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Did you miss one? The Four tech and aging blog posts December 2021

So much happened in 2021 that should benefit older adults.   It should be more feasible to purchase hearing aids ‘over the counter’ without an exam (offered for many years in Japan, but whatever...) and at a price point that is more reasonable for largely uninsured devices.  Honor bought Home Instead – which should result in more technology used in the home care industry -- and soon, hopefully, for an industry suffering from  a severe labor shortage. LifeStation (never a first mover) became the latest to introduce a PERS watch, which should be the non-stigmatizing form factor for Personal Emergency Response devices. Big tech revealed growing interest in older adults and investors saw the potential in firms like Papa, which provides (reimbursed) varied assistance to older adults. Lowe’s prioritized helping older adults and partnered with AARP, which should help older adults benefit from smart homes.  And maybe the big deal starts now – the oldest baby boomers turn 76, which should trigger even more investment in 2022 and beyond. Here are the four December posts:

Why is Age-Tech different from All-Tech? Perhaps you have seen the Age-Tech term pop up since early 2020, led in the US by by AARP’s CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. Now it is all around – it characterizes AARP’s recently convened AgeTech Collaborative to ‘accelerate and scale new solutions for the 50+ market.’ Age-Tech has its own Market Map as developed by Keren Etkin, Gerontechnologist. And more recently, a young San Francisco investor, Scott Rupp, offered up the Age-Tech economic outlook from Dominic Endicott of 4Gen investment in the UK, an ‘Age-Tech expert,’ describing what the Age-Tech market is today. Read more.

The Future of Smart Homes and Older Adults 2021. Within five years, predictive, proactive and adaptive smart home solutions that support health and wellbeing, comfort and safety, and engagement and entertainment will emerge to meet the needs of older adults, including subscription-based services that are integrated with wearables. Remote configuration and updates will be standard, and health insurers will be interested in smart home technology as a deterrent to hospitalization. With the addition of predictive analytics and machine learning, the home can become a participating caregiver for the oldest and frailest. What are a few of the trends that will make that feasible? Read the report.

Recapping 2021 Research Reports and their topics. 2021 – even less travel than previous – so for many, it was the best of times. Not just for Zoom, the company, but for many who wished to spend more time thinking and less time in airports. That meant it was still feasible to write monthly blog posts, publish client white papers and complete interview-intensive research reports. It was feasible to consider topics such as AI and machine learning, Home Care technology, the role of big tech companies and older adults, barriers to tech adoption, broadband access, predictive analytics, voice first, and the role of tech in Villages. And that was in addition to doing a CES 2021 blog post about ten and with too many companies, posting a second one. Likely this coming CES 2022 will have two blog posts, not to mention derive from more press releases. 2021 was a year of research about wearables and smart homes – plus a fully updated Market Overview. Here are the summaries of those reports. Read more.

2021 – the most read blog posts and their topics. The year 2021 was pivotal. It was the year of age-tech gaining AARP visibility as AgeTech. It was a year in which hearables moved into the mainstream of hearing assistance, and lower cost over-the-counter hearing aids became more likely. It was a year in which wearables for older adults began to make sense – as predicted in 2020, replacing the PERS pendant with a wrist-worn wearable. It was a year in which radar-based fall detection became a non-wearable alternative within the smart home. Radar, in fact, may join motion sensors, AI, cameras, and voice first technologies as no longer separate and disconnected, but instead part of an integrated smart home infrastructure. Imagine the home as a ‘participating caregiver’ with an in-home team of technologies that help enable older adults’ desire to age in place. Imagine “Family on Demand” as a form of insurance-reimbursed services. Read more.

2021 Client White Papers

iN2L: Technology-Enabled Support and Respite for Dementia Caregivers, Sept, 2021

Hartford: The Data Doesn't Lie -- Raise Your Phone Scam Awareness, August, 2021

iN2L: Enabling, Expanding, and Enriching the Resident’s World, February, 2021

Hartford: How Home Tech Innovations Can Help Aging Clients, January, 2021

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