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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Videophones and elders living alone

So one-third of elderly adults who live outside of institutions live alone. Many who live alone have no living children or see their children rarely. And 60 percent of those older than 75 years report being lonely. So says a textbook called “Aging: The Healthcare Challenge” by Carole Bernstein Lewis. So what about the videophone? Wouldn’t it make sense that there is a market in videophones for elders? How about a VoIP videophone — for remote monitoring by a health care professional — plus regular teleconferences (with different topics covered each call) scheduled by councils on aging, enabling participation, and allowing for opt-in video images of participants. Well, that exists. Here’s one, Packet8 — again, no marketing message to or about elders. But a review of VoIP broadband phone service mentions Packet8 and its $24.99/month service and its $99 videophone as Grandma-friendly pricing. Now we’re talking!

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Another video-phone was announced in today's NY Times Circuits.  AiGuru SV1, standalone webcam and Skype-certified two-way videophone, from ASUS, a Taiwanese company, is coming out in October, it's $300.

Apparently people can buy it from Amazon, and it’s going to be only $199 for black Friday deal.