Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Spend a fraction of the $8 billion invested in digital health companies alone last year.

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Aging in place tech firm Lively is out of business – what can we learn?

Lively’s failure is making other market entrants nervous – so let’s consider.  This past week, the remaining assets (no people) of the Silicon Valley firm Lively (mylively.com) were acquired. So let’s take a few moments and reflect on what might have happened. What can startups and current players learn from this? Actually, not too much -- Lively was not typical of the industry it entered. It was founded in late 2012, launching in the spring of 2013 and sank quickly, going out of business just last week.

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Consider the focus for elder care technologies -- what should it be?

Just as interest is heating up, could adoption stall?  Turns out we’ve been in an innovators' bubble for Digital Health's Hype-and-Hope (HAH). Who knew there were 10 indicators of doom ahead? Stating the obvious, 'entrepreneurs are creating products patients don’t want to use' and there aren’t enough 'reimbursement incentives to drive providers to prescribe.'  And those creating wearable and mobile variants seem to have missed sight of the target market – that is, boomers and beyond.

Medical Alerts -- seller and comparison sites mislead

The medical alert industry chugs on…and websites mislead.  [Rant on] Fear-based medical alert marketing enjoys robust web traffic, an enhancement to its senior-centric TV advertising. Searchers with an at-risk family member or who saw an older woman at the bottom of a TV staircase can find a plethora of matches. That particular you-know-who staircase vendor was founded in 1987 and salvaged a slogan from a defunct originator, adding the word 'help' in its next trademarked life. But by now, shouldn’t this market have been transformed by technology or undergone a business model change that would mandate a new name?  Well, it truly was transformed by a technology – SEO. Go ahead, Google the term. The not-so-medical alert is an SEO marvel, injecting old content with fresh dates. As you scan the list, note multi-device review sites that appear to be pay-to-play, whether they are or not.

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Six recent product announcements in the PERS market

What’s new with PERS?  For several years now pseudo-statistics have been floating about the long-standing PERS market – asking the same question over and over hasn’t changed the paraphrased answer: 'The market is approximately $1.5 billion in the US and changes very slowly. Is it true that only 10% of the purchased devices are mobile – that is usable away from the home? Insiders today say that 20% of the sales are for mobile devices. So what else is apparent and new with the PERS space in the past four months -- from the companies own material:

Tunstall Partners with QMedic to Introduce Innovative Activity Monitoring Platform

06/16/2015

 

Long Island City, NY (PRWEB) Tunstall Healthcare Group, the world leader in remote care and safety monitoring, has entered into a reseller agreement with QMedic, via its US subsidiary, Tunstall Americas. Under the terms of the agreement, Tunstall will distribute QMedic, an award winning and innovative home-based health and activity monitoring solution, through Tunstall’s nationwide network of local health care service providers.

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The PERS industry must do a better job of serving seniors

These are tech transition times for everyone – including seniors and their devices.  In case you didn’t see it, the Pew numbers about smartphone use are out – 27% of the 65+ have smartphones, up from 19% last year. Given the date of that data (from last fall), let’s just assume that this number is actually lower than today's reality.  So why should a PERS reseller or manufacturer care?  First because carriers don’t want to sell feature/clamshell phones any more. They make it difficult to even find them. They are selling smartphones to people who don’t want or use all of the features they have, but they’re buying them anyway because that is what they’re being sold.  In retrospect, Philips Lifeline might have seen the near term PERS future – and it could be a smartphone – and thus an app. And thus -- why have more than one device? And why not pair a tiny pendant or clip to a smartphone? Or make a watch?

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