Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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smartphones, cell phones

That time of year -- considering technology gifts for older adults

Warning -- this is not a blog post about what to give to seniors. There are plenty of click-bait websites topping the search list, like Holiday Tech Gift Ideas or the lengthy Amazon tech gift list or even a list described as The 7 Best Tech Gifts to Buy for Seniors -- really? Maybe these are the perfect gifts – or perhaps for some family members, the DailyCaring list is appropriate. Among all these lists, there might be some intriguing items that could be welcome, if not necessarily practical. Don’t forget a set of portable batteries – extremely useful for all these devices during power outages. Okay that is enough about the What – and For Whom.

Apple’s walled garden bites the wallet – but is the world of ‘free’ better?

Check out this startling sampling of Apple user complaints...Rant on. ZDNet published a list of Apple complaints posted on Reddit (which has an Apple forum of more than 800K members) – the list was eye-opening and filled with rage about (storage, connector, power) limitations. Oddly, in the center of the online article was an iPad ad. One commenter compared the Apple customer experience to buying a high-end Audi and discovering that the price did not include tires. Today Apple has 44.3% market share phone ownership – compared to Android’s 54.5% (led by Samsung and LG).   Users feel locked into Apple's ecosystem, but some commenting said it was easier to switch than people believe. Phone replacement cycles are lengthening, due to high prices for new phones coupled with apparent (or fixable) durability of existing devices.

Four technology (health and aging) blog posts from August 2018

Vacations and out of office messages – it must have been August.  Some have said that there is no point in attempting a business meeting, even online, for August. Perhaps you were one of the 5 million visitors to Cape Cod, roaming the hillside vineyards in California or attending an antique car auction on the coast of Maine.  Having managed to pull off two of those three in the same month, it’s not that crazy. But there were issues, disruptions and sizable opportunities worth noting in August, the biggest one was Best Buy's purchase of GreatCall, just six weeks after Amazon acquired PillPack, the latest big company acquisition -- part of a to-be-continued series important to families and providers of care to seniors. Here are the blog posts from the month:

Robocalls and scams -- a phone-based war against us all

Many years ago, when the phone rang, we eagerly picked it up.  That was then. For good or ill, families want to text, message and chat. And the phone call has turned into a source of harassment and scams. Robocalling is a modern torment, sometimes multiple back-to-back dials from the same source, often spoofing our own cell phone numbers – where answering the phone puts us on a ‘sucker list’ sold to other scammers. Is it Rachel from Cardmember Services or the IRS Phone Scam,  a fake carpet cleaning offer or worse, the disabled veterans scam, or the grandparent 'this is your grandson' scam

Best Buy Acquires GreatCall – What’s it Mean for Best Buy?

First take – this links together multiple Best Buy initiatives, starting in 2011.   Look at the history of Best Buy. First a dabble with the now departed Wellcore in 2011 – clearly the time was not right – the oldest baby boomer turned 72 in 2018, but at 65 in 2010, consumers could not comprehend the utility of a wearable fall detector. But Best Buy executives saw the opportunity and decided to learn more.  More significant in 2011, Best Buy became a founding consortium member in a ‘living lab’ Charter House in Rochester, Minnesota (along with Mayo Clinic). "We believe technology has the potential to foster healthy, productive lives by enabling easier access to information and medical care," says Kurt Hulander, then senior director of health platforms at Best Buy.  

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