Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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aging in place

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aging in place

Tech for aging at home – plenty of news, what’s the meaning?

In tackling aging with tech -- interesting few weeks.  Sometimes odd things happen in sequences that beg a backward search for meaning. So let’s recap: within the past three weeks, Silicon Valley VCs invested in a presumably tech-enabled home care agency, Apple and IBM coughed up 5 million iPads for Japanese seniors (to “tackle aging”), and the US Senate held a hearing on the benefits of technology for those aging at home. Some might see these three disparate events, when viewed together, as a trend that shows how tech, big companies, and public policy are all coming together in an age-related trifecta of tech transformation. Whew!

SENATE AGING COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP SENIORS AGE IN PLACE

05/04/2015

WASHINGTON, DC-- Every day, 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65, and Americans 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of our population. At the same time that our nation’s population is aging, the number of caregivers upon which these aging Americans can rely is decreasing.  According to numerous surveys, most seniors want to continue to live independently in their own homes and avoid nursing homes and other institutionalized care as long as possible. 

Look back at innovation competitions to help older adults

Competitions abound – all need groundwork.  Just a few years ago you might have noticed that there were few business plan competitions for products and services targeting the older adult market (the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit begun by Mary Furlong in 2004 was a rare exception.)  When its Letter of Intent page appeared at the end of 2011, CMS innovation grant applications included technology submissions behind the scenes, in partnership with non-profits and healthcare delivery organizations. Then came the $1 billion round two announced in December 2014 – and with that, multiple other tech solutions were included to help deliver significant changes, including health information exchanges, patient engagement, the emerging field of population health, and today’s CMS reimbursement for telehealth.  With these approvals, CMS effectively laid the groundwork for many of the firms that compete today in health segments.

Services for aging in place – not provided, not coordinated, not enough

What you can’t see is what you get.  Rant on. You would think by now that there would be a traveling provider of just about everything anyone might need. You can order much of your supplies in your home from the Amazon of all stuff, uh, actually, that IS Amazon.com. These days – you probably know that doctors are making housecalls. Even podiatrists and dentists (did you know this?) will travel to assisted living facilities. Should people with dementia have annual eye exams? (Yes.) What about eye exams inside memory care units for non-verbal 90-year-olds? And what about the boxes of unclaimed eyeglasses by the nurses’ station? Who do they belong to? How can you tell? And how does a person with dementia verify that the current pair of glasses is inadequate? By rubbing their eyes and taking them off?

Aging in What Place – Oversold concept or the refuge of denial?

The Washington Post article about aging in place was, uh, provocative.  It provoked me, anyway. The concept of aging in place has been oversold, says Professor Stephen Golant, author of a new book called less provocatively Aging in the Right Place. The Post encapsulation included a few gems from his book, noting that seniors who prefer to age in place have 'residential inertia' --  and paraphrasing their thinking as 'I’d rather rot in my own home.'  The premise that the concept was oversold to the public, however, makes a nice headline, almost sounding like a marketing campaign -- but that simply is not what has happened in the recent past. What else was going on?

Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices

02/25/2015

Some may renovate, others relocate. But a full two-thirds of retirees agree on one thing: they are now living in the best home of their lives. This study, the latest in a series exploring new retirement realities, looks at how freedom from work, shifting family dynamics, fewer home-related expenses and unprecedented longevity are empowering retirees to pursue a home that fits their desired lifestyle and changing priorities.

Key insights from the study also include:

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