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2024 What's Next Longevity Venture Summit (online)

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July 2023

Aging in Place – What goes around comes around again (and again)

Long ago 'aging in place' terminology emerged with a different meaning.  Forgotten now, it was briefly in Wikipedia to define the benefit of a continuing care retirement community where you did not have to leave the community if you required higher levels of care. And the term wandered over briefly to assisted living.  But it eventually stuck as remaining in your own home through thick and thin. And in 2013, it was promoted on the book circuit by former HUD director, Henry Cisneros about his 87-year-old mother – they were both insistent that she 'age in place.'  Which she did, until she died after a fall, isolated in her huge house after all her neighbors had died or moved away. 

Five tech offerings serving the family, senior living and home care continuum

The care continuum that serves older adults is an ignored reality.  The stove-piping of care-related services is a myth. It is perpetuated in associations, venture capital and public policy lobbying. Examples: Some believe family caregivers are a standalone entity that does not use care services. That committing to aging independently at home is a permanent decision. Or that home care a parallel universe to senior living. Or that workers in each of those do not also find work in nursing homes. Reality check: Family caregivers may hire home care services. Or they move loved ones to senior living. Senior living companies (and families) augment limited staff with home care workers. And depending on health, wealth or financial planning, many older adults will one day move to nursing homes, where the worker pool matches that in the other care services. Each part of the continuum wants to use technology to deliver better, more efficient, and health-aware care. Here are five– information drawn directly from the websites:

No surprise: Data underpins care quality in senior living and home care

For too many years, high quality data about care of seniors has been elusive.  Lack of standardization of technology platforms – or lack of care platforms altogether – hobbled the care industries -- senior living, home care, home healthcare. Yet the merger and acquisition of companies in other industries ultimately results in consolidation of data. Platforms matter—they enable data standardization which in turn fuels growth. Consider Jet Blue’s interest in buying Spirit, getting planes and pilots(infrastructure) that match its current business. Consider Optum’s acquisition of Amedisys home health business. Note its 2015 $72.5 million write off of a failed in-house software deployment process. No doubt, Optum’s own data standardization business will help integrate Amedisys if the acquisition is improved.

Fall detection -- does the PERS industry detect market changes?

Has anyone you know fallen and couldn’t get up?  If so, would you pick up the phone and call Life Alert, the purveyor of those miserable ads on TV?  This is not a fun company – read the reviews about working there. Philips launched its own Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) offering in 2005 through the acquisition of Lifeline Systems and gave up 16 years later, selling it to Connect America. Since then, Medical Guardian became a market leader ($100 million investment from WaterStreet), with Florence Henderson as spokesperson. And so some believe this is a viable (standalone?) market and believe that it has a low penetration rate into the potential market of worried older adults or their physicians and families.

Did you miss one? Four Aging and Health Tech Blog Posts June 2023

Six mobility offerings from AARP AgeTech Collaborative. AARP’s AgeTech Collaborative launched in 2021 with a splash (and 50 startups) that has widened into an age wave, or a sort of Match.com for age-related companies to find others, including collaborators, sponsors, pilots, and more. Today’s collection includes 104 companies, many of whom have gone through the AgeTech Collaborative Accelerator process, including pitch competition, Accelerator program enabling entry into the AgeTech Collaborative program. The categories span Caregiving, FemTech, Health, Mobility, Savings & Planning, and Social Connections. Read more.

The cellphone (50 years old) connects everyone

The cell phone – imagine a connected life without it. The story of that invention, particularly the context of an AT&T monopoly of the time period, is instructive about what it takes to get an innovation into the market – when many are involved, including government agencies; and obstacles, in-house and competitors, are all around.  According to interviews and his many anecdotes in his book, Cutting the Cord, Marty Cooper, aged 94, it was just one thing after the other to get the cellphone fully designed, manufactured, and into the marketplace as a mobile phone – when even his own company, Motorola, thought that the car phone market was the real opportunity.  Motorola’s own estimates of the cell phone market opportunity in the 1970’s was a wild underestimation, predicting that millions of devices sold.  Today the total number is closer to 18 billion phones worldwide. Many of those users in other countries own no other device.

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