Some called me crazy. Maybe an analyst who sees the non-tech world of aging through a tech-focused set of tinted glasses. When this blog began and I ranted about the importance of describing and shaping a business market of technology to help boomers and seniors successfully age in their own homes, I received virtual quizzical looks from many experts. I am a determined (some might say obnoxious) sort, however, and as I began to interview people, go to conferences, speak to industry experts, and write what I'd learned, I became more and more convinced.
Well, today from the vantage point of my presence at the 3000-strong ASA convention in Las Vegas, I know that I was right. The press release for Aging in Place Technology Watch hits the airwaves this morning, along with the Gilbert Guide release and journalist Mark Miller writes about the Market Overview in today's Retirement Revised. [The Market Overview and vendor matrix documents are live and available to all.] As the market overview describes and then asserts, Aging in Place Technology is a $2 billion market today, growing to $20 billion by 2020. And those I speak with say that is conservative.
The pace at which I am discovering vendors, websites, and new services is accelerating. I found another three yesterday -- software to manage a senior center called My Senior Center that could also serve as an administrative tool for the new senior villages (NORCs), an attractive medication management canaster system from AMAC and VibrantNation -- a peer-to-peer portal for women over 50.
This conference has tracks within tracks for baby boomer entrepreneurs starting businesses in the aging market (like me), tracks within tracks about technology and aging, boomer business strategies and speculation on the future of senior centers and healthcare in the home. From people I spoke with, it seems that there are a boatload of people standing up, dropping out of their current career paths, and seeking ways to enter this new, exciting, and today still woefully under-served consumer population.
In my market overview (which you can download from the homepage), I used a quote that to me, sums up the role of technology for aging: "Before the tech revolution, the village took care of us. Now we will have an electronic village." I believe this is so. And so, it must happen, sooner rather than later.
See -- and hear -- you soon with your views!