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07/25/2016

UCSD students create tech designs by spending time with senior living residents.

07/24/2016

The growing role of Senior Move Managers.

07/22/2016

Demographics signal need in senior living for a middle-income price point.

07/19/2016

Sending cars to pick up patient volunteers.

07/19/2016

Home Alone Alliance -- free caregiver training materials

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Quackery and snake oil – maybe that IS the state of health tech

Firestorm from the American Medical Association.  A few weeks ago, the CEO of the AMA, Dr. James Madara, said what few others will say: "…the explosion of direct-to-consumer digital health products, to apps of mixed quality – it’s the digital snake oil of the early 21st century."  And if that weren’t enough, he compared the technology innovations today (including "ineffective" EHRs) as analogous to the challenges confronting 'quackery' when the AMA was founded in 1847.  Then came the chorus of rebuttals from health IT folk and the Boston Brahmins of digital health, including Dr. Joseph Kvedar ("telemedicine is unstoppable") and Dr. John Halamka ("no snake oil to see here!").  But adults are downloading health apps – in one study, at least half of the surveyed population had downloaded at least one.  Using, not so much.

Consider Challenging Innovators to Design for older adults

Consumers don't care about products -- they want solutions. What year were those words said? "The senior home monitoring market has historically been more aligned with home security and security installer/dealers than with the hands-on consumer/family. But in fact, home security dealers were not well-prepared to market to seniors. Now innovation (versus Digital Health quackery) and price disruption are pushing those offerings into the hands of consumers, where what matters is simplicity. And what matters is ease of integration into what exists PLUS availability of training on how to use it."  See how the advice from a previous research report stands up to scrutiny -- published exactly two years ago -- repeated today with new links right before the 2016 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit:

Five Technology Innovations for Older Adults – June, 2016

As the event season winds down, let’s reflect.  Has there been a technology breakthrough this year?  Consider the 2016 conferences, including CES,  JP Morgan Health Investing, AARP LivePitch, 1 Million Cups Coffee Pitch, Digital Health Summer Summit, and soon, the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit. Just before the fall season kicks off with more startups and events, what has been interesting, new, and/or recent in the way of announcements? Here are five, all text from their own media/material:

Why an up-to-date online presence matters

Why does Sunrise Senior Living have a blog?  Actually, it appears to have been updated today.  You might think that a company in the residential senior care business wouldn’t.  And further, Brookdale can be followed on Twitter.   So can JoAnn Jenkins of AARP – that makes great sense – AARP is a content/media company.  So what’s up when you can’t find any reasonably current content, or worse, the site offers up a suggestion to meet up in…2015? Or when the last tweet from a company that is still in business and is doing quite well – but their last Tweet was in 2012?

When information transparency is an ‘innovation’ in senior housing and home care

Eyes, ears and status matter nearly as much as care for families of seniors.  Imagine having to hire a private duty care worker to visit your family member in senior housing, notice today’s status and provide an email about what’s going on for long-distance family. Seem silly? Yet there has long been a ‘tree falls in the forest’ communication problem for families of memory-challenged residents, whether in home care or senior living. Yet providing simple status of loved ones (did she eat, did he go for a walk, how is the skin rash) is so simple. For many of the circumstances in which assisted living or home care services are engaged, the care recipient cannot clearly communicate the activities of the day, let alone if a rash is healing. So are family expectations forcing a change in the way care status is communicated? No data exists. And that communication is not an attribute in care search sites like Caring.com.

New tech-enabled home care initiatives emerge – what does it mean?

Last year’s VC investment in the tech-enabled home care segment caught industry attention.  2015 was a banner year of capital infusion for the 2.0 version of the home care industry. As Honor revved up with a $20 million investment, Home Hero raised a $23 million round and launched a software platform and converted workers to W2 employees. CareLinx received a $3 million round in May and then just into the new year, Hometeam upped the ante with a $27 million VC round.  Meanwhile, at the start of 2016, an eye-popping market sizing from AARP/Parks Associates of $279 billion for all things caregiving-related further underlined a perceived business opportunity, including the projection of an additional 1 million jobs in home care.

Barriers to Technology for Successful Aging -- Same Old, Same Old

Technology adoption for successful aging has no deadline.   Much like aging itself, there is no schedule. So no one ever has to complete the job, or as with communication carriers, even begin the job. But well-meaning associations, committees, advocacy groups, and senior-centric organizations are united in encouraging forward motion. And so the task force initiatives, councils and recommendations are funded and catch the eyes of the media – even if the actual transformation cannot always be detected in surveys. And as with identity theft, phishing, and newly invented scams, tech adoption in the older age ranges can appear to be two-steps-forward, one-step-backward.

Chronological age, exercise and wearable fitness tech for older adults

Chronological age has no impact on health and well-being – per this study. Apparently, blood pressure and cholesterol readings aren’t the whole story.  What matters more are sensory function, mental health, mobility and health behaviors. This is according to a summary of an abstract of research at the University of Chicago.  But it re-enforces other research about the correlation between exercise and warding off dementia.  And for those who never got around to exercise but have a fear of falling in their 80s and beyond, exercise like Tai Chi can restore balance in an 85-year-old, building confidence and reduce fall risk and fear of falling.

For older adults, trends that happen in California stay in California

Pew just offered up a trend-hype reality check.  RANT ON. To read the click-thirsty media hype you would think that the 'gig economy,' aka sharing, on-demand, or pick-your-term whatever, was a solution to world hunger -- or at least transportation, pollution and car maintenance costs.  Who would have thought it was powered by old people? Was this aggrandizement of all things 'sharing' based in reality? Per new Pew study, maybe not.  Oh yeah, in Silicon Valley and for its acolytes, the 'idea' has fueled bubble boys Tweeting re-orders of ping-pong tables.  But beyond the California border -- it turns out the sharing economy has not exactly taken the aged 50+ world by storm. Or any of the world, actually.

Five technology Innovations for Older Adults – May, 2016

The more things change in the age-related markets, the more they change.  Even without an age-related event announcement, article, or article series, new startups and initiatives emerge every week that can provide benefit to older adults and those who provide care for them. Some firms want to apply tech from other market categories to the aging market segment. Others are already in the segment and announce a new offering. Categories of these five from May include health, tech support, hydration, transportation, and social connection, Information is derived from the websites of the companies:

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