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Living your best life -- bring on the suites. Blogs from June 2024

Don’t we already have technology to live our best life as we age?  Absolutely, as predicted in 2011, needs have been fulfilled, tech innovation has made it so. But do older adults know about it?  Could they afford it?  Could they deploy it in their homes? Will it enable them to age in place?  Do investors view the ‘best life’ suite of capabilities as an opportunity worthy of funding? The process of pitching one product at a time is well established – and innovators are comfortable with it, as are their judges.  But is that what older adults need?  Or would a suite of offerings, with deployment before the need becomes urgent, make more sense?  Here are the four blog posts from June, 2024:

 

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? Read more.

Technology to Live Your Best Life – what a great phrase.  An old report, the core concept of Connected Living was excellent and predictive. Thirteen years ago, AARP sponsored research that posed questions about technology’s future role in connecting older adults with families, resources and each other. With input from 30 industry experts, the research attempted to determine how technology could better serve older adults moving forward. The result was a 2011 report called Connected Living for Social Aging: Designing Technology for All. You won’t find it on AARP’s website – it’s too old. But it is very interesting, especially given that year's low technology adoption and extremely limited use among older adults as compared to today. The report accurately predicted the major role technology would take in their lives as they aged, though experts then were not exactly sure how. Read more.

What about living a healthier life?  The health statistics on older adults are not encouraging. Today 70% of the 65+ have high blood pressure and 47.3% have arthritis; 48% have high cholesterol. Nearly half suffer from back pain. One out of four have knee problems due to arthritis, a major contributor to disability in older age. Among the 65+, 27% are sedentary – and 20% have shoulder problems, typically from arthritis, rotator cuff tears and degenerative changes from aging. Have older adults adopted health tech to help them? Not really. Read more.

Older adult scams are more clever, strategies to mitigate more futile. One wonders if there is an entire funding source somewhere that pumps money into new and scam incarnations – like the voice cloning scam (this is your panicky daughter! Send money!). Scams have been around forever, though, remember the laundry list of them, beginning with Medicare and Social Security (goal – get money), Publisher’s Clearinghouse (goal – identity theft) and many others per Google AI. It all added up to $3.4 billion in 2023. Scam innovation grows faster, and the business opportunity for scammers?  $12,996 per victim. Read more.

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