Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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January 2019

2019: What Technology Matters for Older Adults

In 2018, technology utilization grew – so did frustrations.  While Internet and social media technology use has plateaued over all age ranges, Facebook still has captured only 41% of the 65+.  Pew’s data showed that smartphone ownership still has not overtaken cellphones among the 65+.   In early 2019, AARP Research published a technology survey taken in 2018 which showed ownership of smartphones growing to 65% of the 65+.  However, that same survey revealed low trust in online safety, and generally low trust in institutions to keep their personal data safe, a justified worry, given the number of data breaches that occurred during 2018.

Technology Tool Tarnish – Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn

Facebook is the company we increasingly love to hate – but boomers still ‘like’ it. So much negative press, well deserved, about Facebook lately, including the lawsuit about knowingly duping children playing games. Then there was the Pew Research estimated number of deleted accounts (mostly young people) and no small deal, a big security breach.  Clearly this is a company with management issues – and someday will either fail (unlikely), be broken up, or be regulated, even in the US, which has for some unknown reason done nothing to date, unlike privacy actions taken in Europe.   According to eMarketer, though, baby boomers are still big users – of the 76.4 million of them, 31.9 million are using Facebook. Hopefully not trying to stay connected to teens – who are departing for other platforms like Snapchat, according to eMarketer, including Snapchat. On the positive side, Snapchat is not yet owned by Facebook – which will be combining Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp into a single platform by 2020.

Consider: Aging in a Virtual World

Once upon a time, in a language far, far away…We used terms like long distance, remote, and telepresence to describe services and experiences that were taking place somewhere else. We were guided on how to cope with these remote processes where we were not present to manage or experience. And for the care recipients being managed, they were unable to communicate problems in their on-site, 'real' experience. Consider dementia care and the still-startling lack of cameras in these settings – despite family willingness to pay. These limitations seem so yesterday.  Even a telepresence player like Beam threw in the towel and refers to the world it now navigates as ‘virtual.’   Let's take a longer look into this virtual world as it relates to care of older adults and consider such offerings as:

Ten More Technology Offerings from CES 2019 -- Beyond Gadgets

CES 2019 – Gone but certainly not forgotten. Multiple blog posts and articles have surfaced since CES 2019 – including some offerings that should be recapped here. No doubt they would have been viewed in person with more time and better tennis shoes at the Sands Convention Center. There was ANOTHER convention center (LVCC) and various hotel events that remained sight unseen. The important insight about CES is that while some offerings were played in a previous year, the networking opportunity for innovators was too good to miss and so many returned.  Here are ten more, in alphabetical order:

Ten Technology Offerings From CES 2019 - Beyond Gadgets

Bright Lights, thick smoke, constant walking and avoidance maneuvers.  After taking a year or two off, returning to CES is a chore and a revelation – it clearly is the major event for new technology announcements. Gadgets, yes, too many smart wearables, including underwear, too many near misses of being run over by gangs of oblivious young guys staring at their phones. If there was a key trend in all of this racket, Sleep has become a tech obsession, the uptake of Digital Health is almost here, new variants of companions and assistants were pervasive, including Google Assistant inside everything and Amazon voice devices everywhere.

2018-2019 look back and ahead at tech buzz, hope, and hype

Who can resist reflection when a year ends and 2019 begins? So much racket, so much of it driven by writers desperate for something to write about – and we’re not talking about the news. Lots of  negative tech energy in 2018, including healthcare data breaches, Facebook’s loss of trust, ditto with Google and its much discussed anti-competitive positioning in search. The visibility of Facebook management issues and Google competitive quagmire may actually be good for consumers.  So what was interesting in 2018 that was great news, possibly intriguing or just plain worth noting prior to CES 2019, which will present a cornucopia (or maybe just a plethora) of new tech and tech news? [Warning, more blog posts about CES next week while there].  A few topics that stood out: