Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Family caregivers

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Family caregivers

Caregiver Relief on the way: Smartphone App UnFrazzle to be released in May

04/16/2013

Silicon Valley, CA (April 16, 2013) - In the United States alone, there are an estimated 65 million family caregivers, who on average spend 20 hours per week on their caregiving responsibilities. As the aging of the U.S. population continues to accelerate, this number will rapidly grow. An estimated 20 million of these caregivers are in the "high burden" category. They spend an average 50 hours per week on their responsibilities, taking care of seriously impaired family members.

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What types of firms enable technology innovation for older adults?

For engineers and visionaries – a grandmother inspires. I hear it so often – the entrepreneur’s grandmother, father, mother inspired the inventor to move forward with inventions – that includes long-time players like GrandCare Systems, It’s Never Too Late (IN2L) or Eric Dishman and Intel -- good examples – but it also includes brand new entrants like myLively and Serality. Or an inspired and wealthy founder with a long history of entrepreneurship and business tries something new – GreatCall (from the telecom industry) and now CareZone, founded by an ex-Sun executive.

Co-existence -- not connection -- at the 2012 mHealth Summit Bazaar

HealthIT wants your mobile mind.  The mHealth Summit was acquired this past year by HIMSS to ensure that the four horsemen of “technology, business, research, and policy connect.” The organizations they represent would like to disrupt and transform the future of health care delivery. And the 3000+ attendees and 253 exhibitors (up from 206 last year) appear to want to believe in that connection. HIMSS, the largest Health IT association in the world, with its 50,000 individual members, 570 corporate sponsors and 225 non-profit members, has the muscle mass to power the connection of ideas and innovation to healthcare systems, payers, and providers. So it was no surprise when they acquired the nascent mHealth Summit.  As for you of a mobile and mHealthy market mindset – this year you could be a doctor, university research team, a government agency, a hospital, a device maker, a carrier, an IT exec and, oh yeah, as an afterthought, maybe even a consumer and/or patient.

Securus Launches New Version for BlackBerry and iPhone, Expanding Coverage Area

10/18/2012

CARY, NC, October 18, 2012 – Securus, Inc., proud maker of groundbreaking mobile safety and security products, today announced the release of the company’s first-ever Android app for its eZoom and eCare+Voice products. The new app enables customers to use their Android mobile devices as a tool to keep loved ones and valuables safe and provides caregivers with added peace of mind. The company also released new versions of its BlackBerry and iPhone apps to expand existing app service to Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

Five smart phone apps for caregivers

Smartphone apps are cheap. You really have to marvel at what has happened to the software world in the past decade. In the bad old days, giant enterprise software vendors roamed the earth, and multi-day training sessions could (and did) make a grown person cry. Expensive licensed software, baffling user interfaces with obscurely named data elements that only the engineers could understand. Although the consolidated 'horsemen of the software apocalypse' still run large enterprises, today, end user expectations have, uh, diminished in scale. Smart phones may cost a few thousand per year in data plans, plus the phone, but software has miniaturized into inexpensive, colorful and graphic versions that by definition, must be intuitive to use, personal and functional – at less than $10/month for a service and only a few dollars for the apps.  Why no 'free' apps that are everywhere -- they're not really free. The premium version will have a price: we’re part of a hospital system that wants to help you, we’re funded by advertising. And as with phone pricing,  if you're paying for insurance or other care, 'free' is a charming euphemism.  Descriptions are from the vendor sites.

Alpha Geek caregivers and health apps -- really?

Who knew that Alpha Geek caregivers may be interested in health startups?  Pew’s just-out research publication, Family Caregivers Online, prompted a column in tech pub Gigaom to suggest that health startups should market to Alpha Geek caregivers. These front-running tech types give us a sense of 'what the future will be like.' There are so many mutually exclusive words (health startup, caregiver, alpha Geek) in that phrase that it begs for analysis.  Let’s start with the Pew data: 30% of adults play some sort of caregiving role, and eight in ten of these caregivers have access to the Internet, making them ‘online caregivers,’ the majority of whom look for health information more often than online users who are not caregivers.  No kidding. This reinforced and is roughly consistent with the National Alliance for Caregiving report of similar in 2009.

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