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Boomer-Senior Tech Business

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Boomer-Senior Tech Business

Five Health and Aging Blog Posts from August 2020

August in the time of Covid-19.  Normally at this time of year, one looks back at the summer just passing and ahead to the autumn of trade shows, travel, and even – gasp -- talking in person.  This year, the emergence of Work From Home (with an acronym WFH!) has isolated most in Zoom rooms and revealed decorating styles, bookshelves and intriguing wall art. The world’s largest annual trade event that many tech firms would spend the fall preparing for, CES in January 2021, has moved to all-online. The irreversible telehealth boom may be slowing and yet, older adults may be unable to benefit.  More from August 2020:

Five innovations for older adults from Israel

Innovation for older adults – not keeping pace in the US.   We get pretty excited when a new venture firm starts up in the US that focuses on older adults. One imagines that the phone there is ringing off the hook. Why? That makes at least three US VC firms, including Generator Ventures and Linkage Ventures, that acknowledge the older adult technology market, let alone fund early stage entrants. Consider that the 65-and-older population has grown by a third in the past decade –  now at 54 million (or 16% of the US’ 328 million).  Are three VCs enough to cultivate innovation needed to serve older adults, given the shortage of caregivers in homecare, home healthcare and senior living? And that’s today – never mind the projected growth of the segment in the coming years.

 Why industry analysts and PR agencies both matter

Approaching the 20th year in this job category, so let’s reflect.  OPINION ON. Industry analysts wear many hats, but the primary role is to understand and communicate about a particular category market of companies/players.  This includes writing market research documents (blogs, white papers, reports) about the categories that can help position them in comparison to each other and new entrants. It includes giving advice to current and new entrants. Analysts also do custom paid work for some of those companies– such as advisory sessions, surveys, webinars, speaking engagements, or white papers.  Analyst firms typically publish market overviews -- for the tech sector, Gartner Magic Quadrant positioning, Forrester Wave or IDC market surveys.

To connect older adults, when will a trend convert to a mandate?

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, tech nice-to-haves have become critical.  Between boosting the deployment of telehealth technologies, once-delayed initiatives became instantly late. Consumers are on board with telehealth, and engagement technologies like smartphones and tablets are offered through Medicare Advantage, plus a wave of other pandemic-related tactics and free offerings appeared.  Thousands of smart speaker devices have been delivered to senior living communities.  Note that PACE programs for frail and low-income elderly are now directed by CMS to use remote technology for "activities that would normally occur on an in-person basis," such as scheduled and unscheduled participant assessments, care planning, monitoring, communication, and other activities.”

K4Connect Raises Additional Capital to Close Series B Funding of $21M

07/08/2020

RALEIGH, N.C., July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- K4Connect, a mission-driven technology company that integrates the best in technology to serve and empower older adults and those living with disabilities, today announced a financing raise of $7.7 million led by Forte Ventures. This financing officially closes K4Connect's Series B round at $21 million, bringing the company's total outside venture funding to-date to $31 million.

Ziegler Link•Age Funds Invest In Bluestar SeniorTech 2020

07/02/2020

CHICAGO, June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Ziegler Link•Age Funds announced today that they will invest in and partner with BlueStar SeniorTech of Rockville, Maryland to support BlueStar's growth efforts nationwide. BlueStar SeniorTech provides aging-in-place technologies to help American seniors stay safe, healthy and connected in their homes as they age.

BlueStar SeniorTech joins a cadre of Ziegler Link•Age Fund investments fostering innovation and new care delivery models in the post-acute and aging market.

What use is a PERS smart watch without a call center?

You see PERS news releases on occasion. PERS -- Personal Emergency Response System -- is a long-time market dominated by pendants worn around the neck. Recently Parks Associates sized the PERS market to be $1.1 billion by 2024 -- others think it is a $3.1 billion market today. Also early in the year, Vidapoint was announced as a 'global' low cost offering. LifeStation announced Mobile LTE, small and fast, a pendant linked to a sizable 24-hour call center.  Then in April, Verizon does it again, launches a PERS, this time a smart watch offering, called the Care Smart Watch for seniors.   Let us remember Verizon’s last short attention span for this space. Its Sureresponse™ PERS pendant was new in this research conducted in 2012. The quotes are from executive Jonathan Hinds who departed in 2014, not coincidentally when Verizon stopped selling it. Sureresponse was mostly erased from the Internet by 2016, except for user documentation,  online reviews, some not so hot.   

The growth of telehealth is a plus for seniors – if they can use it

https://locatemotion.com/remote-patient-monitoring/Telehealth – the genie is out of the bottle.  In March, the government announced expansion of telehealth access, noting that it would raise the reimbursement rate for telehealth visits during the Covid-19 pandemic to match the doctor’s rate for in person visits, as Seema Verma, the head of CMS noted: ‘the genie was let out of the bottle’ and won’t likely be put back in. The regulatory change enabled "the use of smartphones, video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, and messaging services like WhatsApp; and the ability to provide care across state lines in 48 states."

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