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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Boomer-Senior Tech Business


Boomer-Senior Tech Business

Tech and aging marketplace: Did you miss these posts?

Do VCs matter in the older adult space? According to a Stanford Business School analysis, in today's economy VCs have become a 'dominant force' in the financing of innovative companies. This began, they note, with "a regulatory change in 1979 that permitted pension funds to invest in VC funds."  Okay, but do VCs really matter? Now switch coasts and perspectives, note how a Harvard Business School report picked through six myths about VCs, pretty much debunking the rhetoric in the Stanford report. Most VC funds, especially larger ones, do not outperform the market. "VC financing is the exception, not the norm, for startups" and given the rise of crowd funding and a broad range of angel investors, "VCs will continue to play a significant, but most likely smaller, role in channeling capital to disruptive start-ups." The question to ponder:  which category of investor, and specifically which investor groups, are interested in the older boomer and senior markets?

What are the rules, what are the criteria for innovation competitions?

Everyone loves competitions – but could they be better?  RANT ON. So what could be better than innovation competitions? Especially those that focus on improving quality of life for older adults? So in the face of these feel-good goals, here are a few laudable calls-to-action phrases from past competitions. From Aging 2.0: "quality of overall concept, viability of product or service" and "impact on the aging experience – potential to improve quality of life for older adults, caregivers, and/or revolutionize the aging services industry." From Stanford Longevity Design Challenge:  "Create well-designed, practical solutions that address key issues associated with aging." From a CAST/Leading Age student competition: "Transform existing products or create new ones that would appeal to middle-aged adults. Students in gerontology, engineering, business, industrial design, architecture and social work are especially encouraged to participate."  

How much do VCs matter for startups in the older adults segments?

It is a given -- startups want to hear from venture capital panel pundits.  Hindsight being 20-20, those who help make venture capital investments clearly have panel potential. You are a startup and what you want most to hear is why VCs invest and why they seem alternately enamored with consumer-oriented tech or enterprise/health tech.  In fact, you could puzzle a bit over the way newly-generated terminology overtakes ideas that did not do well with VCs or anyone else. For example, what happened to the 2001 prediction of the rise-fall-rise of eHealth?  

Consider Challenging Innovators to Design for older adults

Consumers don't care about products -- they want solutions. What year were those words said? "The senior home monitoring market has historically been more aligned with home security and security installer/dealers than with the hands-on consumer/family. But in fact, home security dealers were not well-prepared to market to seniors. Now innovation (versus Digital Health quackery) and price disruption are pushing those offerings into the hands of consumers, where what matters is simplicity. And what matters is ease of integration into what exists PLUS availability of training on how to use it."  See how the advice from a previous research report stands up to scrutiny -- published exactly two years ago -- repeated today with new links right before the 2016 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit:

Why an up-to-date online presence matters

Why does Sunrise Senior Living have a blog?  Actually, it appears to have been updated today.  You might think that a company in the residential senior care business wouldn’t.  And further, Brookdale can be followed on Twitter.   So can JoAnn Jenkins of AARP – that makes great sense – AARP is a content/media company.  So what’s up when you can’t find any reasonably current content, or worse, the site offers up a suggestion to meet up in…2015? Or when the last tweet from a company that is still in business and is doing quite well – but their last Tweet was in 2012?

When information transparency is an ‘innovation’ in senior housing and home care

Eyes, ears and status matter nearly as much as care for families of seniors.  Imagine having to hire a private duty care worker to visit your family member in senior housing, notice today’s status and provide an email about what’s going on for long-distance family. Seem silly? Yet there has long been a ‘tree falls in the forest’ communication problem for families of memory-challenged residents, whether in home care or senior living. Yet providing simple status of loved ones (did she eat, did he go for a walk, how is the skin rash) is so simple. For many of the circumstances in which assisted living or home care services are engaged, the care recipient cannot clearly communicate the activities of the day, let alone if a rash is healing. So are family expectations forcing a change in the way care status is communicated? No data exists. And that communication is not an attribute in care search sites like

Barriers to Technology for Successful Aging -- Same Old, Same Old

Technology adoption for successful aging has no deadline.   Much like aging itself, there is no schedule. So no one ever has to complete the job, or as with communication carriers, even begin the job. But well-meaning associations, committees, advocacy groups, and senior-centric organizations are united in encouraging forward motion. And so the task force initiatives, councils and recommendations are funded and catch the eyes of the media – even if the actual transformation cannot always be detected in surveys. And as with identity theft, phishing, and newly invented scams, tech adoption in the older age ranges can appear to be two-steps-forward, one-step-backward.

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.


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