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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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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:

The Unstoppable Momentum of Self-Driving Cars

Everybody’s doing it – talking, investing, launching an initiative for self-driving cars.  Imagine 300,000 lives saved per decade, preventing the 37,500 deaths just last year.  In fact, the development of self-driving cars and other Autonomous Vehicles (AV), have received a whopping $80 billion in investment to date.  Amid the hype, obstacles are occasionally noted (like roads) and surveyed consumer disinterest, including AAA, JD Power, Gartner. In particular, older people might not be interested, even though enabling older adults to keep driving is one of the oft-repeated rationales by self-driving car evangelists. And of course, older adults want to age in place.  So self-driving cars are often described as enablers.

Six technologies from 2017 Aging 2.0 and GuideWell Innovation

Two November events highlight competitions and new firms.  GuideWell Innnovation's Health+Accel event in Orlando concluded on November 3 with a pitch competition from "GuideWell Innovation CoRE. During the first four days, entrepreneurs obtained insight into the dynamic needs and relationships between insurers and providers, discover unique opportunities within the space and explore best practices from experienced industry leaders."  And Aging 2.0's Optimize event this week in San Francisco offering "cutting edge content, networking and partnership opportunities to make this a high-value event for anyone interested in innovation and aging." Combing through the companies featured in each competition, here are examples of six startups that have not previously been mentioned on this site, some of which may not yet be available. The material is from the startups themselves:

Ride N Care Partners with PRIME Surgical Centers for Outpatient Transportation

11/08/2017

In a continuation of its industry and geographic expansion to meet demand for its health + wellness transportation solutions, Santa Monica, Calif.-based tech startup Ride N Care, Inc. is partnering with PRIME MSO, a leading surgical facility management organization, to provide patient transportation for PRIME’s outpatient facilities throughout Southern California. The partnership will give PRIME’s outpatients a safe, easy-to-use, and HIPAA-compliant transportation alternative.

Six Tech and Aging Blog Posts -- October, 2017

October – when trade shows ramped up; vacations ramped down. Behold the press release.  As the season of shows begins, rental trucks with exhibits roll up, presenters rev up their presentation skills and the big decisions are made.  To walk around the stage or not?  Take questions in real time or answer them afterward? Announce the partnerships in one release or multiple?  These and other imponderables are perplexing.  And as some events loom ahead, for example, LeadingAge, Aging 2.0 in a few, and then the cacophony of CES. Can you imagine the sonic racket from those smart speakers? Anyway, here are the six blog posts from October.

Innovation today: Making tech you don’t want, can’t use or doesn’t work

Rant on.  Forcing tech onto the customer is standard operating procedure for companies. Because of advertiser pressure, for example, we have to make an effort to stop auto-playing videos in news feeds, news sites, ads, etc. – completely missing the possibility that the viewer might be staring at a smartphone in the train’s quiet car, or up early when a spouse is still asleep.  Or worse, the news feed shows a video that no one should ever see --but has yet to be taken down by one of the 3000 take-it-down new hires

Pitch now, commercialize later -- does a live pitch persuade?

Pitch events precede clarity of offering which precedes... Hopefully the best pitches of best offerings will be funded. But that funding is linked to detailed criteria (see the Link-age Ventures criteria as an example.)  Or investment history, as with the five Generator Ventures, can be viewed online.  Startups know that first multiple pitch events will smooth rough edges of the pitch and help refine the offering itself.  For example, one year ago note that GoGoGrandparent started as telephone-based way to call Uber for, sigh, the founder’s grandmother, now refined as a nationwide “services that help families take better care of older adults.” Pitches represent a single step in this process for obtaining feedback, scoping markets, seeking seed funding, later stage rounds -- ultimately scaling the offering into long-term viability, with referrers, resellers, and revenue.  With that as context, consider these three pitch events.

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