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11/23/2021

A report from The Gerontechnologist. 

11/19/2021

Seniors are juggling being watched with being on their own.

11/15/2021

Shining a light on AgeTech - what they say is an $8.3 trillion opportunity.

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Monthly blog archive

What is Age-Tech and why is it different from All Tech?

Age-Tech is in.  Perhaps you have seen the Age-Tech term pop up since early 2020, led in the US by by AARP’s CEO Jo Ann Jenkins.  Now it is all around – it characterizes AARP’s recently convened AgeTech Collaborative to ‘accelerate and scale new solutions for the 50+ market.’  AgeTech has its own Market Map as developed by Keren Etkin, Gerontechnologist.   And more recently, a young San Francisco investor, Scott Rupp, offered up the Age-Tech economic outlook from Dominic Endicott of 4Gen investment in the UK, an ‘Age-Tech expert,’ describing what the Age-Tech market is today

In-home care and smart home – shared interest, not yet connected

Smart home technologies are not part of the home care solution set.  Despite the labor shortage that is impacting the home care industry, technology in the home, especially smart home technology, is not part of the home care solution set. Yet with appropriate use of sensors, cameras, and voice interactions, families and home care providers could improve the wellbeing of older adults, many of whom are alone at home for long stretches of time. What is needed and will emerge over the next five years? Moving forward, there will be multi-tiered offerings customized remotely, adjusted as a person becomes frail.  Smart home technology will be used by home care companies to help compensate for labor shortages, warning of in-home issues during those times when the care recipient is alone.  What will be available?

Smart homes for older adults - connected, intelligent, healthy?

What is a Smart Home? Should it be Connected? Gartner Research defines the Connected Home as: “Networked to enable the interconnection and interoperability of multiple devices, services and apps, ranging from communications and entertainment to healthcare, security and home automation. These services and apps are delivered over multiple interlinked and integrated devices, sensors, tools and platforms. Connected, real-time, smart and contextual experiences are provided for the household inhabitants, and individuals are enabled to control and monitor the home remotely as well as within it.”

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Is today's Smart Home tech wise enough for older adults?

Smart home, plugged in but not connected. Consider the Boston Consulting Group’s 2018 market sizing and landscape nicely visualized as a swarm of categories. What you saw there is the reality of market fragmentation, filled with multiple product types that do not play well together. Or MarketandMarket’s 2021 structure of the smart home market, noting that integrators play a key role in linking products together into a useful home environment, noting in the report that it is a "tedious task to link systems developed by different manufacturers or vendors; this could result in limited functionalities and unreliable services apart from incompatibility issues." At the bottom of the report’s stack are the DIY (Home Depot) categories that include thermostats, locks, and lighting. Migrating up the stack, the work of integrators and service providers begins with managed smart home systems up to luxury home systems.

Did you miss one? Four tech/aging blog posts from October 2021

It's 2021 -- are older adults well-served by technology? Some progress has been made -- Apple and Amazon seem interested in the older adult segment. Smartphones are being adopted by the majority of older adults, including those aged 70+. That’s despite their touchy screens, inconsistent app designs, and now silly warnings about app tracking on Apple devices. Those self-righteous warning are especially amusing, given that Gmail is the most frequently used email client (with 53% of the US market), including on iPhones. And you know that for Gmail and other ‘free’ software (like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), you are the product for advertisers and more. But we digress. In home care, technology plays a tangential role at best, though tech exists, including AI and machine learning, that could improve care of older adults. And the potential for a smarter (and healthier) home is growing -- an upcoming research report will describe that potential in December. For now, here are four blog posts for October:

Tech-enabling the future of Villages

Beacon Hill Village created a concept out of need... Long ago, the topic of aging in place was born within the pioneer community of the ‘Village’ movement -- Beacon Hill Village.  Judy Willett led the way 19 years ago in Boston to help neighborhood seniors stay in their homes longer. That’s not a small trick if you consider that Beacon Hill is a neighborhood of steep cobblestone streets, no easy-in subway stop, and --- argggh – every year, residents, most in their 70’s at that time -- must cope with winter! Today Beacon Hill Village has 400 members who benefit from aggregated services that include "social clubs, weekly exercise classes and lectures, transportation to doctors’ offices and grocery stores, and access to reduced-fee home medical care and home repair services."

Tech terminology gets new definitions, unfortunate outcomes

Our technology language and expectations change. One day a phenomenon that might once have seemed startling becomes so accepted that we scarcely notice what changed. Technology once perceived as innovative and useful, degenerates through actual usage into a worrisome trend that begs for individual and/or parental control – even inviting government interest and possible oversight as in Europe. Here are four technology trends with origins that might not have seemed alarming at the beginning:

The Future of Home Care Technology – the time is now

What could have happened in the home care industry didn’t.  In 2012, based on interviews with the best and the brightest in and around the home care industry, an idea was born and documented.  It was radical – the idea of a network for sharing relevant information across organizational boundaries about a home care recipient with stakeholders, family, health providers. In this vision, the care recipient was at the center of this information sharing across the stages and steps of living independently, senior housing, rehab, hospital, and home.  Instead of this vision outlined in The Future of Home Care Technology 2012, we have today’s franchised and fragmented home care industry – regionally focused, achieving the most minimal advances in technology deployment.

Four Aging and Health Technology Blog Posts from September, 2021

September 2021 – it got away. But much happened during the month, including the release of the 2021 Linkage technology survey of older adults, rarely fielded and so their tech behavior is poorly understood. Meanwhile, September was a month to consider the business practices of social media monopolist, Facebook – in print (WSJ, Washington Post), on 60 minutes, and as some might say, blah, blah, blah. Will regulation happen? Will people seek a new platform, search for other online photo sites, find an offline hobby, go outside? At this moment, investors doubt anything will change, despite plenty of posturing. Here are the four posts:

Big tech wants to serve older adults -- initiatives are accumulating

Apple gets it that its customers are aging – and have their devices.  That was not always the case. Long ago, maybe as early as 2009, a query was placed to the analyst relations team at Apple to find folks to discuss Apple and technology adoption of older adults.  The answer was: "Apple does not do aging."  Then in 2010, on behalf of an AARP-sponsored research effort to contact a few of multiple Apple groups already involved one way or the other (Apple Health!), got no response to requests to interview execs that would have been interested based on their roles.  That was then. Fast forward to 2021 and the fact that baby boomers have all the money (and many health issues, too). Note Apple Health, Apple Accessibility, fall detection on the watch, detection of gait changes, changes in AirPods that clearly target conversational hearing issues. And that doesn’t count the health-specific features on the watch that will no doubt include blood pressure checks.  

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