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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Aging 2.0 Optimize -- the goal is to accelerate the pace of innovation

It's been a busy week that reflects growing interest in aging and new technologies. Just after the third annual Louisville Innovation Summit, some of the attendees and/or exhibitors dashed to San Francisco for the Aging 20 Optimize event. The founders, Stephen Johnston and Katy Fike, launched Aging 2.0 in 2012 'to pick up the pace of innovation that benefits older adults.' The program includes the Generator Ventures fund, an 'Academy' to cultivate classes annual classes of startups, distributed worldwide events, and competitions that feature finalists who participate in pitch competitions. Their flagship and well-attended Optimize event concluded today in San Francisco – with five of the exhibiting/pitching startups featured below. Information is from their websites or press materials: 

CTA Foundation Launches Contest for Startups Improving Lives of Seniors and People with Disabilities


ThThe Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ Foundation, partnering with Extreme Tech Challenge, today announced the second annual video contest focused on startup companies with technologies that improve lives.

Five hearing tech announcements that could benefit older adults

Hearing technology advances -- the hearing aid industry considers changing. It’s a positive when you see disruption of industries that have too tight a lock on the consumer, whether it is in categories of health insurance, telecom carriers or hearing aids.  You spend time with people everywhere you go – those with significant hearing loss but no hearing aids; they have hearing aids, but hate to wear them.  According to a recent NY Times article, two-thirds of adults over 70 have hearing loss that warrants hearing aids, but only 15-30% of those wear them – and at $5000 a pair, no wonder. In recent years, personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) that are not classified as hearing aids and thus do not require the audiologist role, though the FDA may change that. Just asking, if the device is called a ‘Wearable’, does Silicon Valley find it more worthy of funding? But anyway. In July, Consumer Reports published an explanatory guide that should be required reading for organizations that serve older adults. It would seem to be the wild west of innovation.  Here is a sampling of five recent product announcements:

Sensoria Debuts Walking App to Help Improve Activity Tracking for Individuals with Limited Mobility


REDMOND, WA – May 12, 2016 – Sensoria Inc.’s, a world leader in the development of IoT enabled garments, new walking app, Sensoria Walk, is now available for download in the App Store. The new app works with the company’s 2015 CES Innovation Award Honoree smart socks to help its wearers track their daily activity including steps, cadence and distance during rehabilitation after a stroke or post-surgery—with the ultimate goal of speeding up overall recovery time.

Why do aging services organizations change their names?

What's in a name? At last week’s LeadingAge, CCRCs became Life Plan Communities. The change was made because "continuing care" implies a setting where older adults are being cared for. (Duh.) And apparently 84% of consumers younger than 65 didn’t know what a CCRC was.  Probably young folks also didn’t get it when AAHSA became LeadingAge in 2011. To the outside observer who last attended in 2010, the LeadingAge conference seems unchanged, and the business of the members? Also unchanged. The book of session topics, exhibit hall booth purchasers, and the roles of executives attending – appears to be the same old, same, as it were, old – not-for-profit CCRCs, uh, Life Plan Communities. Oh, and the for-profit equivalent, ALFA, will not to be outdone namewise - that association is now called Argentum (Latin for 'Silver').

CES2016: Call for Technology that Improves Lives


Arlington, VA – 09/09/2015 – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® ,  and its affiliated charitable CEA Foundation, are pleased to announce the launch of an inaugural video contest focused on startup companies with technologies that improve lives.


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