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Boomer-Senior Tech Business

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Boomer-Senior Tech Business

Considering Technology Adoption -- AARP’s 2008 Healthy@Home

AARP research highlights changes in technology adoption.   What a difference more than a decade makes. Consider a long-ago AARP document that examined technology use of the 65+ population. Remember Healthy@Home in 2008? You probably don’t, but you should read it. Kudos to Linda Barrett who led the production of this milestone report.  The iPhone had just been released in June of 2007, so this survey did not ask about smartphone use – there was no Digital Health (a "check engine light for your body!"); the Longevity Economy hadn’t been invented; Fitbit was a 2007 new clip-on tracker, and Facebook was still a campus toy. The survey was fielded in December of 2007 with a population of 907 adults aged 65-98 (the mean age was 74). This population is rarely surveyed today, despite the growing lifespan of the 65+. Much was revealed, though it is another example (as if we needed one) that the more things change, the more they don’t.  

Age bias permeates ads -- and technology design

Getty images show advertising’s ageist stereotypes.  A new report from AARP this week zeros in on something we all knew: Advertisers focus on the young – not unlike the tech firms who make products being advertised.  Despite the 50+ population representing one third of the US population, they only show up in 13% of advertising imagery. The AARP report authors analyzed the Getty images – and observed that even though 69% of people aged 65-73 own a smartphone, less the 5% of the images of technology included any older adults. The same held true for images of workers. While one third (53 million) of the labor force is 50+, only 13% showed them working – otherwise they were shown at home, with a partner or in a medical setting. And the kicker: 81% of the employees of advertising agencies are younger than 55 -- their ageism is well-documented.

2019 Ten Tips for Your New Product or Service Business

It’s 2019 and in full sprint to the year-end finish. Soon you will launch a boomer/senior, home health tech product or service, or maybe a caregiver advisory service.  As your company gets ready to travel into battle or a booth this fall with the sound of lively pitches all around, it is time to for you to revisit this guidance. Perhaps sometime soon, your new or existing company will officially launch a new product or service, or perhaps a long-awaited, over-described and much-anticipated offering will finally ship. First read existing content and research reports on your particular market segment.  Look over this updated checklist that continues to hold true – with updated links and references. If necessary, refine tactics:

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:

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