace. In the wake of endless studies about the benefits of telehealth and in-home monitoring, finally Intel and GE decided to transcend the good works and research phases and form a new joint-venture company. The progression has been slow and steady: GE resells QuietCare, buys Living Independently Group, partners for distribution with DirectSupply, and in April invests $3 million in Ireland's Tril Centre's research for independent living -- already recipient of a sizable Intel investment. But the organizational shifting and fits-and-starts hampered QuietCare and in the meantime, interesting startups emerged who out-innovate and under-price. Meanwhile, over at Intel, years of effort and research, propelled by champion-in-chief Eric Dishman, culminated in only a few actual products for independent living -- Intel Health Guide and the Intel Reader. So a joint venture company offers a chance to capitalize on what both organizations have done and learned, but also to get moving. It couldn't happen soon enough or at a better time. >>> Read more . . .
Buzz in the press is good for all. Articles about using technology to monitor aging parents -- like the most recent two in the Thursday NY Times by Hilary Stout and Eric Taub can be great for the aging tech industry. They generate buzz and interest in the media; they are syndicated and carried throughout the Internet; re-mailed (many times to me); they boost awareness of prospective buyers; and create curiosity and even leads, both of consumer prospects as well as vendors and dealer channels. Given buzz like this, one might think that technologies to help monitor your aging parents will now be well-understood and vendors will have to spend less of their time educating and explaining, and more time just taking orders. We thought that when we read the February, 2009 Times article by John Leland. Meanwhile, Living Independently Group, now part of GE, launched QuietCare in 2003 -- when remote monitoring then really was fairly 'new'. And then again, in September, 2009, in Business Week, when Arlene Weintraub wrote about the business of aging in place. Oh, were it true. >>> Read more . . .
So far, the summer sizzles with aging technology news and trends. After a week or two of chasing each other around about robots, this past week both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times validated remote monitoring for caregiving and health technology markets with multiple vendor references. Buzz is a good start -- what's needed span multiple dimensions of change (in my view) before markets become mainstream. >>> Read more . . .
Young people and seniors -- a non-obvious formula. A few years ago Scientific American published a study asserting that socialization between young and elderly improves the health and well-being of seniors (yeah, so the study was about fruit flies -- never mind that). This week a few other news items caught my eye: >>> Read more . . .
It's been more than 6 months since this blog post about tech trends that would influence product capability in 2010. It seems fitting to check status on what's happened so far, with another status check planned just prior to the new year: >>> Read more . . .
Software as a Service to seniors. A follow-up: It was just over a year ago that FirstSTREET and MyGait launched the GO Computer -- a Software as a Service (SaaS) PC for seniors who (no surprise) don't want to or can't deal with the hassle of upgrades, security updates, and the myriad of features that make owning a standard computer so challenging. Chatting with Chuck Lalonde, SVP of Senior Services at MyGait, the vendor that provides a variety of computer-related products for seniors, it turns out that more than 5000 GO PCs, all desktop, have been sold since that June, 2009 launch, not counting those sold into senior housing communities. Chuck explained the 'service' that is the benefit to seniors provided by the GO PC, which now sells for $879 plus $19.95/month. >>> Read more . . .
Tech coalitions -- small steps to the start of a community service? Last week was the start of a new Forum category, Community Coalitions About Aging Technology, with San Diego County as the first entrant - 'to help local organizations become more familiar with technologies that could help seniors in the county.' Soon to have their first meeting, Denise Nelesen spoke about the intent, which is to bring local organizations up to speed on what products are out there. She is particularly interested in moving beyond 'computers in libraries' to other categories of products that could be useful to seniors. If others have similar local initiatives and ideas about how to do this, please post in the forum. >>> Read more . . .