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08/07/2022

Suggests a gerontechnology ombudsman to mediate concerns.

08/05/2022

Helps older people find a place to live and gets them the services.

08/04/2022

The capability for ultrasound scans to be done via a wearable.

07/31/2022

Most noted are wheelchairs, walkers, and other items for disabilities.

07/29/2022

Focus on improving health outcomes, adding more support from staff.

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What's Next Longevity Innovation Summit, DC, December, 2022

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Aging and Health Technology Watch 2021 Research – A Recap

2021 – even less travel than previous – so for many, it was the best of times. Not just for Zoom, the company, but for many who wished to spend more time thinking and less time in airports. That meant it was still feasible to write monthly blog posts, publish client white papers and complete interview-intensive research reports.  It was feasible to consider topics such as AI and machine learning, Home Care technology, the role of big tech companies and older adults, barriers to tech adoption, broadband access, predictive analytics, voice first, and the role of tech in Villages. And that was in addition to doing a CES 2021 blog post about ten and with too many companies, posting a second one. Likely this coming CES 2022 will have two blog posts, not to mention more press releases. 2021was a year of research about wearables and smart homes – plus a fully updated Market Overview. Here are the summaries of those reports – in case you missed them:

New Report: Beyond DIY -The Future of Smart Homes and Older Adults

Within five years, predictive, proactive and adaptive smart home solutions that support health and wellbeing, comfort and safety, and engagement and entertainment will emerge to meet the needs of older adults, including subscription-based services that are integrated with wearables. Remote configuration and updates will be standard, and health insurers will be interested in smart home technology as a deterrent to hospitalization. With the addition of predictive analytics and machine learning, the home can become a participating caregiver for the oldest and frailest. What are a few of the trends that will make that feasible?

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Did you miss a November blog post about tech and older adults?

Tech for an aging population – niche or not.  November is done. But recent announcements about tech and older adults make one wonder about the category. Should it be special, unique, with well-designed hardware by well-meaning and enthusiastic engineers? That sounds good – but is it?  The oldest baby boomer turns 76 in January 2022.  That sounds old.  Does that place baby boomers squarely in the ‘I had a grandmother who fell down’ design target?  The PERS industry, maybe a cash cow for persistent resellers, has actually not grown in the past four years – market sizing numbers have been stable at around $1.5 billion. But consider other trends -- the older population has grown, the Apple Watch was introduced and fall detection apps are available from Best Buy and FallCall, Philips Lifeline withdrew, Amazon has partnered with Vayyar (radar-based fall detection) in Alexa Together. What was once a sizable niche may actually be a hanging-on, but low growth market for the foreseeable future.  Blog posts from November:

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.

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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:

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