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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Boomer-Senior Tech Business

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Boomer-Senior Tech Business

The tech gifts that keep on giving: video, music, books and games

Grandma at the virtual Thanksgiving table this year.  I heard two examples this week of Skype-ing an aging relative into last week's family meal; you probably know more examples. Pushy tech-sharp adult children make sure that Grandma is sitting in front of a camera for her meal (nursing home, assisted living or in her home) and able to chat during dinner, seeing the grandchildren, the dog, without having to make an exhausting and destabilizing (especially these days) trip to visit the long-distance family.  In another call, I was told that everyone over the age of 75 who is going to go online is already there. Given the distance-collapsing nature of video, I just don't believe it -- every adult child who has children is going to find a way to get a video phone, a camera-enabled iPad, or a camera-enabled laptop into the home of an aging relative.

Aging in Place Technology Watch November 2010 Newsletter


Two tin cans and a wire -- is that common sense?  Over the hopping month of November, we learned that 500 million people will be using mHealth (mobile Health, sometimes also called wireless health and telehealth) by 2015.  But wait -- not so fast. Then came the wet blanket study from Yale -- the NY Times article described the 'disappointing results' with remote monitoring efficacy. The article quoted Eric Dishman, who "noted that the monitoring system in the Yale study relied on the patients to phone in their daily results. Many failed to do so."  So what the Yale study proved is that the use of technology with a bad process produces a disappointing result.  No kidding.  And because it was in the New England Journal of Medicine and written up in the NY Times, no doubt initiatives that are underway to extend deployment of remote monitoring of chronic disease will now be hobbled into re-justifying and explaining why their study is different, that their results (like the Veteran's Administration) are positive, blah, blah. That their forward motion is based on automatic transmission of results, automatic analysis of exceptions to baseline status, and a phone call TO the patient from a nurse. That after three months, more than 55% would still be participating because they received a benefit from being part of the study.  Now that would show common sense.

Silvers Summit and AgeTek Combine Expertise; Hosts Workshop on the Coming Silver Tsunami

11/23/2010


World’s leading aging-focused technology consortium and conference educates companies of the value of creating products and services for today’s aging society

Excuses, excuses: overcoming barriers to adoption

Geriatric care managers are cautious and waiting. (Warning: rant on). Last week I spoke about technology for aging in place to a room full of New England geriatric care managers (and a few home care agencies and senior housing folks as well).  When I talked about technology, particularly remote monitoring, filling the gap in hours covered by home care aides, they enthusiastically nodded in agreement. But when I ask if any are using this technology, I heard about interest, curiosity and upcoming pilot programs (no vendors picked yet), and the like. Ditto with the home care agencies represented in the exhibit area. What I didn't hear about -- confident or near-term likelihood of advocacy of a specific product.

Boomers, seniors, and tech: is this really the best of times?

The first boomers are about to turn senior.  One might think that the excitement of the first boomer turning 65 in January would have waited a few weeks closer to January, but silly me. So one boomer will turn 65 every 8 seconds starting in January. Is it the beginning of one of society's great tragic periods -- too few jobs, dwindling public funds for safety nets, declining health, and a fundamental recasting of the societal dependency ratio (see WSJ article)? Or will it be the beginning of a long and joyous 'senior boomer' or 'booming senior' marketing marathon that rises and then slowly ebbs over 30 or 40 years when the 46-year-olds run out of money and steam? Your perspective may vary: it matters whether you make a product for an aging population but want to move the age downward and broaden the appeal (see GreatCall). Or whether the opposite is true and you're Toyota and want to create a vehicle that will tackle problems of aging head on (no pun in tended). Or whether you're in a complex senior-focused market, like MetLife and long-term care insurance, where the economics of longevity and the recession have both shrunk the target buying audience and made the cost of claims untenable.

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