Blogs

2015: From Niche to Norm -- Technology for Aging in Place

What is the line between a distinct product market and tech customization?  In 2009 when the original Market Overview was published, the search began to identify the small group of entrepreneurs focused on serving seniors – from the AirGuru SV1 Video Phone and Big Screen Live all the way to WellAware and Wellcore.  Why note such a market, you might ask? All of those companies and many others had the heart and focus to try to craft something usable by and for an older adult. In many cases these were inventions compensating for a gap in care and oversight, but most often filling a gap in internet access and/or usability of devices and software. >>> Read more . . .

Five Recent Technology Announcements for Aging in Place

There is more to the world of aging-related technologies than CES. Seriously, can that be true? And yes, I actually know several people who asked me in the past week -- what is CES? My explanation was weak -- there were no follow-up questions. Anyway, these five companies that have been focused on technology to help older adults made recent announcements of changes to their business strategies, products, and/or branding approaches. Each in its own way offers a milestone for the industry -- but taken together, the announcements demonstrate a focus on the older adult population and new ways to deliver benefit for them by providing additional products, service innovations and partnerships during 2015. Text comes directly from company websites: >>> Read more . . .

CES 2015 Part 3 of 3 – Six more innovations useful for older adults

So many companies, so much press.  So far, even though the gadget gadfly media has produced multiple post-CES articles, they are mostly of the gizmos-for-you and even for those health tech companies like Withings, press caught them in the activity-tracking ‘fun’ wearable category. Some write-ups were good visual tours, and some press folk offered up a ho-hum, nothing new to see here view, like the NY Times – Everything Old is New Again. Which is silly. There were a gazillion new things to see at CES, but no way to make sense of them. The floor layout in both convention centers we were in could best be categorized as dart board random -- except for booth numbers and mega-broad categories. So to finish off this trilogy of post-CES blogs, Part 1 addressed a few tech offerings in the aging-related space. Part 2 took a look at a few of the health-related technology innovations. Finally, a few others that could assist in the older adults market, here some additional picks, only OnKöl and VideoforAlle targeting the senior market. As Ars Technica noted about CES 2015, that's a wrap. >>> Read more . . .

CES 2015 Part 1 – Six New Offerings in the Aging Tech Market

International CES 2015 – overwhelming at every turn. What a relief -- it's over. International CES was an extremely difficult venue to sort into useful categories – the Sands Exhibition Hall (part of Tech West) was filled with every health-related variant of wearable, fitness, and lifestyle improvement like Belty that expands as you eat more – as well as Eureka Park. Watch those fit women peddling bikes and running on treadmills, that distance-measured basketball jump shot, and of course -- the pet-related tracker with the large and tippy stuffed dog.  And they don’t call it International for nothing – walking by, saw (or heard) French entrepreneurs (22% of all startups at CES), the Israeli pavilion, Italian, Spanish, German, and of course, Chinese and Japanese. It is an overwhelming show, not for the faint of heart or foot, and that’s just to get from hotels to conferences and exhibits. >>> Read more . . .

The WSJ readers are boomers -- someone should tell the tech writers

The Wall Street Journal thinks that tech will change your life. Perhaps it will even rock your 2015.  Rocking their 2015 is just the kind of experience that WSJ readers -- average age of 57 -- really want.  But the Journal, ever hopeful for pushing down the subscriber age into the ad world's desirable 20’s and 30’s, hopes that the readers will be as excited as their current breathless tech columnists Fowler and Stern. So they want its boomer audience to grasp How to Get Ready. But of course! Starting with Windows 10 – which will have a resurrected Start menu and yes, it will improve multi-tasking – by the fall of 2015. Now aren't you excited? >>> Read more . . .

Aging in Place Technology Watch Top Blog Posts in 2014

PERS devices and wearables – what will bring them together? Now that the Washington Post has declared that Apple and Google will solve our health problems, aren’t you relieved? Oh, you’re a bit concerned about your privacy, the fact that all of your outside-of-Facebook web searches are by default accessible to Facebook – that you have to opt out on a completely separate website in order to terminate tracking of this activity?  As you wander around Google, Yahoo or through iTunes, your searches about health topics, those are all now relevant for advertisers as provided by Facebook!  And extra-special, what do you think about the fact that Apple lobbied away any need for FDA approval for anything health-related? Feeling safely healthy now? >>> Read more . . .

Anticipating yours, mine, and our CES 2015

International CES expects 150,000 people this year and 3500 exhibits. I will be going -- my feet are tired in anticipation. The show organizer, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), represents the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. Almost every commercial tech company will be there -- why even Apple is represented by Hyundai and other partners. In fact, Apple’s iWatch threatens to overwhelm the show with its non-presence. Or maybe it won’t be the missing watch, but the yet-to-arrive HomeKit which will dominate the show.  I dunno about that, seems like the show is still dominated by cars. And will those giant TVs be supplanted by drones, wearables, and virtual reality? Or maybe the new generation of smart homes? Appliance and home improvement big businesses still believe in someone, somewhere having an as-yet-unmet desire for a smarter home. That’s been going on for a while, always hedged as the 'smart home for the future' because most homes are still pretty dopey. Perhaps the pipe dream of a smart home has never resonated with home owners – "connecting a bunch of devices that are primed for breaking." >>> Read more . . .

Five technologies for older adults from the 2014 mHealth Summit

The mHealth Summit held last week was an ever-more HealthIT (along with Digital Health and mHealth brethren) and the mobile/app aware, digital vision for the future, an extravaganza of technology advancement -- sounding vaguely familiar. Hey, there’s the renamed Patient Centered Medical Home, at this conference, called the Intelligent Medical Home). There were all of those Games for Health, behavior change, patient engagement, care coordination, and quite a few pharma-sponsored sessions. As is typical of an event like this, a plethora of investment-related, venture fund and startup-type sessions could be found. >>> Read more . . .

Connecting disability, longevity and technology for seniors

Did you know that nearly 40% of seniors report having a disability? In the category of number obsession, this new snapshot of a government report caught my eye and should catch yours – it is referencing 16 million people. The report notes six types of disability reported in census data: hearing, sight, thinking and memory, walking, self-care and independent living.  From the MedlinePlus release: "People older than 85 accounted for more than 25 percent of all disabilities among seniors, although they represented only 14 percent of the overall senior population." >>> Read more . . .

Ten Tips -- 2014 Year-End Guide for Launching a Product or Service

So you want to launch a boomer/senior, home health tech product or service.  As your new company gets ready to travel into battle at mHealth, CES, and all those 2015 launch events to-be-named-later, it is time to for you to revisit this guidance. Perhaps some time soon, your new or existing company will officially launch a new product or service, or perhaps a long-awaited, over-described and much-anticipated offering will finally ship. Here is a checklist that continues to hold true – with a few links that are merely examples: >>> Read more . . .

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