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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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January 2016

Tech for age-related markets: learn, select, study workflow, train -- repeat

LEARN: How does useful technology find the older adults who need it?  The new tech laundry list is a staple of our fast-paced tech times. What is new right now, this minute that could, might, or maybe be useful to older adults -- six new technologies for this, five more for that. An exhibit area at aging-related event features more than 50 startup logospitches for pilots and advice on preparing to pilot.  Perhaps a technology could fill a real need of frail seniors – like a wearable band that notes dehydration and suggests a drink. Note that Nobo’s B60 was developed for athletes and the doctors that treat them. The company is aware of the senior need, but it might take a proactive third party to pull them towards that opportunity.

The future of caregiving tech is unbelievably large

Is there more caregiving gold in those Silicon Valley hills?  The CES gadget landscape was, on the one hand, rich with cool wearables fitness and smart cars and clothes.  And on the other hand, there were quite a few sessions about health and caregiving, Doctors see a pushy tech industry that isn’t helping them provide better care, never mind without the doctor – though poor healthcare apps could be costly for hospitals. But the biggest the biggest surprise last week was when AARP/Parks Associates released a report about the super-sized, ginormous 'caregiving' tech opportunity in the upcoming period, that is starting now, of 2016-2020.

From age-specific and age-unaware toward age-friendly design

The lens used to view age sees a different picture. Population segments can be broad. Baby boomers, for example, now span aged 51 to 70, and people in the youngest segment may not feel they have anything in common with the oldest. On the one hand, a 70 year old with a disability may fit directly into the awkward dual goals of the CTA Foundation: "It was established with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives." In that case, an Age Suit may help (young) marketers better understand physical limitations. On the other hand, the mission of AARP is broad, "which enhances the quality of life for all as we age. We champion positive social change and deliver value through advocacy, information, and service." Grantmakers in Aging has an audacious goal: "by 2019 – for 20% of all philanthropy to go to aging."

Five more technology offerings from 2016 CES - Part 2

More CES innovations, announcements -- and vice versa.  It's another day (and the last day) of 2016 CES, including more from Eureka Park and Digital Health exhibitors -- please note yesterday's set of six.  Were these the best ideas or the best of CES? Not necessarily -- but they could be useful to older adults -- the reason for inclusion here.  It may seem strange to see long-established companies and literally website-free startups in the same list below. But that is the wonderful thing about CES -- all are walking around breathing the same air and like last year, overwhelming the similarly enormous crowds. Here are five that caught my eye:

Six possible technologies from CES 2016 – Part 1

Find the needle in the CES haystack.  That’s not easy, since there were 3200 exhibits last year and 170,000 attendees, with this year’s totals for the show not out just yet.   The Consumer Technology Association -- renamed from Consumer Electronics Association -- wants to be new, as the 500 startups in the Eureka Park exhibit area must have figured out by now. And the plethora of health exhibitors and speakers at the Digital Health Summit act as testimony to the importance of health and then there are the CES essentials: stereo/headphones, smartphones, sensor/wearables, smarter cars, sensory experiences and sleep -- not necessarily together or in that order. And the mostly young attendees will be excited to find an age suit to add 40 years to their age. No kidding.

Connectivity is a Social Determinant of…Everything

Information is online – people need to be there too.  News, bank branches, health advice, streaming radio, borrowing books from libraries– it’s all making inroads in our connected lives.  Consider: Netflix has 42 million US subscribers, half of Americans have listened to Internet radio. But what is the significance of fewer people having broadband access in their homes? Broadband access has a correlation between well-being and wellness (hats off to that Health Populi post!).  Is it the link between being over 50 and finding a job? Perhaps you are checking online to protect from Internet fraud; verifying that an identity hasn’t been stolen; checking out an eBook or using another online service from a library; including training on how to use the Internet. Or perhaps you are buying from the dominant US retail growth engine – hint, it's not Walmart, but Amazon.

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