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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Monthly blog archive

Five Offerings from the Boston Connected Health Conference 2018

Held each year – but has much changed? The Connected Health Conference is still a Health IT conference, owned by HIMSS, spruced up by the pre-conference Voice Health summit, task forces, and even onstage singing by health tech folk that may wish they were in show business. There were more sessions acknowledging caregiving and an aging population. But many attendees (also exhibitors) seem still to be circling the health care universe from the vantage point of the IT buyer -- health IT consulting, tech vendors seeking health IT customers. And vendors trying to nurture innovation, one not-so-integrated healthcare and engagement process at a time.  New offerings appearing at this event include (material is from the company sites):

Ten Tips for Launching a Product or Service – October, 2018

It’s 2018 and in full sprint to the year-end finish. Soon you will launch a boomer/senior, home health tech product or service, or maybe a caregiver advisory service.  As your company gets ready to travel into battle or a booth this fall with the sound of lively pitches all around, it is time to for you to revisit this guidance. Perhaps sometime 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. First read existing content and research reports on your particular market segment.  Look over this updated checklist that continues to hold true – with updated links and references. If necessary, refine tactics:

What is caregiving technology, anyway?

A term that means what you want it to mean. It's crazy. Search for the term 'caregiving technology.' At the top of the retrieved page – an ad for ClearCare to help you 'improve client and employee management' – sounds like paid (agency) home care. Over at AARP, there is a long list of resources (non-tech) on the AARP caregiving site for family caregivers, who may use paid care. There’s the 2017 AARP report that surveys caregivers about what they want from technology -- they are interested in but not currently using.  There’s the Family Caregiver Alliance report that lists technologies from firms, but was last updated in 2013 (perhaps the date of this FCA list).   The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC/AARP) report is dated 2014 – and focuses on a vision for what caregiving technology should be.

Four Technology Health and Aging Blog Posts from September 2018

September always seems like a short month.  Not just because of the calendar, but because of the pace of return to California dreamer and tech breathless launches and device announcements, Facebook’s 50 million user data breach – the usual.  Interestingly, healthcare data breaches are largely caused by insiders and cost $400+ per user data record breached.  What Facebook’s breach will cost consumers – no one knows yet, but with that volume, it can’t be good news for users.  Here are four blog posts from September 2018:

Apple accidentally shines a light on its technology ageism

Consider the Apple Watch fall detection age default.  Rant on. By now, and for most, no big deal, you may know that the Series 4 watch has fall detection. The setup includes your ‘emergency contacts’ acquired from your Medical ID, assuming you have Wrist Detection turned on.  Still with me? And perhaps you have also turned on the Health app (somewhere) and entered your birthdate. Still with me?  Assuming that Apple knows your date of birth AND it is 65+, the default setting turns the Fall Detection feature on – you then have to turn it off.  Which, since it is set to call Emergency Services unless you Cancel, might, as it has been with Apple Watch emergency calls, be a problem

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The Apple Watch and Fall Detection – What’s it Mean?

When Apple speaks, a puzzled market listens. When Apple announces, industries crane their necks to hear. Last week they announced two features of a new watch, ECG monitoring and fall detection. In July, Tim Cook apparently did not want to get into the world of FDA regulation. Well, that was then – or he just wasn’t saying. In this new watch, both the ECG feature and fall detection have received FDA clearance within 30 days of applying, startling some observers who noted that closer to 150 days was more typical for a medical device.  Healthcare observers are concerned that false positives from ECG readings could propel people unnecessarily to already-overloaded Emergency Rooms. To date, the Apple Watch may have been of greatest interest to 40 year old males. Interestingly, 70% of cases of atrial fibrillation are among the 65+ population.  Does Apple really want the 65+ population to buy an Apple watch?

