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Five Tech Innovations for Older Adults - June 2021

The innovation competition season has begun. The What's Next Longevity Venture Summit is over and the Aging 2.0 Global Innovation Search voting process has begun. These are two substantial initiatives that often reveal interesting and useful companies to help with aging well and to mitigate various issues of aging and caregiving. Note that these five companies, selected from these two conference initiatives,are early stage (or even really early stage) and are included here because they may have concepts, offerings or approaches that are worth noting and thinking about. A link to the websites for more information is included.  Please comment if you know of other competitions and offerings than those mentioned here.

Adoption of wearables by older adults -- what are the barriers?

For wearables to be useful to older adults, some barriers need to be overcome.  As has been the case with other technology innovations that can provide great benefit to seniors, the value of wearables may be great for older adults -- especially when personalized to the characteristics and needs of an individual. However, the implementation and/or data integration may be lacking. And there may be significant concerns about being tracked or where the data resides. Reviewing the impediments to this useful category actually being adopted -- these may include:

Consider the potential for wearables and older adults

The watch changed the landscape for wearables. Since the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2014 and its subsequent sales of more than 33 million (as of 2020), Apple has been the dominant player in the US market. For the market of technology for older adults, it offered a smartwatch with built-in fall detection and other numerous health features, which it continues to introduce. By 2020, it became one of Apple’s 5 most profitable businesses and reached total adoption of 100 million globally. It changed many dimensions of life, including making people look and feel cool, reinforcing healthy behaviors -- including the importance of standing up when it notices you've been sitting too long. It made people want to track health variables they never thought they would track -- like heart rate variability, blood oxygen levels, or hand washing frequency and duration.

Five New Technology Offerings for Older Adults

Long ago in a city far, far away, there was CES 2020.  It was filled with tech from wall-to-wall and bus ride to bus ride.  CES 2020 was a January 2020 nightmare of related products sited at opposite ends of convention space that seemed to span miles in one direction, and up elevators to suites in the opposite direction. A competition winner here, a spotlight on hearing there,  health tech herethere a robot,  there a drone – everywhere a bus ride and 170,000 people. Leaving with sore feet and tired brain, vowing never to attend in person again (having said that multiple times over the years).  Who knew that Covid-19 was about to take over the world -- and with it, the world of events?  Soon there will be CES 2021, entirely online -- no smoke-filled hotels, no Bellagio fountain, and no need for comfortable shoes. There should be many to note in January 2021.  Meanwhile, pre-CES, here are five recently surfaced.  All content is drawn from the company websites.

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