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Is aging in place technology at the 2.0 stage -- or beyond?

In the exhibit hall, there is often hope, sometimes disappointment. Startups hope for a committed investor, the inked partnership. Or perhaps a positive nod from a health firm or senior-housing community -- sell-once, deploy-many. At the mHealth Summit, now a HIMSS property as part of the multi-show Connected Health Summit, the obvious signal sent by HIMSS was its lack of interest in mobile and wearable mHealth – the summit was just one of several events scheduled at the same time. Attendees looked at the relatively limited scale of the show, noted its IT emphasis, compared to previous – some very big players did not even bother to participate (Walgreens, but not CVS?). Too much health IT, not enough mhealth? Or is all health tech now actually health IT?

Are conventions/trade shows yesterday concepts? Maybe for B2C, that’s true.  When AARP held its last national event, it was widely understood though not stated that the organization was done for now with national (retail) events. The new phrase on their website, AARP in Your City, underlines the intent to be thinking and behaving more regionally. The site also reminds us that much of what you may want or need from AARP can be found, not at an event, but in a publication or on its website.

But B2B events do serve a launch and platform purpose.  Facebook, LinkedIn, and WebEx don’t cut it for meeting a prospective client or sponsor. Nor do they work for identifying a business opportunity (i.e. consider the Piper Proximity beacon at LeadingAge – could it help in assisted living?) Events are quite inefficient for those hoping to be found for future funding, but they do attract the new and the hopeful, those with a fresh voice and eager point of view. Events can also signal a notable market change, perhaps an event is a sign that an early trend has moved to its next evolutionary phase, or as Jody Holtzman of AARP notes: "a critical mass of activity and deal flow has developed and even (with the Honor investment), the top tier of Sand Hill Road has finally taken notice."

Does Aging 2.0’s most recent Expo signal that a movement is underway?  Have we crossed 2.0-ness in the age-related market evolution? Soon (late January) it will be time to publish a 2016 version of the Market Overview of tech for aging. Remember the 1.0 era, from 6-8 years ago. Newcomers fought to obtain visibility with consumers (especially), but also with the media and prospective business partners. Many of these startups stalled trying to explain the who and the why of their market, let alone the what, the when, and at what price. Now scroll down to the Aging 2.0 exhibitor list and study it. Think about other exhibit halls you’ve walked in the past. Take the long view – is this an evolved or still-emerging market? Is it even a single market? How does it fit with the healthcare tech market boom? Where does the family caregiver fit into it? And what else has changed since this post from 2008?

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Movement, that’s hard to define (I think more of how folks try to define culture change in that context).  All I know is for the first time since we started iN2L in 1999 people care about engagement, specifically from a dementia standpoint!  And whatever the motivation for that shift, it’s a good thing…


I definitely think there's much more visibility and interest in this space and much more conversation bubbling up about aging/caregiving as people look at the data- The numbers are ASTRONOMICAL - with T's for $$Trillion  . Problem has been that most people have their blinders on, are siloed into their specific area and the "hardware/sensor/software" centric solutions for seniors seems a huge challenge with a huge cost/ technical know-how/maintenance challenges - which no one is willing to pay for up front. Many rather deal with sick-care....than pay for preventive care upfront....but that is changing.....slowly but surely. What I used to hear as an excuse for not investing in prevention-  is that people jump employers and people jump health plans-  so they pay upfront and want reap the benefits ....like a game of who's going to be caught holding the sick potato. :-) 
I have attended a number of events over the past six months, Health 2.0, Exponential Medicine, etc and the pattern I see is that Major organizations/people are speaking about the senior/ caregiving space more and more and the costs and challenges associated with it even though sometimes they may not be specifically be the Title of their talk directly....but the conversation and talking points make up a chunk up of the conversation. 
So yes....a movement....I do foretell :-)

We do see increased interest - both in terms of numbers of people (750 people at the AgeTech Expo this year, our biggest event ever) but also greater levels of engagement from a broader range of startups, large corporates and also the older adults themselves. We do often call it a movement - the nature and importance of the topic, its global scope and the willingness to collaborate and share best practices has much in common with other areas in which business can be a force of change for good - the environment and education for example. 

Appreciate your inclusion of "family caregiver" as an important stakeholder - Still find that many health tech meetings bring the tech and provider communities together.  Heard at a NYC Momentum 15 (#MedMo15) meeting yesterday convened by Alex Fair and the team at Medstarter that solutions such as www.cognuse.com are being trialed by large systems, but family caregivers and patients still "MIA" -  Perhaps that is your point, that 2.0 brought providers to the table and that 3.0 will integrate end user preferences without intermediation? 

I was wondering if you could help me under stand place technology at the 2.0 stage. I work for a Brentwood Senior Care Agency and I am always looking for ways to improve our home care services.