Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Five technologies to help care for older adults – September, 2016

Behold more startup efforts to help with care.  You must admire this. The energy and entrepreneurial enthusiasm driving new entrants is astounding. And if at first, an idea does not take hold, note the founder of that one may appear in a new variant. You know that doctors can now bill for end-of-life conversations. And no surprise, a tool emerges that helps doctors with these conversations. One adds to the lengthy nationwide list of 'telephone reassurance' service providers. And there is even a directory. The offerings below are selected from recent press releases, startup finalists, and conversations. Note that the alphabetically-listed material is all drawn from the content provided by the companies:


Caregoals. "Caregoals gives you the confidence to have conversations that are relevant and meaningful to your patient’s life and care preferences. Measure, track and gain insight from patient data over time and predict future challenges that may face your patient. Caregoals provides you with the information to confidently initiate difficult conversations and give your patient a roadmap for successful outcomes." Learn more at Caregoals.


CareZapp. "More than just an app, this holistic platform enhances in-home caregiving, allowing patients to communicate with, not only their doctors, but their families and other similar patients to provide social support. It also has a resource listing of local service providers, and can alert a patients’ contacts when the system recognizes they may need assistance or reminders." Learn more at CareZapp.


Iamfine.  "As the leading telephone reassurance service provider in the industry, Iamfine sees this growth as validation of an elder care market need and an optimistic sign for the future of aging in place services. The Iamfine service provides an easy way for people who are living alone to check in every day, letting their loved ones know they are all right.  No technology is required other than a telephone.  Each day, the service makes a call to the person living alone.  By simply answering the phone and pressing "1", the loved one informs members of a customizable "care circle" that things are fine.  If no one answers, calls are repeated throughout the day, and care circle members are notified that someone may need to check on the loved one." Learn more at Iamfine.


Sen.se ThermoPeanut. Sen.se, an early pioneer of the Internet of Things industry, today announced the availability of ThermoPeanut™, an affordable, intuitive smart sensor that can monitor temperature in-and-around the home to provide alerts and trigger automated interventions in response to heat fluctuations. Already known for its Mother smart home platform, ThermoPeanut is the first product in a line of smart sensors called SensePeanut™ that are designed to drastically simplify various connected capabilities. Priced at just $29, each SensePeanut has its own set function, task or habit it can monitor allowing anyone with a smartphone or tablet to take advantage of the connected life revolution." Learn more at ThermoPeanut.


Vitalitix.  "Following a new phenomenon called 'crowd-caring,' the Vitalitix social-responsibility platform provides three-way communication between seniors, caregivers and community “social angels” as well as volunteers from existing networks. The idea is to reduce loneliness, improve safety and allow more freedom at home and out. The senior can access the app, now in beta, through any wearable device or smartphone." Learn more at Vitalitix.

Comments

This list of technologies is very enlightening, Laurie. Thanks for digging these out. 

I think the biggest obstacle for a lot of these start-ups is the early marketing. It's just so easy to get lost in the shuffle (so this article is even more helpful). 

In particular, I found the Iamfine idea really interesting.

 

Could I add my "Friendly Beds" to your list? An innovative bed mobility system that can be critical for people with bed mobility problems. Something an app can't address at all. On your list- like the IamFine idea the best.

Wow. Tech really is the way forward. I am impressed by the Iamfine tech. I believe its a very useful technology for senior care.

Thanks Laurie. Along the lines of the case that you consistently make, here is a great report from The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, calling for a national strategy to effectively engage and support family caregivers, including a recommendation that "The Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Veterans Affairs should work with leaders in health care and long-term services and supports delivery, technology, and philanthropy to establish a public-private, multi-stakeholder innovation
fund for research and innovation to accelerate the pace of change in addressing the needs of caregiving families." The more people clamoring that this recommendation needs to be implemented, the more likely it is that people will start to see positive change! 
http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2016/families-caring-for-an-aging-america.aspx

Speaking from experience, there is a HUGE gap between developing a useful, fully functioning prototype with operational test data on sight in healthcare facilities (assisted living and nursing homes in this case) 
...
and getting one of the already established 'big healthcare products' companies interested in turning it into a distributed product for the millions that can benefit from it. The 'not invented here' syndrome and giant-profit-goals of most venture capitalists usually kill great ideas and working prototypes dead at launch.