Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Family caregivers

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Family caregivers

ElderCheck Now App connects caregivers to updated health and well-being information for the elders they care for

06/16/2016
The ElderCheck Now app aims to help caregivers gain updated health information and overall well-being of the
 
elders they monitor by leveraging new technology available in the latest smart devices. Caregivers can send secure
 
check-ins to their designated elders, who can respond to their caregiver’s check-in requests through a simplified
 
two-button interface on Apple Watch or iPhone. This new electronic relationship returns a snapshot to caregivers
 

Five Technology Innovations for Older Adults – June, 2016

As the event season winds down, let’s reflect.  Has there been a technology breakthrough this year?  Consider the 2016 conferences, including CES,  JP Morgan Health Investing, AARP LivePitch, 1 Million Cups Coffee Pitch, Digital Health Summer Summit, and soon, the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit. Just before the fall season kicks off with more startups and events, what has been interesting, new, and/or recent in the way of announcements? Here are five, all text from their own media/material:

The Future of Tech -- Mismatched with the Logistics of Home Care

Caregiving is hot – but practicality is not.  The letters to the editor in today’s WSJ print edition were on point following Ezekiel Emanuel’s May 3 article about the Independence at Home program. The article described care in the home provided for an 87-year-old diabetic, post-stroke, oxygen dependent woman receiving six hours of daily home care, supposedly more than she would receive in a nursing home. One doctor observed: “What happens at the seventh hour when she needs help in transferring, falls from her wheelchair or when her blood sugars go out of control?” What happens indeed? And the next letter: "The backbone of home care remains 'Low-paid, low-skill home service workers who cook, clean, bathe and help clients around their home.' And the process for overseeing this industry of workers who help the neediest elderly – actually it’s not much of a process at all. And the distinction in the media between private duty non-medical home care, home health care, geriatric care management, or hospice care in the home?  Not much. 

Caregivers don't really want caregiving technology or platforms

AARP/Catalyst study from 2016 matches results from the past.  Assume you can get past the demographics of the AARP Catalyst study -- which were well-described, but vague about the characteristics of the care recipient.  "More than three-quarters say they are interested in technology that helps them check on or monitor a loved one. Available technologies are in use by only 10% of caregivers. Caregivers say these technologies, while attractive in principle, are too costly and complex, and therefore not worth the investment of time and money."  Haven't we heard this before? Remember Caregiving in the US, 2009, when interest in technology was also 'high'? In the Catalyst study, current use rates were low: 71% said they they were interested in using technology, only 7% of caregivers are already using or have used technology available in the market. Greatest interest noted? Technology for requesting and ordering a prescriptionnrefill/pickup.

Smartphones and caregiving – seize the opportunity to be useful

Not trading in your phone – only your carrier knows for sure.  What if the phone doesn’t break – and you’re going to have to pay real money for a new one? Even Apple can’t crack the code on that, since three-fourths of iPhones in 2015 were bought from carriers, its most recent growth stalled, but thankfully, in the midst of that slumping iPhone sales growth, maybe India will love the smaller phone.  But does Apple they know that as of 2010 there were 524 million people aged 65+ in the world?  Of course, Apple does not market to specific age segments, regardless of how much seniors may love the iPad. So that smartphone market will remain untapped – and at this point, older seniors are not convinced about the device’s utility.  Who wants their market? Doro, GreatCall, Clarity, and now Punkt offers a simple phone that could work for seniors.

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