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aging in place

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aging in place

Taking Shape: The 2016 Market Overview of Technology for Aging in Place

Six years ago, you had to make the case for tech. Why was it useful to describe a market of technology that could help people live longer in their homes?  It was necessary to justify this lens with demographic projections, costs of aging somewhere else, how many wanted to stay in their homes – and then, only then – start describing enabling technologies that could help facilitate their own or family member’s successful aging at home.  The tech market was filled with passionate founders and niche, senior-focused products. That was then.

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?

Five aging in place technologies from AARP’s LivePitch

Everybody off the bus -- the last convention for AARP. Last week’s Life@50+ National Event in Miami was reportedly the last time AARP will produce one of these national entertainment-filled conventions with speakers and tracks for all interests and crowds of boomer-and-beyond women (mostly, based on observation) -- volunteering to pack lunches, climbing onto buses, and basking in the Florida sunshine. The health-focused startup Live Pitch event on Thursday heard 4 minutes from the 10 finalists, 2 minutes from five Florida-based startups, and short 1-minute pitches from alternates from each of those. Judges selected Splitsecnd, a portable device-plus-service for automatic vehicle crash tracking (similar to GM's profitable OnStar, but currently vehicle brand-independent). The audience voted for Audicus (for buying lower-priced hearing aids online) and Constant Therapy (a mobile solution to help patients improve brain function after stroke or brain injury.)

Tech for aging at home – plenty of news, what’s the meaning?

In tackling aging with tech -- interesting few weeks.  Sometimes odd things happen in sequences that beg a backward search for meaning. So let’s recap: within the past three weeks, Silicon Valley VCs invested in a presumably tech-enabled home care agency, Apple and IBM coughed up 5 million iPads for Japanese seniors (to “tackle aging”), and the US Senate held a hearing on the benefits of technology for those aging at home. Some might see these three disparate events, when viewed together, as a trend that shows how tech, big companies, and public policy are all coming together in an age-related trifecta of tech transformation. Whew!

SENATE AGING COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP SENIORS AGE IN PLACE

05/04/2015

WASHINGTON, DC-- Every day, 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65, and Americans 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of our population. At the same time that our nation’s population is aging, the number of caregivers upon which these aging Americans can rely is decreasing.  According to numerous surveys, most seniors want to continue to live independently in their own homes and avoid nursing homes and other institutionalized care as long as possible. 

Look back at innovation competitions to help older adults

Competitions abound – all need groundwork.  Just a few years ago you might have noticed that there were few business plan competitions for products and services targeting the older adult market (the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit begun by Mary Furlong in 2004 was a rare exception.)  When its Letter of Intent page appeared at the end of 2011, CMS innovation grant applications included technology submissions behind the scenes, in partnership with non-profits and healthcare delivery organizations. Then came the $1 billion round two announced in December 2014 – and with that, multiple other tech solutions were included to help deliver significant changes, including health information exchanges, patient engagement, the emerging field of population health, and today’s CMS reimbursement for telehealth.  With these approvals, CMS effectively laid the groundwork for many of the firms that compete today in health segments.

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