Hyperlocal social networking – when Nextdoor matters most

It's that awful time – the hurricane season.  The time when the national hurricane center forecasts, repeated ad nauseum, are destined to frighten everyone, no matter how far from affected regions. The same broadcast can dwell on cones and paths, and almost as an aside, remind those in beach areas that the evacuation instructions are meant for them.  Reversing highway direction and talking constantly about evacuation sounds like a plan – but some observe that the distance required to evacuate to safety could be as much as 250-300 miles. So residents who will 'shelter in place' stock up on supplies and watch the 24-hour source of all fear – cable news, looking for guidance from Jim Cantore, that icon among storm trackers.

Four technology (health and aging) blog posts from August 2018

Vacations and out of office messages – it must have been August.  Some have said that there is no point in attempting a business meeting, even online, for August. Perhaps you were one of the 5 million visitors to Cape Cod, roaming the hillside vineyards in California or attending an antique car auction on the coast of Maine.  Having managed to pull off two of those three in the same month, it’s not that crazy. But there were issues, disruptions and sizable opportunities worth noting in August, the biggest one was Best Buy's purchase of GreatCall, just six weeks after Amazon acquired PillPack, the latest big company acquisition -- part of a to-be-continued series important to families and providers of care to seniors. Here are the blog posts from the month:

The technology category that cannot be spoken aloud – serving older adults

Investors continue to salivate over health tech.  Rant on.   So the first half of 2018 saw $3.4 billion invested in Digital Health (which means whatever you want it to mean.) And even when investments or company roll-ups are specifically about the Medicare population – frothy writers cannot bring themselves to use clear wording. So Optum acquires DaVita Medical Group and Humana acquires Kindred Healthcare. Gee, what do they do? Yes that is vertical integration in the continuum of care – specifically for health services to elderly Medicare recipients.  And the $146 million that went into PointClickCare – that is software for long-term post-acute care (LTPAC), another euphemism for what it really is – care of the elderly, generally in nursing homes.

Just because a technology can be built, is it acceptable?

Reading the employee microchip article – does it make you shudder?  Observe the development and evolution of modifiers for the word technology.  Words like sustainable, appropriate, autonomous all come to mind. With the micro-chipping of employees – the convenience argument is ultra thin. But why would one think about a microchip for an ailing relative, aka an older adult? (Some say we will all get chipped eventually.)  Consider that these "chips will offer a convenient way to track people — especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia."  But who will opt in to being chipped and tracked in that example?  Employees could opt out – but can a person with dementia opt out?  How different is being micro-chipped from wearing a band with identifying address information? For whom is the 'convenience' of micro-chipping offered?  And because it is possible, should it be deployed?

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Latest Trends

AARP: 2018 Loneliness and Social Connections, September, 2018

2018 Home and Community Preferences of Adults, August, 2018

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Market Overview, Technology for Aging in Place, 2018

The Future of Voice First Technology and Older Adults, 2018 

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MedCity News: Voice Tech is Coming to Healthcare, October, 2018

Next Avenue: How Technology Can Help Us Age in Place If We Let it, Sept, 2018

Hartford Funds: How Talking to Devices Will Transform Life After 65, July, 2018

Voice, independence-focused technologies drive aging in place forward, June, 2018

The Thrive Center Unlocks an Innovation Hub for Senior Living, February, 2018

Net Neutrality Rollback Raises Concerns for Senior Living, December, 2017

US News & World Report: Tech to Help Americans Age Better, Oct, 2017

MoneyWatch: 10 smart home features to help you age in place, Oct, 2017

Best Buy Bets on Adults Remotely Monitoring Their Aging Parents, Oct, 2017

Next Avenue Names its Top 50 Influencers in Aging, September, 2017

Health Tech's 2017 Must-Read IT Blogger List, July, 2017

Pew: Older Generations Embrace Digital Life, May, 2018

Pew: Social Media Use in 2018

Pew: Who uses the Internet, Broadband, March 2018

View All Trend Studies/Reports

View Our Research Reports 

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IG Living: The Silver Tsunami and Aging in Place, February, 2018

AARP Explores Tech Platforms Designed for Family Caregivers, January, 2018

Front Porch: Amazon Alexa Pilot, December, 2017

Pew: Nearly half of Americans use digital voice assistants, December, 2017

Medicare Spends More on Socially Isolated Older Adults, November, 2017

 

 

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