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12/10/2016

 Standards have to be agreed and adopted for markets to take off.

12/09/2016

An increasing number of elderly people are finding solace in interactive stuffed animals.

12/09/2016

One senior living provider has launched a full-blown technology overhaul.

12/08/2016

In 2015 life expectancy at age 65 was 20.6 years for females and 18.0 years for males, both unchanged from 2014. 

12/03/2016

Aspire Health software aspires to do so.

Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

Monthly blog archive

Protect seniors from anonymous companies, products and services

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.  Although the cartoonist did not intend it, that 1993 New Yorker cartoon predicted the future and so it came to pass – and then some. So much of what’s on the web masks an entirely different reality. And so little when you search online has anything to do with what you want to find. Most people do not scroll down to the second page of search results if irrelevance rules: the Internet is filled with an ocean of junk web pages and misleading ads, masquerading as legitimate commerce. Talk to our friendly representative (photo of woman wearing headset). Call NOW! As seen on TV! As mentioned in TIME Magazine! Misleading information or scare tactic pictures on websites targeting seniors -- to me, these rank with phony telephone credit card and financial services scams.

Five consumer technologies that should be in every senior housing unit

Overcoming tech inertia in senior housing.  Andrew Carle, founder of George Mason University’s senior housing administrator program, was interviewed by Senior Housing News on the labor-saving benefits of technology use. That he felt compelled to suggest that technology was both an opportunity and a threat was interesting. But is the low penetration of a variety of technologies more about inertia on the part of management and lack of insistence by families who are fearful of making waves? Residents and families would be able to participate in a richer living experience if senior housing organizations overcame their inertia and offered:

Mobile devices and data everywhere, not a drop of information to drink

The mobile device projections are in – and they’re big, REALLY big.  This may just be bigger than the recent and trendy thoughts on the Internet of Things (which was observed by Forrester 11 years ago), and reminds one that it is tough to keep a good phrase down.  So let’s look at three mobile device examples, in descending order of the date predictions they specify, and as described in news articles:

The future of aging and tech via the lens of today's seniors

Surveys drive assumptions, not always correct.  Let’s imagine a world in which a survey organization deliberately sampled technology use beginning with adults aged 65 and peaking at age 100. Yeah, right. The most frequent sampler, Nielsen Wire, begins at 18 and winds down at “65+.” And they are not alone. From these and other surveys, we are often led to believe that a thirty year range of seniors buy and behave exactly the same. Now consider how silly we’d find studies that lumped 20-year-olds and 50-year-olds into the same behavioral buying bucket.

Transcending tech’s targets to craft senior applications

Let’s push the limits of intended tech markets. Pondering the pundits on the latest iThis and the newest fitThat, let’s turn the viewing lens to how the cool and the new could be re-purposed or extended to help seniors. No change needs to be made to hardware, typically, just a tweak here to existing apps – or a new app, that would do the job – feel free to go forth and to market with:

Ah, Google: the software is free – you, not so much

We are so lucky in the ‘cloud’ – vendors upgrade, with or without us. It must have been a thorn in the side of Google engineering that they had separate privacy policies for each of their products. And they were probably plagued by inconsistent contact handling between Gmail, Gmail chat, Google+, and their boatload of acquired companies (like Youtube, DoubleClick, Feedburner, etc.) As they simplify their own maintenance workload beginning on March 1, this streamlining could be an interesting challenge for users.  Many ‘features’ and new defaults may startle -- and not in a positive way.

Creating the ‘Ah Ha!’ Moment

I was reading Joe Coughlin’s recent column It’s the Services Stupid! and realized that I sorta agree with him and sorta don’t. Putting AIP tech into retail settings doesn’t work yet. There are a number of vendors out there who have products in Best Buy and other major retail stores and have found it doesn’t add a lot to their sales bottom line. Instead:

Aging in Place Technology Watch January 2012 Newsletter

Tech for xHealth versus tech for seniors.  How odd, you say, why are these two categories in opposition to each other?  Of course everyone knows that the purpose of xHealth categories (mHealth and its various e-, Digital, Connected, 2.0, Unbound and other wireless variants) are to serve the older adults who have the chronic diseases that the new categories target, right? Ha. This is the ironic discontinuity of our technology times – at the moment that seniors adopt the Internet in notable numbers, the health innovators, nudged by their angel investors and VC backers will have moved to tablets and smart phones. The user they envision? He is a quantified and young self, busy and largely self-absorbed, except for bragging rights (my steps! my heart rate!) uploaded and online. By the time seniors (today’s boomers) get to swiping-and-touching tablets and smarter phones, wearables will make the Fitbit look like an IBM mainframe. For those of you who believe that the xHealths above think about seniors as they design and demo their apps, take a look at the linked exhibitors lists above. Then think about the rising costs of health care, incurred by the oldest in our society. How like the tech industry to offer technologies in search of a user standing just out of the developer’s visual field of view.

Senior-friendly tech as seen dashing through the show (CES in one 6-mile Fitbit day)

Purrfect Pet. The PARO therapeutic robot is a pretty darn cool contraption. Shaped like a stuffed furry baby seal, it has five kinds of sensors built into itself: tactile, light, sound, temperature and posture. PARO’s sensors can “feel” being stroked or being held. It can also recognize the direction of voice and words such as its name. It moves, looks at you, blinks and closes its eyes, purrs and other pet-like actions and it is supposed to learn your desires and behave appropriately over time.

Why aren't seniors wowed by tablets?

Are seniors missing the tablet and e-Reader boomlet? Las Vegas can rest now. It has been left to its own devices, so to speak, now that CES has left town for another year. Exhibitors, never original, seized on swipe and touch trends started by Apple -- reports from the show noted that 'Android tablets have sprung up around CES like worms after a rainstorm' and how many types will be sitting in stores in 2012. So why don't seniors want to buy them? Pew Research published a glowingly titled doc recently titled Tablets and e-Reader Ownership Nearly Double Over the Holiday Gift-Giving Period and headlined that 'overall at least 29% of Americans own at least one of them.'  And the 50-64 year-olds did show a significant increase in tablet ownership from December 2011-2012 -- from 8-15%. But as the Pew data shows, the 65+ are not flocking to the store to pick up a tablet-- a mere increase from 5 to 7%. Maritz did some profiling the younger folk: the average tablet buyer is aged 38-41, with an income of approximately $70K, tablet buyers are likely to be male. Older women seem to like the e-Reader more, with ownership jumping from 8-12% year over year, average e-book buying woman is aged 44. So what's the, er, story here?

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