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Meet or hear Laurie in one of the following:

Washington, June 5, 2017

Boston area, June 8-9, 2017

Seattle, WA, July 10-12, 2017

PERS Summit, Park City Utah, September 26-28, 2017

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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Monthly blog archive

Older adults and technology – the latest news they cannot use

What problem is being solved? Consider the solution to slightly thorny and REALLY thorny problems. Do you wonder about the thought process that produces them – isolated in a conference room bubble, what are the thinkers considering before these announcements?   Must a misfire (or multiple misfires) precede the right solution? And shouldn't the solutions be of a scale (large or small) that fits or sounds like it fits the problem?

Five new technologies for older adults – May, 2017

In home and out and about – new and not quite here offerings.  The top of the list alphabetically is the not-yet-here and pricey Amazon Echo Show.  Is this a ground-breaking innovation? Or is it an always-watching irritant set to ‘drop-in mode’ which automatically will accept a video call after 10 seconds? On the positive side -- start chatting with an aging parent who lacks or hates PC/Macs, tablets, or smartphones.  Consider the potentially negative response: an intrusive person (your loving relative) sneaks up on your screen, ready to converse when you least expect it. How creepy-Skype-y is it?  Here are the five:

Tech use and seniors, ridiculed in media, otherwise ignored

Tech adoption of the 65+ is now buried in a Pew appendix. If age were an ethnic or racial minority, outrage at technology ageism would be vocal and constant.  The 65+ are a mere 46+ million Americans – a group larger than the sum of all of the teenage population non-shoppers.  So their tech adeptness, rather than being viewed as an opportunity, is naturally ignored in surveys.  For example, scroll down and further down on this Pew fact sheet to note level of ‘Digital Readiness’ among demographic groups.  Note that 6% of the 65+ demographic is 'digitally ready' compared to 17% of all age groups. Note that 33% is characterized as 'unprepared.'  And the same percentage applies to those aged 50-64!

Your Money or Your Life: AARP Fintech and Amazon Show

So many head-spinning numbers to describe the 50+ Consumer.  In making the case for the 'Fintech' innovation market opportunity, AARP’s new Financial Innovation Frontiers report (aimed at the Fintech industry) freely fires off a wide range of market segment numbers.  Is the report about the population aged 50-100?  There are 111 million Americans aged 50 and older, 35% of the US population, described as a 'generation.'  That includes three segments of baby boomers as well as their parents. The report is not about the growing life expectancy of those who live to age 65 with their predicted longevity  (88.8 for women, 86.6 for men). Instead, the report focuses on the 50+ Consumer (their term) aged 50-60 who is a decade away or less from ‘retirement’, an increasingly obsolete term. They are confronted with a range of financial challenges -- the report suggests fintech tools that could help them deal with retirement savings shortfalls resulting from career setbacks ($4.3 trillion savings gap), unplanned withdrawals ($4.1 trillion) and student debt ($1.3 trillion).

The default sharing of you -- a data privacy nightmare

You go, business pro, and so goes your privacy.  [Rant on] You loved your phone but one day a useful part of it breaks…a sad day all around -- amazingly right at the end of the 2-year contract with a carrier. We’ll just call that a coincidence. Today that time period is referred to as a payment plan [and one has the option of paying for the phone in full.] But that is not the topic for today – nor is the topic about the default on Chrome that can no longer be switched off which automatically plays videos.  Advertisers must and will find you. No, today’s rant is about that other torment, shall we say, the Tyranny of the Default – which made an unwelcome appearance, in every sense of the word, on my new phone. That bit of psychology is what is built in to new versions of software – it is both condescending and malevolent at the same time.

Technology and Aging Developments – April 2017 Newsletter

April -- a veritable shower of data, press announcements, and pitches. It was a short but information-filled month of events, announcements, pitches.  The month marked our first foray into the American Community Survey Census data about technology usage of older adults. Much more is possible with this data – including greater inspection of housing, family structure, income as correlated with technology interest (including telehealth).  Each of the April blog posts can be (re)read in full by clicking on the paragraph heading.   

Six technologies from American Telemedicine Association (ATA) 2017

In 2017, has telehealth and remotely-delivered care evolved? Compared to our published research dated 2011, times may have changed. As surveys have indicated, the healthcare industry is interested and more committed to mainstream use of telehealth technologies.  And telehealth vendors want to help doctors and patients gain mutual benefit of care provided at home versus hospital, especially to lower care delivery costs; augment care for patients in locations far from a specialist or during off-hours; and continue growing the ability of patients and families to self-monitor chronic disease.  In 2016, CMS published a list of covered telehealth services, and no doubt commitment to cost reductions (and reimbursements) in the coming years will result in an expanded list and further industry commitment.  Perhaps ATA's smaller conference will evolve to become part of other sets of conferences, like Connected Health in Boston or part of the ever-growing HiMSS conference collection.

Pitch now, commercialize later -- does a live pitch persuade?

Pitch events precede clarity of offering which precedes... Hopefully the best pitches of best offerings will be funded. But that funding is linked to detailed criteria (see the Link-age Ventures criteria as an example.)  Or investment history, as with the five Generator Ventures, can be viewed online.  Startups know that first multiple pitch events will smooth rough edges of the pitch and help refine the offering itself.  For example, one year ago note that GoGoGrandparent started as telephone-based way to call Uber for, sigh, the founder’s grandmother, now refined as a nationwide “services that help families take better care of older adults.” Pitches represent a single step in this process for obtaining feedback, scoping markets, seeking seed funding, later stage rounds -- ultimately scaling the offering into long-term viability, with referrers, resellers, and revenue.  With that as context, consider these three pitch events.

AARP Innovation 50+ Live Pitch 2017 – Some familiar, some new

AARP’s Innovation 50+ Live Pitch starts today – what's new?  This marathon tried to put 20 pounds of entrants (culled from many more) into the 10-pound bag of a two-day pitch event across two broad categories. So following this trend towards compression, we will leave FinTech to others and just focus on the Caregiving Health Technology firms. While the pitch may be fresh, some, as noted, may not be new. Placed in context by taking note of what’s in (or was in) market and similar to these finalists. In the alphabetical order presented and updated with winners noted -- link to available websites or descriptions -- minus Twitter handle:  

The mythology of caregiver technology's non-adoption

Pundits perpetuate the myth of non-use of so-called caregiver technology. [Rant on.] According to AARP, 40 million caregivers are taking care of an older, sicker person -- so says an oft-quoted 2013 AARP Public Policy Report statistic. A different AARP/Catalyst 2016 survey asserts only 7% of these caregivers use technology to help them. What is the 'technology' they won't use? And what is the theory as to why they won’t? Says Jeff Makowka of AARP: "Since many such caregivers also hold down regular jobs, they simply don’t have time to try some new technology." But if they’re working (or of working age), three-fourths of them have smartphones. And given the data-hogging nature of smartphones, all are fairly new. But wait, he also cited an example of an Amazon Echo as deployed for a family member with dementia -- enabling endless repetition of questions like 'What time is it?' etc. Okay, we have to ask, is the Echo a 'caregiving technology?' How about Facebook, described as a caregiver 'mecca'? Do survey respondents consider those technologies when asked?

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