Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Aging

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Aging

Age bias permeates ads -- and technology design

Getty images show advertising’s ageist stereotypes.  A new report from AARP this week zeros in on something we all knew: Advertisers focus on the young – not unlike the tech firms who make products being advertised.  Despite the 50+ population representing one third of the US population, they only show up in 13% of advertising imagery. The AARP report authors analyzed the Getty images – and observed that even though 69% of people aged 65-73 own a smartphone, less the 5% of the images of technology included any older adults. The same held true for images of workers. While one third (53 million) of the labor force is 50+, only 13% showed them working – otherwise they were shown at home, with a partner or in a medical setting. And the kicker: 81% of the employees of advertising agencies are younger than 55 -- their ageism is well-documented.

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:

The Venn Diagram of Health, Aging, and Caregiving

You see it in the media and hear about it with investors.  Digital Health is in its bubble of $8.1 billion in 2018,  which amounted to 8.6 % of VC investments, despite limited exit strategies – but investors love it.    Startups focused on the aging/technology space, however, receive only 0.7% of venture capital investment, including the big money ($115 million to date) that has gone to just one company.  (And that company is quietly pivoting to become a home care consolidator/platform company).  Meanwhile, over at the $30 billion (2018) home care market, a worsening shortage of workers in the midst of demand growth, is creating a recruiting near-panic among agencies, senior living firms and families, and produced.

Hearing aid pricing and weak insurance – older adults lose out

You may have seen that rechargeable hearing aid commercial.   What was most striking about the commercial to a hearing industry outsider is the upfront commentary on what sounded like the predatory price of hearing aids – providers “charge whatever they can get.”   Several interesting aspects to that commercial – but the most interesting was that comment.  Who is ‘they’, how much can they ‘get’, and is there insurance that pays for them?  This is in an era where hearing aids have evolved to incorporate embedded AI, fall detection, direct connections for phone calls, and numerous other features and functions.

New research reveals 1 out of 3 retirees would choose to live elsewhere

01/10/2019

WALTHAM, Mass., January 10, 2019 –Continuing its mission to make aging easier and enable older Americans to be more engaged in their communities, Age Friendly Ventures today announced the launch of Age Friendly Advisor (agefriendly.com).  The site is a first-of-its-kind online platform with user-influenced, age-friendly scores for every neighborhood in America among other services. It features user-contributed reviews, research, and helpful content for people making important decisions on how and where to age.

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Trilogy Home Healthcare Partners with Synzi

09/25/2018

CLEARWATER, Fla.-- Synzi, a leading virtual care company, has announced that 

The technology category that cannot be spoken aloud – serving older adults

Investors continue to salivate over health tech.  Rant on.   So the first half of 2018 saw $3.4 billion invested in Digital Health (which means whatever you want it to mean.) And even when investments or company roll-ups are specifically about the Medicare population – frothy writers cannot bring themselves to use clear wording. So Optum acquires DaVita Medical Group and Humana acquires Kindred Healthcare. Gee, what do they do? Yes that is vertical integration in the continuum of care – specifically for health services to elderly Medicare recipients.  And the $146 million that went into PointClickCare – that is software for long-term post-acute care (LTPAC), another euphemism for what it really is – care of the elderly, generally in nursing homes.

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