Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Voice, Health, and Well-being – Launching a New Report for 2020

It’s a given -- Voice First will be even more pervasive in 2020. The rapid growth of the market for voice-enabled technologies has been a phenomenon within the past two years that can understand spoken requests and commands, answer questions, and even offer scheduled alerts.  Industry firms like Gartner expect that the combination of natural language processing, AI, and speech recognition are driving significant growth in adoption of voice technology across multiple dimensions. Speech recognition, for example, will penetrate 80% of mobile devices by 2020.   Some describe this trend of developing software for voice-enabled device user interfaces as Voice First.

The Venn Diagram of Health, Aging, and Caregiving

You see it in the media and hear about it with investors.  Digital Health is in its bubble of $8.1 billion in 2018,  which amounted to 8.6 % of VC investments, despite limited exit strategies – but investors love it.    Startups focused on the aging/technology space, however, receive only 0.7% of venture capital investment, including the big money ($115 million to date) that has gone to just one company.  (And that company is quietly pivoting to become a home care consolidator/platform company).  Meanwhile, over at the $30 billion (2018) home care market, a worsening shortage of workers in the midst of demand growth, is creating a recruiting near-panic among agencies, senior living firms and families, and produced.

Ideas from White House's Technology to Support Aging Adults

Technology and aging R&D – who knew about this task force?  Maybe you were also surprised to see this government report posted last week -- Emerging Technologies to Support an Aging Population.  Of course the aging of the baby boomers (oldest are age 73) is on the minds of lots of businesses and government groups, for various reasons.  Some see a market opportunity in services (home care, home health care, home remodeling).  Some see product sale growth of items (like DME equipment) for an aging population.  Some see housing opportunities or changes to make age-friendlier communities, and some see looming health costs associated with the 50 million individuals now aged 65+. It was a surprise, though, to see this White House report last week, and even more of a surprise to read what’s in it.

Consider: Aging in a Virtual World

Once upon a time, in a language far, far away…We used terms like long distance, remote, and telepresence to describe services and experiences that were taking place somewhere else. We were guided on how to cope with these remote processes where we were not present to manage or experience. And for the care recipients being managed, they were unable to communicate problems in their on-site, 'real' experience. Consider dementia care and the still-startling lack of cameras in these settings – despite family willingness to pay. These limitations seem so yesterday.  Even a telepresence player like Beam threw in the towel and refers to the world it now navigates as ‘virtual.’   Let's take a longer look into this virtual world as it relates to care of older adults and consider such offerings as:

What is caregiving technology, anyway?

A term that means what you want it to mean. It's crazy. Search for the term 'caregiving technology.' At the top of the retrieved page – an ad for ClearCare to help you 'improve client and employee management' – sounds like paid (agency) home care. Over at AARP, there is a long list of resources (non-tech) on the AARP caregiving site for family caregivers, who may use paid care. There’s the 2017 AARP report that surveys caregivers about what they want from technology -- they are interested in but not currently using.  There’s the Family Caregiver Alliance report that lists technologies from firms, but was last updated in 2013 (perhaps the date of this FCA list).   The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC/AARP) report is dated 2014 – and focuses on a vision for what caregiving technology should be.

MobileHelp® Announces Partnership with LifePod

08/28/2018

BOCA RATON, Fla. – August 28, 2018 – MobileHelp®, a leader in mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) and healthcare technology, announced today an exclusive partnership with LifePod Solutions, pioneer of a natural, proactive voice service for older adults aging at home as well as patients and their caregivers.


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