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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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July 2010

When does "New" technology become mainstream?


Buzz in the press is good for all.  Articles about using technology to monitor aging parents -- like the most recent two in the Thursday NY Times by Hilary Stout and Eric Taub can be great for the aging tech industry. They generate buzz and interest in the media; they are syndicated and carried throughout the Internet; re-mailed (many times to me); they boost awareness of prospective buyers; and create curiosity and even leads, both of consumer prospects as well as vendors and dealer channels.  Given buzz like this, one might think that technologies to help monitor your aging parents will now be well-understood and vendors will have to spend less of their time educating and explaining, and more time just taking orders. We thought that when we read the February, 2009 Times article by John Leland. Meanwhile, Living Independently Group, now part of GE, launched QuietCare in 2003 -- when remote monitoring then really was fairly 'new'.  And then again, in September, 2009, in Business Week, when Arlene Weintraub wrote about the business of aging in place. Oh, were it true.

Tech for aging needs innovation from young people

Young people and seniors -- a non-obvious formula.  A few years ago Scientific American published a study asserting that socialization between young and elderly improves the health and well-being of seniors (yeah, so the study was about fruit flies -- never mind that).  This week a few other news items caught my eye:

Those Ten Trends for 2010 -- Are we there yet?


It's been more than 6 months since this blog post about tech trends that would influence product capability in 2010.  It seems fitting to check status on what's happened so far, with another status check planned just prior to the new year:


Tech coalitions -- Local awareness of products and services


Tech coalitions -- small steps to the start of a community service? Last week was the start of a new Forum category, Community Coalitions About Aging Technology, with San Diego County as the first entrant - 'to help local organizations become more familiar with technologies that could help seniors in the county.' Soon to have their first meeting, Denise Nelesen spoke about the intent, which is to bring local organizations up to speed on what products are out there. She is particularly interested in moving beyond 'computers in libraries' to other categories of products that could be useful to seniors. If others have similar local initiatives and ideas about how to do this, please post in the forum.

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