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09/19/2017

Hurricanes, health tech, and what happens when electricity goes out.

09/18/2017

17% of Americans age 65+ use wearables to monitor vital signs, track fitness.

09/10/2017

The biggest stress from hurricanes is on seniors with cognitive difficulties.

09/04/2017

Chronic loneliness, more of a public health threat than obesity.

09/01/2017

Multi-media platforms, social outlets, security.

Meet or hear Laurie in one of the following:

PERS Summit, Park City Utah, September 26-27, 2017

San Francisco, September, 28-29

ICAA 2017, Orlando, FL, October 12-13, 2017

Portland, Maine, October 23-31, 2017

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Monthly blog archive

Irma: hurricanes, tech and older adults – what can be learned?

First there was too much information.  At the forecasters became more insistent that Irma would hit Florida – the state with the highest percentage of older adults -- as a Category 5 hurricane, many of the possibly 4 million older adult residents appeared to leave first – when the highways were still passable. Then more tried to leave and were stuck in monumental traffic jams.  Finally, there were the stalwarts determined to stay, in the Keys, in Miami, in Bonita Springs, in Jacksonville. And for senior living communities, evacuation seemed near-impossible. Ultimately for some with no place to go – and no help – they died

What’s new in technology for individuals with impaired vision?

Lots of talk about technology talking to us.  We are in a 'voice-first-this' and voice-first-that moment in technology history.  So much buzz, that even Apple thinks Siri may need to wise up and consider the competition – which is speaking to us from everywhere, and has even (in research) reduced the error rate down to 5.1%.   Of course, when you imagine that voice tech is used for in-car navigation systems (Drive to Western Avenue – no not cistern, I said Western!) and may be driving home automation systems, alerting to falls, and assisting home health aides, it’s important to have very high expectations for very low error rates.

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Five technology innovations to help older adults – August 2017

As August winds down, startups wind up.   For some, maybe they still think that summer is winding down and all is quiet in business and beyond. But no -- back to school, back to work, and back to starting companies.  Aging 2.0 finalists have been announced, conference media organizations are ramping up, and a few leaves begin to turn – fall is in clearly the air and around the corner.  Before August disappears altogether and the media engines shift into gear, here are five announcements of new technologies designed to help older adults and/or their caregivers.  All material is derived from the websites of the firms:

Working past 70 – what are reasons and tech implications?

Trends come and trends go – but some trends generate their own trends.  No doubt you saw the news that one-fifth of individuals aged 65+ (as officially counted by someone) are still working at least part time -- some past the age of 70.  In fact, this is the highest rate of employment level of older adults in 55 years.  Perhaps this trend is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Apparently 79% of US workers expect to supplement retirement income by working for pay.  Maybe they read about the recent assertion that the definitional age of 'old' is moving up to 73 for women and 70 for men. Are older workers concerned about life expectancy? Do they know that if they live to age 65, life expectancy is anticipated to be 88.8 for women and 86.6 for men? Are they worried about outliving their money (aka plummeting retirement income)? It used to be that older adults feared nursing homes worse than death. That was in 2007.  Now the worry is outliving their money.

Wearable tech and older adults – It’s 2017 – moving beyond PERS

PERS is the most recognized wearable for older adults -- but what's next?  Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) -- a long-standing $3+ billion market (30+ years!) that has evolved only slightly from its fear-inspiring origins. The 'I’ve Fallen' message is still 'inspiring' families and seniors to acquire one.  But 30% of the market’s sales are for mobile devices. This makes sense in this time of substantial life expectancy at age 65, that 46% of women aged 75+ live alone; and now we can add older adults’ newly-discovered extended middle age.  Mobility demands mobile devices which in turn boost confidence to be out-and-about. Consider walking the dog -- since one third of the 65+ population has one. 

Five Tech and Aging Blog Posts You May Have Missed - Aug 2017

Summer lingers in that August lull before all are back-to-business.  Broadcasters are substitutes; columnists are away; the world is awash in out-of-office emails.  So it is seems to be the right time to recap the last month of blog posts before heading into the forward-look at conferences and events about businesses targeting the older adult market.  For example, you may be looking at attending, sponsoring, exhibiting or just learning about LeadingAge, Aging 2.0 Optimize, DigitalHealth Summit At CES or Aging in America.  While mulling those over, check out our new research, a July white paper on social isolation sponsored by GreatCall.  Now here are those five blog posts you may have missed. 

The WSJ offers bad advice – move into a CCRC sooner vs. later

he Wall Street Journal offers advice to well-to-do older adults.  This time the advice comes from Glenn Ruffenach, a frequent writer for the WSJ retirement section.  The query comes from a healthy couple in their early 70s who wonder if it is time to move into a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community). They hesitate, observing that the residents seem decidedly older. A good observation – they are!  Glenn says to move now, rather than wait. Really? For people in their early 70s? The median age of move-in to CCRCs is climbing – noted as of 2016 to be age 81 – and the residents’ average age is now 85.  The CCRC has been a buy-in offering combining independent living homes, assisted living and skilled nursing facility (SNFs). Many faith-based non-profits are structured that way. But the nation’s largest for-profit firm, Brookdale, offers a ‘rental’ model -- Caring.com’s 2017 description – why? People are deferring the move. In 2016, CCRC occupancy has reached 90% in only one quarter

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Voice First: what do we really need – a virtual assistant or something more? 

A virtual assistant that can misunderstand you more effectively.  So perhaps you never liked asking Siri questions, partly because the answer was often a website you peer at on a phone.  How dumb is that?  Siri was created a long time ago, but it really got its name when it was introduced into the iPhone in 2011 and dubbed an ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’. Maybe there is a Siri improvement you wanted that will be available sometime in the fall in iOS 11.  Maybe you want Siri’s English to be in Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.  Maybe you don’t care because you are too embarrassed to speak to Siri in public settings, like meetings, and prefer the auto-correction of your mediocre typing.  Or maybe you are excited now, because Siri may, just possibly, soon work with other apps. Woohoo! 

Nine Finalists from IAGG 2017 Tech Day Pitch Competition

Technology and Aging – One Full Day Component from IAGG 2017.    The International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) held its World Congress symposia (73 member organizations from 65 countries) last week in San Francisco, "key opinion leaders in health & social services, housing & income support, research & education, public policy, administration & other areas, disciplines, and professions that impact older people and affect their quality of life." As part of the symposia (billed "as the largest world conference on aging"), July 26 was 'Tech Day' and included a pitch event from the following companies.  The winner of the pitch event was Kinesis Health Technologies, and the 'people’s choice' winner was Life Assist Technologies.  Descriptions are from the companies' websites.

Mary Meeker’s 2017 report highlights the health tech distortion field

Health tech future: you have to love the wording – and this time, the press ate it up.  Apparently at the time no one really noticed the 2016 Rock Health report on ‘willingness’ to share health data.  But times have changed. So Mary Meeker’s report, which everyone now quotes, cites that data as though it were important input for brands.  And now it is really and inaccurately famous. She opines, that of the ‘brands well-positioned for digital health’ – the leader is Google.  The oft-quoted answer (see Tech Crunch “Pretty neat” insight): “Meeker’s report says a full 60 percent of us were willing to share our health data with Google in 2016.”  That does sound pretty neat, huh?

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