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End fragmentation in 2024 -- where are the AgeTech solution suites?

The 2024 media message touts aging in place. It’s what everyone wants to do, even those with homes that are difficult to navigate, long distances from family, and must have major modifications to enable remaining there. Yet you read this message nearly every week  – Next Avenue lauds the benefits, sponsored by Lively from Best Buy Health.  Fortune tests home monitoring systems they say are critical to Aging in Place.  And USA Today publishes a survey that underscores the desire to age in place. So what is the market of tech that will support this goal?  AARP calls it AgeTech – and has a startup directory of new entrants, including categories of health, mobility, caregiving and more.  But that is a list, not a solution.

Let’s end the fragmentation of the AgeTech market – combine offerings into suites.  Older adults have a variety of chronic conditions and physical issuesmore than the previous generation. If people want to age in place, they will benefit from some technologies relevant to their chronic issue. Why force them to search for one product at a time?  As these offerings migrate into the commercial market, as many of them have, consider first describing them, and eventually integrating them into suites of products along with existing in-market offerings.  Solution providers across these categories will imagine and find partners to get these suites into the hands of an aging baby boomer population.  The first three?

  1. The AgeTech Health Suite. For starters, perhaps it is time for an AgeTech Health Suite.  What might be in it?  Condition-monitoring technologies for one thing: chronic conditions like diabetes, cardiac issues, osteoporosis, arthritis.  The suite for health could include 1) Symptom verification 2) Training about the condition 3) Mitigation and coping 4) Medication Management technologies and 5) Access to peer communities with the same condition.
  1. The AgeTech Mobility Suite.  This suite will include technologies to assist with 1) Improving mobility – like strength training, walking, dance 2) Or how about mobility exercises – the generative AI response!  3) perhaps mobility assistive devices (like walkers, wheelchairs, canes, specialty shoes, exoskeleton assists 4) perhaps accessories such walker seats and carriers; and smart wheelchair cushions. And finally, access to a peer community.
  1. The AgeTech Home and Safety Suite.  This suite, also known as the Aging in Place suite, must incorporate home safety products  technologies – such as smart doorbell, home security monitoring software, air quality monitors, and automatic stove shutoffs.  But it should also include fall detection technology – such as wearables, but also in-room fall detection that could be Wi-Fi based, temperature sensing, cameras and more, plus a peer community interested in these capabilities.

[See latest report: The User Experience Needs an Upgrade

Comments

Moving to suites of solutions for a broader population could alleviate some of the push back regarding products solely for older adults and expand the market. By identifying them as mobility or home security solutions, it will remove the "I'm not old, I don't need that" response. Products like the Lotus ring for controlling objects at home, which recently won the Business Plan competition at the recent What's Next Longevity Venture Summit.

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