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01/16/2022

 These devices 'help them maintain independence long into retirement.'

01/13/2022

Including new VR glasses and hearing aid tech.

01/13/2022

Half a billion so far this year.

01/13/2022

Two co-living communities set to break ground this year seek to address loneliness.

01/09/2022

Includes OrCam My-Eye reader.

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Laurie Orlov's blog

CENSUS DATA: Finding caregivers (family or paid) is harder than ever

Family caregivers cannot provide enough care for a growing population of the 80+. You may remember. AARP Public Policy research in 2013 revealed a future crisis in availability of people to care for an aging population (“You take care of Mom, but who will take care of you?”). The report indicated that the Caregiver Support Ratio (CSR), the number of potential caregivers aged 45-64 compared to the population of individuals aged 80+, was going to significantly worsen. The projections showed that it would move from a ratio of 7 to 1 (using 2010 census data) down to 4 to 1 by 2030. That was worrisome, long before the term solo agers was coined. A 2015 blog post examined census that data by county (Stranded by Geography) and identified retirement destinations that had the worst ratios.And in 2017, analysis was published showing the ratio of population aged 80+ to care workers, calling it the Paid Caregiver Support Ratio, or pCSR.

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Four trends to watch from 2022 Market Overview Technology for Aging

As 2022 begins, the oldest baby boomer turns 76. As the population aged 65+ exceed 54 million, trends emerge. Because of the sheer size of the older adult market, and the wealth of baby boomers, vendors increasingly see them as constituents for new offerings.  The pace of innovation is accelerating, driven by older adult changing needs, shortage of care workers, investor interest and of course.  Considering the recent CES 2022 product introductions, we are entering a world of 'touchless' interactions, ubiquitous sensors and hearables, as well as AI and machine learning, now about to reach its promise and contribute to serving older adults.   Here are just four of the trends identified in the 2022 Market Overview, Technology for Aging

Technologies for Older Adults from CES 2022

CES 2022 – smaller in size, but big in tech futures.   Many big companies decided at the last minute to stay home, eliminating, as one attendee noted, the lines at Starbucks.  But this very-global show went on anyway, this time with 40,000 in person (down from 171,000 just two years ago.) AARP Innovation Labs, CTA Foundation accessibility awards, and numerous other in-person, remote, and hybrid sub-events went on (sort of) as scheduled. As with prior CES events, multiple new technologies that benefit older adults were showcased from around the world.  Some will appear in the US market, others may not until a much later date, if ever. All text is from public media. All are worth a look. 

In the time of CES 2022 -- advice to tech firms about older adults

This week is CES 2022 -- new and current entrants seek markets and partnerships.  Perhaps you aren't paying attention -- but once per year, innovations from around the world are presented at CES for comment, media attention, and most of all, seeking interest about what's new (or even just envisioned).  This year it is a hybrid event -- with some folks in person, some watching online and others lurking among the press releases. Next week's blog post will detail 10 products/services from CES 2022 that will likely make a difference for older adults.  But this week, here is advice for startups and new entrants when thinking about reaching an older adult audience.  It is extracted from the Technology for Aging 2022 Market Overview, to be posted following CES, and including 30 offerings that were not in the 2021 version. The advice: 

Did you miss one? The Four tech and aging blog posts December 2021

So much happened in 2021 that should benefit older adults.   It should be more feasible to purchase hearing aids ‘over the counter’ without an exam (offered for many years in Japan, but whatever...) and at a price point that is more reasonable for largely uninsured devices.  Honor bought Home Instead – which should result in more technology used in the home care industry -- and soon, hopefully, for an industry suffering from  a severe labor shortage. LifeStation (never a first mover) became the latest to introduce a PERS watch, which should be the non-stigmatizing form factor for Personal Emergency Response devices. Big tech revealed growing interest in older adults and investors saw the potential in firms like Papa, which provides (reimbursed) varied assistance to older adults. Lowe’s prioritized helping older adults and partnered with AARP, which should help older adults benefit from smart homes.  And maybe the big deal starts now -- the oldest baby boomers turn 76, which should trigger even more investment in 2022 and beyond. Here are the four December posts:

