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Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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Six Tech and Aging Blog Posts -- September, 2017

It was the autumn of disaster.  As summer waned, a series of storms (and oddly-off forecasts about path) wreaked havoc across a vast area, with terrorized older adults left sitting in water or trapped on highways -- stuck in interminable traffic, sweltering heat or homes crushed and no place to go. Hurricane Harvey assaulted Houston, then Hurricane Irma pummeled multiple areas of Florida and Caribbean islands, there were earthquakes and aftershocks in Mexico, followed by a mind-boggling crisis from Maria in Puerto Rico. Throughout all of these, people were heroic. But technology failed or disappointed in almost every way -- from cell phone batteries to power companies, from internet availability to forecasting of storm paths. If one were to look back a year later, it will almost be too much to be believed. Here are six blog posts from the month of September, most prior to Hurricane Irma:

Five technology innovations to help older adults – August 2017

As August winds down, startups wind up.   For some, maybe they still think that summer is winding down and all is quiet in business and beyond. But no -- back to school, back to work, and back to starting companies.  Aging 2.0 finalists have been announced, conference media organizations are ramping up, and a few leaves begin to turn – fall is in clearly the air and around the corner.  Before August disappears altogether and the media engines shift into gear, here are five announcements of new technologies designed to help older adults and/or their caregivers.  All material is derived from the websites of the firms:

Wearable tech and older adults – It’s 2017 – moving beyond PERS

PERS is the most recognized wearable for older adults -- but what's next?  Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) -- a long-standing $3+ billion market (30+ years!) that has evolved only slightly from its fear-inspiring origins. The 'I’ve Fallen' message is still 'inspiring' families and seniors to acquire one.  But 30% of the market’s sales are for mobile devices. This makes sense in this time of substantial life expectancy at age 65, that 46% of women aged 75+ live alone; and now we can add older adults’ newly-discovered extended middle age.  Mobility demands mobile devices which in turn boost confidence to be out-and-about. Consider walking the dog -- since one third of the 65+ population has one. 

Seven technology offerings from 2017 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit

Startups and pitches – for funding and more.  Last week was the start of a boomer-senior two week marathon – the 2017 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit, Business Plan Competition and associated pre-conference Boot Camps – to be followed this week by TechDay at IAGG 2017.  Here are seven that played a role at the Silicon Valley event in Berkeley, some just (barely, and not yet) starting, some related to the needs, including manufacturing, for startups. The material is extracted from the content of these companies:

Six new technologies for health and aging in place -- June 2017

Recent announcements, interesting offerings are worth a look. AARP recently completed the judging process for its Innovation Champion Awards; and upcoming, the Boomer Venture Summit in Berkeley in July, will select business plan startup winners – see last year’s winner.  Here are six technology-enabled offerings (some in market, some in process of getting to market) that can be helpful to older adults and those who care for them and about them (listed in alphabetical order): 

Tech use and seniors, ridiculed in media, otherwise ignored

Tech adoption of the 65+ is now buried in a Pew appendix. If age were an ethnic or racial minority, outrage at technology ageism would be vocal and constant.  The 65+ are a mere 46+ million Americans – a group larger than the sum of all of the teenage population non-shoppers.  So their tech adeptness, rather than being viewed as an opportunity, is naturally ignored in surveys.  For example, scroll down and further down on this Pew fact sheet to note level of ‘Digital Readiness’ among demographic groups.  Note that 6% of the 65+ demographic is 'digitally ready' compared to 17% of all age groups. Note that 33% is characterized as 'unprepared.'  And the same percentage applies to those aged 50-64!

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