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Ten technology offerings for older adults from CES 2021

CES 2021 – roll the press releases and turn on your computer.  A long time ago, one writer published a charmingly-named CES overview of CES 2012 called CES in Pajamas – an entertaining read with links to 2012 videos just to see what flopped, what was canceled (remember  Microsoft Kinect?) and what/who is still around. Laptops were hot (remember the Ultrabook?) Voice First and the Apple Watch had not emerged.  Oh well. Fast forward to 2021. Pajama-like clothing is the only way to consume the content vastness of this entirely online Consumer Electronics Show with 500 exhibits, 70,000 registered attendees, and 3 full days of sessions, many pre-recorded, some live.  Too many press releases and some odd stuff (a rollable Smart phone?)  Here are a few useful to older adults, alphabetical from firm sites:

From the 2021 Market Overview Technology for Aging

It's 2021 and baby boomers turn 75. It took the combination of 71 million boomers, a pandemic emergency, and the sheer size of the aging population to transform a 2009 market niche into this 2021 market category worthy of investment-- less about products specifically designed for older adults as it is about the marketing of many existing offerings as useful to them.  But this is January, 2021, in the time of Covid-19 and the time of the all digital Consumer Electronics Show -- this time with at least 70,000 online attendees from around the world and the tech industry -- and so new companies are surfacing with technologies that will generate interest and even excitement during 2021. The entrants that can help older adults fit into categories like:

Selected tech trends from upcoming 2021 Market Overview

Looking ahead to 2021 -- pre-CES, what trends will persist?  So that's just about enough of 2020 -- a year worth putting behind us, if ever there was one. Much creativity and stopgap solutions were the signs of the Covid-19 times.  There was an awakening about older adults as targets of ageism and victims of social isolation, true. But there was also an awakening to the significance of aging in place, the investment category of older adults, the market power of older adults, including the 65+ population of 54 million. And who knew that the fastest growing subsegment was those aged 80+?  Innovators in 2020 helped mitigate social isolation, enable in-home strength training for seniors, provided the tech mechanics (regardless of infrastructure) to connect older adults to families? All that and more make up the new entrants in the 2021 Market Overview of Technology for Aging.

Four Aging and Health Technology Blog Posts from July 2020

For older adults, July was a few steps forward…  And a few back.  A new venture capital firm formed that is focused on the older adult market.  Primetime Partners adds a $32 million fund to the miniscule list of VCs both admitting interest AND actually investing in the segment.  At the end of June, the federal government published its status report on aging-related initiatives, which was especially notable for including tech investment in ombudsman programs.  And it became increasingly likely that CMS would make telehealth access for older adults permanent. On the other hand, a new poll noted the prevalence of ageism for older adults and that other Covid-19 related pandemic – loneliness in late life.  More on that in several upcoming white papers. Here are the four July posts:

Hearing loss: Five teleaudiology offerings in the time of COVID-19

Covid-19 sharpens the benefits of teleaudiology. Half of those aged 75+ and one-third of the 65+ have hearing loss. During the pandemic, telehealth use grew sharply in the care of older adults, enabled by CMS reimbursement changes that likely will be permanent.  It’s also likely that teleaudiology (the utilization of telehealth to provide audiological services) will gain additional importance when face-to-face visits are worrisome, even impossible in some locations. As with other market segments, the hearing health market saw the opportunity to promote their teleaudiology (or tele-audiology) services for those who already own telehealth-capable hearing aids that may need adjustment. Some may require a smartphone app and in-office guidance from the audiologist to get started with it, or at the least, read an explainer about "merging face time with FaceTime." Here are five examples – content is from the vendors:

2020 Technology trends that benefit older adults and caregivers

In 2020, focus sharpens on technology market categories of aging and caregiving.  AARP published a new report that showed growing interest in technology among those aged 70+.  CES 2020 saw several exhibit areas and innovations focused on older adults and what they need. This past week, Cambia Health released a survey of caregivers, 64% of surveyed caregivers use at least one digital tool to help them with caregiving.SamsungBest Buy and Amazon now group offerings that could be helpful for older adults and those who care for them. What other changes matter for this market? 

Audiologists can help combat social isolation

The hearing loss statistics are daunting. The number is sizable – 38 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. But probably the most startling statistic is related to older adults – half of those age 75+ difficulty hearing. Of those age 70 and older with hearing loss, only 30% have hearing aids.  How is this the status quo?  Even though age is the single greatest predictor of hearing loss, many people wait 7 or more years before attempting to address it. That could include purchasing a sound amplification product (PSAP), hearing aid, or the newest amplification category, hearables. The consequences of untreated hearing loss include social isolation, which itself is related to poorer health outcomes.  

Eversound Technology Improves Resident Engagement, Understanding and Satisfaction, Study Shows

01/14/2020

 “Hearables for All” was a 12-month program launched in 2017 by the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW). The study explored the next generation of wearable hearing devices for older adults with hearing loss as solutions are increasingly needed to address this condition. The study confirmed the value of addressing hearing loss to help promote wellbeing and social engagement in older adults.

CES 2020: Ten Intriguing New Technologies for Older Adults    

CES 2020 – walking the land of the new.  What has 170,000 attendees, long lines, baffling arrangements of booth numbers across multiple, gigantic locations and more robots than you can shake a motion sensor at?  That was CES 2020.  This gigantic parade of the international new and possible can be perused online in detail (and perhaps more usefully) without walking a step or sniffing cigar smoke.  This time, seen (somewhat) in person, here are 10 new offerings from the show that may be relevant to the older adult technology market. Descriptions are drawn from show booth presentations, sessions, websites, and press releases:

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