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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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April 2016

Consumer tech firms avoid marketing to older adults

But how can that be, when their products are potentially so useful?  I can hear it now – but older adults love their technology (notwithstanding the 30 million aged 65+ non-owners of smartphones).  Why all these gadgets and gizmos, these tools are so wonderfully helpful! Yes they are – apparently by accident, as determined by the user. It never seems to make it past the marketing department that this utility was intentional.

AARP Health Innovation@50+ Live Pitch (April-27-2016) Finalists

It’s really too bad that AARP ended its national events. The last one was in Miami last year – it was a good one – and Atlanta must still be reminiscing about that spectacular 2013 Life@50 event – which provided a pavilion and ramp-up for its AARP TEK training program.  From 2013: “AARP TEK’s activities in Atlanta also will include youth volunteers known as “Tech Wizards” from 4-H Clubs of America and local colleges and universities, who will help boomers and seniors learn technology basics and how it can enhance their lives day-to-day."

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Smartphones and caregiving – seize the opportunity to be useful

Not trading in your phone – only your carrier knows for sure.  What if the phone doesn’t break – and you’re going to have to pay real money for a new one? Even Apple can’t crack the code on that, since three-fourths of iPhones in 2015 were bought from carriers, its most recent growth stalled, but thankfully, in the midst of that slumping iPhone sales growth, maybe India will love the smaller phone.  But does Apple they know that as of 2010 there were 524 million people aged 65+ in the world?  Of course, Apple does not market to specific age segments, regardless of how much seniors may love the iPad. So that smartphone market will remain untapped – and at this point, older seniors are not convinced about the device’s utility.  Who wants their market? Doro, GreatCall, Clarity, and now Punkt offers a simple phone that could work for seniors.

Five New Technology Offerings for Aging in Place – April, 2016

Home is where seniors are, and for the most part, will stay.  But that doesn’t mean they will be shut out from technology innovations – increasingly those innovations are designed to benefit those at home. Increasingly, those organizations that serve older adults must also stay current on new technology developments and assess their fit for the care recipients they serve.  Categories of these April offerings include transportation, medication, housing, robotics, and tracking -- information is derived from the companies.

Real seniors are rightfully skeptical about technology like smartphones

Surveys are foundational for design/marketing – but they don’t include real seniors.  You need to make the set of slides to launch the product, service, or new website. Time to pitch the investment group, the board of directors, the distribution partners, the audience. Yet for the oldest adult markets and product segments that need seniors, the real seniors, individuals (aged 75+) are rarely surveyed – at least that we can tell, because their responses are dumped, clumped and lumped into the 65+ group.

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Sensor-tech university research, beloved by media, not by markets

Americans are worried about the risk of seniors falling.  It’s a YARP ("Yet Another Research Project"). Yay.  Carnegie Mellon researchers have provided this 2016 insight based on a survey -- accompanying their engineering project to 'solve' the problem. Coined to describe those special projects run by professors and grad students who appeared to have no access to the Internet to see what others have already developed and commercialized. But they have significant grant money that has yet to run out.

In 2016, has the Future of Home Care Technology been achieved?

Imagine the coordinated care scenario that includes…home care.  In July of 2012, The Future of Home Care Technology was published, based on interviews with 21 industry executives and a survey of 315 home care managers (including non-medical care, home health care, geriatric care managers, organizations and franchises) who represented 34,509 workers across multiple states. And as market research reports tend to do, this one tries to predict the future use of technology.  It s worth a look back, both to re-read a much-downloaded report and place it in 2016 context of actions, announcements, and industry change.

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