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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Ten events for your health, boomer or senior product or service

Finding the visibility and network that your offering deserves.  We are entering the trade show season, so it’s time to make a few go/no go decisions. You have had your product (or new version) or service ready for the past months or year. Your pilots have been successful and you now know that professionals, prospects and early customers are pleased with what you’ve done. You’ve read Ten Tips for Launching a Product or Service. You have first focused on the local/regional events. Now make sure your offering – whether it is caregiving, health and wellness, home safety, learning, engagement or just plain fun – is well-received at events attended by prospective customers, resellers, referring professionals, possible partners, and adjacent product categories.  Consider this list of national events (listed in date order). Study prior exhibitor participant lists, learn about typical number and profile of attendees, booth costs, hotel and attendance fees. Note any (of many) innovation award opportunities, if not now, then for the future. If you are not that familiar with any of these, consider going once as an attendee -- before exhibiting. Comments about other events are, of course, welcome:

When we're 84 -- considering the AARP Care Gap research

AARP’s Care Gap report sets the table for innovation possibilities.  Driven purely by population changes over the next several decades, AARP predicts that there will be fewer people in the age group (45-64) that can provide care to the baby boomer population when aged 80+.  Based on this model, says the report, boomers at that age will likely have various disabilities and thus may need some level of care. What technology categories would be useful and likely in-market with this multi-year lead time to think about them?  Of course, today there are millions of people who are 80+, but if you follow AARP’s logic, today there seem to be enough available family members, home care, nursing home and assisted living aides between the ages of 45 and 64 to care for them (emphasis on available). If caregiving availability shrinks, what are the technology implications for those who would serve that future wave of baby boomers?

For tech marketers -- functionality matters more than demographics

Life marches on – at the older end, baby boomers are on Medicare. A few years ago when I began writing this blog, a senior was a senior – 65+, albeit with the potential for a very long life. As boomers stomp into Medicare eligibility at 10,000 per day, they too have something in common with seniors. But we don’t describe them as seniors. (How funny will that be in 10 years when they are 77?) Anyway, in a world in which women outlive men, in which there is so much buying power in the so-called world of baby boomers, shouldn’t marketers get really excited about marketing to boomers? I mean they represent 80 million people.  And according to the Forbes article about the Longevity Economy, the disposable income for Americans aged 50+ was more than $3 trillion. Hint, 50+ is the AARP designation for its membership and spans age 50 through the oldest old. Luckily, the youngest boomer aged 49 turns 50 next year – synchronizing boomers and AARP.

Who should monitor the quality of apps for boomers, seniors, and caregivers?

Five Market Overview versions later -- let's recap.  Launching a business venture takes excessive confidence -- or an extreme lack of common sense. Four years ago, after 7 months of random ranting in a blog, an awkwardly-titled Aging in Place Technology Watch analyst business was launched at the 2009 What’s Next Boomer Business Summit. Both of those were in conjunction with posting and promoting an initial report -- Technology for Aging in Place Market Overview (2009).  Now more than four years later, an updated version has been posted on this site. The press release titled "The Longevity Economy Goes Mobile" is ready -- and so there's time for a bit of reflection. Since 2009, how much has changed: the environment in which technologies are discovered and utilized is radically different. Entrenched social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et al. make it different; the rise of smart phones and tablets as platforms, so different; and the rise and fall and rise of crowd-funding make starting up a company very different; boatloads of blog sites offering a cacaphony of tidbits also makes learning about new technology difficult -- and different.

Who will pick up research where MetLife left off?

MetLife Mature Market Institute work is done.  It’s been a bad year for losing the stalwart icons of life and thought. Car Talk stopped producing new shows because Tom and Ray had had enough and that means that all those Saturday shows are repeats. Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker) passed away. Then recently I received a note recently from Dr. John Migliaccio at the MetLife Mature Market Institute: “As of June 1st, 2013 the MetLife Mature Market Institute will cease to produce new research and materials, or have the MMI team available. MMI content will continue to be available for use on the MMI website for a period of time.” This is the MetLife that segmented the ridiculously broad boomer population into younger, middle and older boomers and produced that gut-wrenching report “Buddy Can you Spare a Job?” in 2009 about baby boomers looking for work. MMI sponsored Aging in Place 2.0 in 2010 that looked at the challenges to actually realizing the AARP responder vision of remaining in their home.

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