Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Boomer-Senior Tech Business

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Boomer-Senior Tech Business

Loneliness and social isolation – focus is there, solutions are emerging

Heightened focus on social isolation has resulted in more research, greater concern.  Since the initial correlation between loneliness, social isolation and poor health outcomes, new reports have emerged to try and understand why people are lonely and what can be done to mitigate it. AARP, which has been researching the subject since 2010, released new survey results in 2018 confirming the same percentage – 35 percent of adults age 45+ are lonely – but with a growing number of older adults in the population, this represents an additional five million adults based on census data and asks them to assess their health. Today, Aging in Place Technology Watch and GreatCall have published a new white paper about initiatives to fight social isolation -- a few of the points are excerpted here:

Four tech and aging blog posts from August, 2019

The last gasp of August and Labor Day's hurricane Dorian is behind us.  Note how a devastating Hurricane Dorian already has become a past tense Wikipedia entry (!). Now we must contemplate the fall season of tradeshows and events, rev up anticipation for impending technology announcements, consider that technology anti-trust investigations are launching in multiple states. Meanwhile, the older adult technology market is still comprised of four main categories, into which the new entrants and inventions, including wearables, sensors, AI, and predictive analytics, will fit. The research report, Voice, Health, and Wellbeing 2020 has now launched and interviews are underway. Interest has grown in the use of technology to mitigate social isolation – more on that topic later this week, and the US population aged 65+ passed 52 million in 2018. What to make of all this? Here are the blog posts from August for consideration:

The fall tech/aging circuit -- events for your calendar

Out and about in the fall. Especially for startups, going to events can reveal contacts that you may need or initiatives that you did not know even existed. Over the next few months, there are a number of events around the country worth attending if schedules permit and interest areas match. Useful, besides sessions themselves, are exhibit areas where vendors offer new and existing solutions for the target audiences of the attendees.  For those who do not attend, check the exhibit hall online after the event if the organizers make that feature available.  Here are five upcoming events to consider – the information provided is from the websites of the organizers:

A reminder -- moving beyond pilots

Search for the word ‘pilot’ on this siteThat is an interesting historical search – pages and pages of Start Me Up pilots in tech, programs, initiatives large and small, all linked, no doubt to corresponding media spend and press releases.  Think back on the cycles of tech deployment.  Remember the Alpha test, when the product barely worked at all.  After those bugs were uncovered by testers who had scripts designed for successful outcomes, it was time for the Beta test – where selected prospective users are identified, put the offering through its paces, under an assumption that the pilot will be converted to permanent deployment. 

Design for all – what we wanted and what we got

Here’s a test. Can you look at a list, for example, of technologies that vendor websites claim are aimed at older adults and their caregivers -- and substitute younger beneficiaries or health care recipients?  Do designers who develop applications, devices, and websites that appear to target older adults do that exercise of substitution as they proceed from concept to pilot to delivered offering? Was that what was meant in the concept ‘design for all’ in this prescient report ‘Connected Living for Social Aging’ sponsored by AARP in 2011?  Per the report’s definition of ‘Design for all’: User experiences that appeal to all age groups, persisting across versions and devices 

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