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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Five technology innovations to help older adults – August 2017

As August winds down, startups wind up.   For some, maybe they still think that summer is winding down and all is quiet in business and beyond. But no -- back to school, back to work, and back to starting companies.  Aging 2.0 finalists have been announced, conference media organizations are ramping up, and a few leaves begin to turn – fall is in clearly the air and around the corner.  Before August disappears altogether and the media engines shift into gear, here are five announcements of new technologies designed to help older adults and/or their caregivers.  All material is derived from the websites of the firms:

Nine Finalists from IAGG 2017 Tech Day Pitch Competition

Technology and Aging – One Full Day Component from IAGG 2017.    The International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) held its World Congress symposia (73 member organizations from 65 countries) last week in San Francisco, "key opinion leaders in health & social services, housing & income support, research & education, public policy, administration & other areas, disciplines, and professions that impact older people and affect their quality of life." As part of the symposia (billed "as the largest world conference on aging"), July 26 was 'Tech Day' and included a pitch event from the following companies.  The winner of the pitch event was Kinesis Health Technologies, and the 'people’s choice' winner was Life Assist Technologies.  Descriptions are from the companies' websites.

FAMILYCONNECT LAUNCHES KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN TO FINALIZE THE APP

05/16/2017

New York, New York -- May 10 2017 -- FamilyConnect announced today that is has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help support its new app to promote healthy independence for seniors.


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Caring Village Launches Mobile App to Help Caregivers

03/08/2017

Caregiving for an aging loved one in need of assistance just became simpler thanks to a first-of-its kind “caregiving organizer” app, available for free from Caring Village.


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Pitch now, commercialize later -- does a live pitch persuade?

Pitch events precede clarity of offering which precedes... Hopefully the best pitches of best offerings will be funded. But that funding is linked to detailed criteria (see the Link-age Ventures criteria as an example.)  Or investment history, as with the five Generator Ventures, can be viewed online.  Startups know that first multiple pitch events will smooth rough edges of the pitch and help refine the offering itself.  For example, one year ago note that GoGoGrandparent started as telephone-based way to call Uber for, sigh, the founder’s grandmother, now refined as a nationwide “services that help families take better care of older adults.” Pitches represent a single step in this process for obtaining feedback, scoping markets, seeking seed funding, later stage rounds -- ultimately scaling the offering into long-term viability, with referrers, resellers, and revenue.  With that as context, consider these three pitch events.

AARP Innovation 50+ Live Pitch 2017 – Some familiar, some new

AARP’s Innovation 50+ Live Pitch starts today – what's new?  This marathon tried to put 20 pounds of entrants (culled from many more) into the 10-pound bag of a two-day pitch event across two broad categories. So following this trend towards compression, we will leave FinTech to others and just focus on the Caregiving Health Technology firms. While the pitch may be fresh, some, as noted, may not be new. Placed in context by taking note of what’s in (or was in) market and similar to these finalists. In the alphabetical order presented and updated with winners noted -- link to available websites or descriptions -- minus Twitter handle:  

The mythology of caregiver technology's non-adoption

Pundits perpetuate the myth of non-use of so-called caregiver technology. [Rant on.] According to AARP, 40 million caregivers are taking care of an older, sicker person -- so says an oft-quoted 2013 AARP Public Policy Report statistic. A different AARP/Catalyst 2016 survey asserts only 7% of these caregivers use technology to help them. What is the 'technology' they won't use? And what is the theory as to why they won’t? Says Jeff Makowka of AARP: "Since many such caregivers also hold down regular jobs, they simply don’t have time to try some new technology." But if they’re working (or of working age), three-fourths of them have smartphones. And given the data-hogging nature of smartphones, all are fairly new. But wait, he also cited an example of an Amazon Echo as deployed for a family member with dementia -- enabling endless repetition of questions like 'What time is it?' etc. Okay, we have to ask, is the Echo a 'caregiving technology?' How about Facebook, described as a caregiver 'mecca'? Do survey respondents consider those technologies when asked?

Community well-being should factor in older adult population

Consider the Gallup-Healthways survey about community well-being.  Naples, Florida, is at the top. Really? Perhaps this caught your eye last week when you saw the Gallup survey about well-being.  For those who missed it, the survey ranked well-being of adults 18 and older in a community (town) by specific factors -- Purpose, Social, Financial, Community, and Physical.  At the highest level, Naples was followed by the town of Barnstable on Cape Cod. Consider that the attribute ‘Physical,’ for example, meant “Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily.” So look past the survey. These towns are comparatively wealthy by national measures -- the median income for a household in Naples is $66K and for those over age 75, it is $71K.  For Barnstable, median income is $62.1K – and note that 20% of the Barnstable population is 65+, higher than the 135 national percentage. In Naples, the median age is 60 and an eye-popping 42% of the population is aged 65+.

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