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The cost of long-term care -- could technology help lower it?

What care delivery has seen an uptake in technology adoption? People imagined that post-Covid-19, technology would become much more compelling in all types of care delivery. And for sure, the pandemic institutionalized the role of in-home telehealth, with CMS reimbursement presumed to become permanent, or at least regularly renewed. In fact, 23% of respondents to a government survey had used telehealth during a 6-month period in 2021. Also for sure, the use of healthcare portals has seen increased penetration – in 2020, 60% of patients in the US were offered access to a portal, and 40% accessed their records through it.   

Five smart clothing technologies for older adults

The opportunity for embedded and AI-enabled sensors in smart clothing. The growth of the sensor market has created an opportunity for more focus on smart clothing, which has been around a long time, including for use in dementia care, but may have its greatest utility ahead. Researchers are beginning to notice the potential in the care of older adults, including the assertion that "Smart clothing is more natural to wear compared to the other wearables and covers a wider area for monitoring." Here are five examples of sensor-enabled smart clothing:

Aging and Health Technology Watch 2021 Research – A Recap

2021 – even less travel than previous – so for many, it was the best of times. Not just for Zoom, the company, but for many who wished to spend more time thinking and less time in airports. That meant it was still feasible to write monthly blog posts, publish client white papers and complete interview-intensive research reports.  It was feasible to consider topics such as AI and machine learning, Home Care technology, the role of big tech companies and older adults, barriers to tech adoption, broadband access, predictive analytics, voice first, and the role of tech in Villages. And that was in addition to doing a CES 2021 blog post about ten and with too many companies, posting a second one. Likely this coming CES 2022 will have two blog posts, not to mention more press releases. 2021was a year of research about wearables and smart homes – plus a fully updated Market Overview. Here are the summaries of those reports – in case you missed them:

New Report: Beyond DIY -The Future of Smart Homes and Older Adults

Within five years, predictive, proactive and adaptive smart home solutions that support health and wellbeing, comfort and safety, and engagement and entertainment will emerge to meet the needs of older adults, including subscription-based services that are integrated with wearables. Remote configuration and updates will be standard, and health insurers will be interested in smart home technology as a deterrent to hospitalization. With the addition of predictive analytics and machine learning, the home can become a participating caregiver for the oldest and frailest. What are a few of the trends that will make that feasible?

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A new data source to help track technology adoption and interest

It’s a slog searching for data about tech adoption of older adults.  So many years of searching and trying to understand gaps in adoption, less and less usable data. Survey organizations exist that track adoption by age (think Pew Research, Nielsen, AARP) – but the frequency with which they publish surveys about technology has diminished over the years.  Checking out the main page of Pew, for example. See how so many other topics are more click-worthy than their Internet and Technology material.  AARP’s tech surveys are annual – and this year slipped into April. Others like Forrester, Gartner, and Parks Associates survey, but do very little analysis based on age.

The Future of Wearables and Older Adults - report plus May posts

Wearables are new (now) to most older adults in 2021. But that will change in the coming years as broad market acceptance drives interest among the 65+ population. Adoption will grow as the price points become more affordable; and most important, as the data from wearables becomes more actionable, informative, and predictive of future change. Within five years, doctors will see the benefit in guiding older adults to their usage. Chronic disease monitoring through wearables will see the most substantial growth.  And stigma-free and lower cost hearables will provide customizable sound improvements to a far broader population than current hearing aids.  Check out the new report:  The Future of Wearables and Older Adults 2021.  And the other blog posts from May 2021 that drove the report content forward:

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