Post CES reflection on role of technology and Alzheimer's.
Boston, mid-May, 2016
GE Heathcare announced this week "that it will distribute and co-market Living Independently's QuietCare products globally." QuietCare "alerts caregivers to behavioral changes that may signal potential health issues or emergency situations." My view -- this represents an intersection between the health and aging in place marketplaces. How it gets categorized may significantly influence market adoption.
QuietCare is a behavioral remote monitoring system based on information collected from wireless sensors placed in a residence. From its own product description, it functions as a 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week early detection and early warning system that lets caregivers and family members know that a loved one is safe. It recognizes emerging problems before they become emergencies. Used in assisted living facilities, senior communities, and homes, it as much a prevention of potential health risks (like falling, turning the thermostat up too high, not getting out of bed). In these instances, the individual is a resident, not necessarily or not yet a patient. So how will GE Healthcare market it? Is it part of the $500 million US market, growing to $5 billion globally over the next 10 years?
I would argue that this partnership represents the intersection of health care technology (remote patient monitoring) and aging in place technology, a market that will grow as the percentage of the population ages and individuals who are aging wish to remain in their home of choice. Note the wording here: "We see enormous potential in senior health care monitoring," said Omar Ishrak, president of GE Healthcare's Clinical Systems unit. "Demographic changes such as the growing aging population present enormous health care challenges in the care of seniors and the management of chronic disease."Note the word 'seniors'. Let's hope GE Healthcare's investment catalyzes the home monitoring market that helps keep seniors (not just patients) staying in their homes.