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Four tech and aging blog posts from August, 2019

The last gasp of August and Labor Day's hurricane Dorian is behind us.  Note how a devastating Hurricane Dorian already has become a past tense Wikipedia entry (!). Now we must contemplate the fall season of tradeshows and events, rev up anticipation for impending technology announcements, consider that technology anti-trust investigations are launching in multiple states. Meanwhile,  The older adult technology market is still comprised of four main categories, into which the new entrants and inventions, including wearables, sensors, AI, and predictive analytics, will fit. The research report, Voice, Health, and Wellbeing 2020 has now launched and interviews are underway. Interest has grown in the use of technology to mitigate social isolation – more on that topic later this week, and the US population aged 65+ passed 52 million in 2018. What to make of all this? Here are the blog posts from August for consideration:

Wearables for Health and Wellbeing. How do wearables contribute to health and wellbeing of older adults? Did something happen recently propelling sales up 51% that pushed consumers out the door to buy a wearable, like a fitness band or a smartwatch? Was it the coolness of the Apple Watch? Was this the fear of ailments that worsen with lack of exercise? Or to put the question another way, what is it that these devices do that can help maintain or improve health, noting that 32% of baby boomers today get no exercise whatsoever, according to the CDC. However more than 50% are striving for 30 minutes per day and want feedback about how they're doing. Read more.

For older adults, consider that transitions are going to take longer. The baby boomer generation’s later years will be unprecedented.   Each time the population aged 65+ is counted, it’s a bigger number. That onslaught, now at 52 million, bears repeating.  The boomers, turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day, are pushing and prodding assumptions, deadlines, and pundit predictions. As they do so, they will force industries to change offerings – and drive considerable change in technology that underpins their lives. Consider signals from today's older adults that will only become more pronounced as the boomers move past today's upper age of 73. Read more.

A reminder: Moving beyond pilots.  Search for the word ‘pilot’ on this siteThat is an interesting historical search – pages and pages of Start Me Up pilots in tech, programs, initiatives large and small, all linked, no doubt to corresponding media spend and press releases.  Think back on the cycles of tech deployment.  Remember the Alpha test, when the product barely worked at all.  After those bugs were uncovered by testers who had scripts designed for successful outcomes, it was time for the Beta test – where selected prospective users are identified, put the offering through its paces, under an assumption that the pilot will be converted to permanent deployment. Read more.

Will you be out and about in the fall? Especially for startups, going to events can reveal contacts that you may need or initiatives that you did not know even existed. Over the next few months, there are events around the country worth attending if schedules permit and interest areas match. Useful, besides sessions themselves, are exhibit areas where vendors offer new and existing solutions for the target audiences of the attendees.  For those who do not attend, check the exhibit hall online after the event if the organizers make that feature available.  Read more.