Wrapping up 2021 – trends to watch plus 10 most-read blog posts

For tech and older adults, the year 2021 was pivotal. It was the year of age-tech gaining AARP visibility as AgeTech. It was a year in which hearables moved into the mainstream of hearing assistance, and lower cost over-the-counter hearing aids became more likely. It was a year in which wearables for older adults began to make sense – as predicted in 2020, replacing the PERS pendant with a wrist-worn wearable. It was a year in which radar-based fall detection became a non-wearable alternative within the smart home.  Radar, in fact, may join motion sensors, AI, cameras, and voice first technologies as no longer separate and disconnected, but instead part of an integrated smart home infrastructure. Imagine the home as a ‘participating caregiver’ with an in-home team of technologies that help enable older adults’ desire to age in place.  Imagine “Family on Demand” as a form of insurance-reimbursed services. And imagine what might happen in 2022.  Let's imagine it together -- starting next week. The blogs:

Aging and Health Technology Watch 2021 Research – A Recap

2021 – even less travel than previous – so for many, it was the best of times. Not just for Zoom, the company, but for many who wished to spend more time thinking and less time in airports. That meant it was still feasible to write monthly blog posts, publish client white papers and complete interview-intensive research reports.  It was feasible to consider topics such as AI and machine learning, Home Care technology, the role of big tech companies and older adults, barriers to tech adoption, broadband access, predictive analytics, voice first, and the role of tech in Villages. And that was in addition to doing a CES 2021 blog post about ten and with too many companies, posting a second one. Likely this coming CES 2022 will have two blog posts, not to mention more press releases. 2021was a year of research about wearables and smart homes – plus a fully updated Market Overview. Here are the summaries of those reports – in case you missed them:

New Report: Beyond DIY -The Future of Smart Homes and Older Adults

Within five years, predictive, proactive and adaptive smart home solutions that support health and wellbeing, comfort and safety, and engagement and entertainment will emerge to meet the needs of older adults, including subscription-based services that are integrated with wearables. Remote configuration and updates will be standard, and health insurers will be interested in smart home technology as a deterrent to hospitalization. With the addition of predictive analytics and machine learning, the home can become a participating caregiver for the oldest and frailest. What are a few of the trends that will make that feasible?

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Did you miss a November blog post about tech and older adults?

Tech for an aging population – niche or not.  November is done. But recent announcements about tech and older adults make one wonder about the category. Should it be special, unique, with well-designed hardware by well-meaning and enthusiastic engineers? That sounds good – but is it?  The oldest baby boomer turns 76 in January 2022.  That sounds old.  Does that place baby boomers squarely in the ‘I had a grandmother who fell down’ design target?  The PERS industry, maybe a cash cow for persistent resellers, has actually not grown in the past four years – market sizing numbers have been stable at around $1.5 billion. But consider other trends -- the older population has grown, the Apple Watch was introduced and fall detection apps are available from Best Buy and FallCall, Philips Lifeline withdrew, Amazon has partnered with Vayyar (radar-based fall detection) in Alexa Together. What was once a sizable niche may actually be a hanging-on, but low growth market for the foreseeable future.  Blog posts from November:

What is Age-Tech and why is it different from All Tech?

Age-Tech is in.  Perhaps you have seen the Age-Tech term pop up since early 2020, led in the US by by AARP’s CEO Jo Ann Jenkins.  Now it is all around – it characterizes AARP’s recently convened AgeTech Collaborative to ‘accelerate and scale new solutions for the 50+ market.’  AgeTech has its own Market Map as developed by Keren Etkin, Gerontechnologist.   And more recently, a young San Francisco investor, Scott Rupp, offered up the Age-Tech economic outlook from Dominic Endicott of 4Gen investment in the UK, an ‘Age-Tech expert,’ describing what the Age-Tech market is today

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