Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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November 2018

That time of year -- considering technology gifts for older adults

Warning -- this is not a blog post about what to give to seniors. There are plenty of click-bait websites topping the search list, like Holiday Tech Gift Ideas or the lengthy Amazon tech gift list or even a list described as The 7 Best Tech Gifts to Buy for Seniors -- really? Maybe these are the perfect gifts – or perhaps for some family members, the DailyCaring list is appropriate. Among all these lists, there might be some intriguing items that could be welcome, if not necessarily practical. Don’t forget a set of portable batteries – extremely useful for all these devices during power outages. Okay that is enough about the What – and For Whom.

Living to 100 – will technology matter – and for whom?

What is the likelihood of living to 100 for older adults? Greater than you think – can you imagine that that by 2050, the number will grow from 72,000 to 1 million in the United States – in Canada, centenarians are the fastest-growing age group.  Today there are 450,000 centenarians worldwide – with the longest disability-free life expectancy found in Okinawa, Japan. Is society ready to accommodate double the number of seniors who will be living to 100 and beyond?  What will the experience be like – today’s centenarians offer a clue to how they came to live as long – genetics, healthy lifestyle, marital status. What these individuals were not, however, is socially isolated, as many of today’s boomers may be.

Apple’s walled garden bites the wallet – but is the world of ‘free’ better?

Check out this startling sampling of Apple user complaints...Rant on. ZDNet published a list of Apple complaints posted on Reddit (which has an Apple forum of more than 800K members) – the list was eye-opening and filled with rage about (storage, connector, power) limitations. Oddly, in the center of the online article was an iPad ad. One commenter compared the Apple customer experience to buying a high-end Audi and discovering that the price did not include tires. Today Apple has 44.3% market share phone ownership – compared to Android’s 54.5% (led by Samsung and LG).   Users feel locked into Apple's ecosystem, but some commenting said it was easier to switch than people believe. Phone replacement cycles are lengthening, due to high prices for new phones coupled with apparent (or fixable) durability of existing devices.

Five technologies from 2018 Aging 2.0 Optimize

Interested in innovation in the age-related market?  You are based in the west coast or needed to be there to do other business?  Then you may have attended Aging 2.0’s annual Optimize event this week in San Francisco to hear Dr. Joseph Coughlin of the MIT Age Lab describe his insights about the Longevity Economy. And you may have viewed the pitches for partners, spoken with investors, and learned about Aging 2.0 progress in meeting its 2017-identified Grand Challenges -- augmented in 2018 with two additional, Care Coordination and Engagement. In addition, OhmniLabs won the Global Startup Competition. With that as context, here are five startups that exhibited at Aging 2.0 this week – all material is drawn from the firms' own sites:

Six Health and Aging Technology Blog Posts from October 2018

October – autumn leaves drift down and large events gear up.  Traversing the trade show world, so much tech, so little time. And other shows await, including Aging 2.0 Optimize in California, GSA in Boston, Innovations in Longevity in DC (see you at there!) all ahead in the remains of the year of 2018.  For each of the trade show events, look for startup garages and innovation sections grouped at the back or on the side of convention centers. Study the exhibit halls online if you can’t be there in person.  Show organizers want you to find new companies – and some may be the most innovative ones you encounter in the entire event.  Here are six blog posts from October 2018:

Aging in place -- big talk, but do people really believe it?

Who doesn’t want to live in their 'forever' home? After all, AARP has surveyed us for 2018 – staying there is apparently what 76% want, though only 59% expect that they will.  But responders also know that you can’t always get what you want. Concerns included the need for transportation regardless of physical status, ability to stay active in the community, and availability of hospitals nearby (though that 911 call can fail to find us).  And no, ride-sharing and self-driving cars are not viewed as panaceas.  We know many of the reasons older adults will leave their homes – families and the draw of grandchildren pull them nearer; a spouse dies; the home itself is too costly to keep.  

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