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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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computers, internet and social networking

Silicon Valley app-centric upstarts reshape traditional businesses  

What is a Silicon Valley unicorn?  In case you didn't know, that's a startup valued at more than $1 billion. No surprise that the original definition references a mythical animal.  Perhaps the essential characteristic, then, may be that it was mythical.  Let’s consider that in December, 2015, the $66 billion market cap of one of these app-based myth-makers had exceeded that of 80% of the companies in the Fortune 500. Okay, so following a recent trip to Silicon Valley, it seems important to snatch reality back from the jaws of terminology buzz, recognizing that: 

New tech-enabled home care initiatives emerge – what does it mean?

Last year’s VC investment in the tech-enabled home care segment caught industry attention.  2015 was a banner year of capital infusion for the 2.0 version of the home care industry. As Honor revved up with a $20 million investment, Home Hero raised a $23 million round and launched a software platform and converted workers to W2 employees. CareLinx received a $3 million round in May and then just into the new year, Hometeam upped the ante with a $27 million VC round.  Meanwhile, at the start of 2016, an eye-popping market sizing from AARP/Parks Associates of $279 billion for all things caregiving-related further underlined a perceived business opportunity, including the projection of an additional 1 million jobs in home care.

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.

For older adults, trends that happen in California stay in California

Pew just offered up a trend-hype reality check.  RANT ON. To read the click-thirsty media hype you would think that the 'gig economy,' aka sharing, on-demand, or pick-your-term whatever, was a solution to world hunger -- or at least transportation, pollution and car maintenance costs.  Who would have thought it was powered by old people? Was this aggrandizement of all things 'sharing' based in reality? Per new Pew study, maybe not.  Oh yeah, in Silicon Valley and for its acolytes, the 'idea' has fueled bubble boys Tweeting re-orders of ping-pong tables.  But beyond the California border -- it turns out the sharing economy has not exactly taken the aged 50+ world by storm. Or any of the world, actually.

Five technology Innovations for Older Adults – May, 2016

The more things change in the age-related markets, the more they change.  Even without an age-related event announcement, article, or article series, new startups and initiatives emerge every week that can provide benefit to older adults and those who provide care for them. Some firms want to apply tech from other market categories to the aging market segment. Others are already in the segment and announce a new offering. Categories of these five from May include health, tech support, hydration, transportation, and social connection, Information is derived from the websites of the companies:

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