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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Just because a technology can be built, is it acceptable?

Reading the employee microchip article – does it make you shudder?  Observe the development and evolution of modifiers for the word technology.  Words like sustainable, appropriate, autonomous all come to mind. With the micro-chipping of employees – the convenience argument is ultra thin. But why would one think about a microchip for an ailing relative, aka an older adult? (Some say we will all get chipped eventually.)  Consider that these "chips will offer a convenient way to track people — especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia."  But who will opt in to being chipped and tracked in that example?  Employees could opt out – but can a person with dementia opt out?  How different is being micro-chipped from wearing a band with identifying address information? For whom is the 'convenience' of micro-chipping offered?  And because it is possible, should it be deployed?

Four Blog Posts (and concerns) That You May have Missed

Considering the dog days of summer.  Dog days – these are the hottest days of summer, according to that Oracle of modern culture, Wikipedia.  As the glow and racket from fireworks fade, it's time to mull over the thoughts that zipped by in recent months, perhaps not noticed, but are worth another consideration.  All four of these posts are about our technology life, as shoppers in stores as recently as July 1, our experience with user interfaces that are designed for none, catching up on the hype/hope/fading hope about self-driving cars, and finally, the only thing that can terrorize a company the size of Walmart – Jeff Bezos and Amazon. Here are four blog posts to take a look at in this sleepy week:

Aging in Place Technology – Five Blog posts from May 2018

It’s Not About Your Grandmother – 10 Steps Before Launching! You want to launch a boomer/senior, home health tech, caregiving, product or service. Or other. Your new company gets ready to travel into battle for west coast networking, or you're back from San Francisco or Silicon Valley, consider this guidance, now that cards have been exchanged and follow-up emails sent. Soon your new or existing company will officially launch a new product or service, or a much-anticipated offering will finally ship. You read AARP and Pew survey research reports. Now look over this 6-month-old updated checklist.  And you look back on the 2009 advice – which is still valid, especially about creating community around the product – more important than ever. And as for item 6 in this post, THIS MEANS YOU!   Really now, are you ready?

We are the guinea pigs in cars and online

Too much road noise, no self-driving information.  So how safe are self-driving cars for us, those pesky consumers who are also the victims of this tech for tech's sake?  Ask yourself – how would you know? Even the NTSB doesn’t want you to know details of accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot.  Let’s remember the so-called problem being hustled into the market -- to reduce the most recently cited number (40,000) of deaths from auto accidents. They are astonishingly low already, according to a Rand study, at 1 per 100 million miles traveled. According to the Wall Street Journal article, Tesla promised to release safety data on its self-driving tech regularly starting next quarter, though they have not said what sort of data and what could be gleaned from it -- perhaps in advance of another series (see link) of crashes.

The First National Ridesharing Service for the Elderly Envoy America

05/08/2018

Phoenix-based Envoy America, a specialized ridesharing program that offers accompanied transportation plus assistance and companionship for seniors and patients and recipient of the prestigious Dementia SMART Award, announced today that it has launched in the Chicago, Austin and Albuquerque markets to provide accompanied transportation services to senior citizens.

Self-driving cars - not yet for older adults or anyone else

In a taxi in DC – the driver wends his way around buses and pedestrians.  It’s the day after the self-driving car killed a pedestrian. The next day, you can find scores of link references to a police comment that the car was likely not at fault though no investigation has completed – or even been started. In another tech publication (“Big Think – your daily microdose of genius”), you can read that in over 1.5 million miles of testing, one year ago was the first time the car had been at fault when it crashed with a bus. Really? How does the writer know this? Because Google says it was a ‘misunderstanding in the car’s software and from now on, the car will understand that large vehicles and buses will be less likely to yield.’

2018: What technology matters for older adults?

Technology utilization among older adults grew.  According to Pew Research, smartphone adoption in particular grew among older adults.  Interestingly in a later survey, those with Amazon Echo or Google Home devices and apps used their smartphones less.  Self-driving technology was a big topic in 2017, much of the hype including mention of benefits for older adults.  Still not clear why an Uber driving itself is better than a Lyft or Uber with a driver – unless it is the well-publicized incidents about Uber drivers.

Five 2018 technology opportunities in tech for older adults

2017 was an interesting year -- 2018 should overcome a few obstacles.  Probably the most significant innovation during 2017 was the growth of the Voice First technology market -- but judging by the aisles of gadgets in places like Best Buy, everything else is changing as well. CES is next week, and with it more speakers, TVs, and gadgetry than is seen in Best Buy or anywhere else during the year.  But even as technology leapfrogs and crawls forward, obstacles to broad adoption for older adults remain. Hopefully interest in mitigating social isolation among older adults will lead to the role technology could play. But to make a real difference, here's a look at five areas for improvement in 2018:

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