Market Overview for Technology for Aging in Place

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wearables, smart watch

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wearables, smart watch

Highlighting Eight Technologies from the 2019 Market Overview

The new trend – tech/services for older adults, not just tech.  When the 2009 Market Overview was completed a decade ago, there were gadgets galore, most introduced with maximum enthusiasm and a shoestring of cash.  Today, perhaps due to pending boomer bulge, innovators and their funders may be having a somewhat easier time, at least in some market categories – health, home care, transportation come to mind.  The other apparent trend is the enthusiasm of partners (health care, senior living, home care) to try out new tech-enabled services that target a problem or opportunity that may have existed a decade ago, but is truly apparent today. Finally, the pace of tech improvement is notable – lower cost and improved utility of on body (or in-room) sensors, predictive analytics, and device integration – with smartphones, health systems, and broader solution sets.  Here are eight of the 33 new offerings from the 2019 Market Overview (material from the vendor/news sites) that deserve a closer look – future posts will highlight others:

BlueStar SeniorTech Partners with Bellpal

01/29/2019

Rockville, MD (December 7, 2018) — BlueStar SeniorTech announced today that it will partner with BellPal of Sweden to provide BellPal’s unique medical alert system in the United States. BellPal provides a discreet, simple, and stylish watch to keep families and their loved safe and connected in the event of an emergency.

Recapping the most-read blog posts from 2018

Fewer software platforms, but new and more interesting offerings.  Two major changes happened in 2018 that are having and will continue to help older adults. First there is the significant uptake of voice-enabled technology, was forecast to be transformative, and so it was, in senior living, in the homes and families of seniors, and as an interface in newer cars to make giving and hearing directions easier.  Not so newsworthy, but perhaps more important, the hearing technology industry and audiologist specialty were disrupted in favor of self-service and offerings at a significantly lower cost.

Apple accidentally shines a light on its technology ageism

Consider the Apple Watch fall detection age default.  Rant on. By now, and for most, no big deal, you may know that the Series 4 watch has fall detection. The setup includes your ‘emergency contacts’ acquired from your Medical ID, assuming you have Wrist Detection turned on.  Still with me? And perhaps you have also turned on the Health app (somewhere) and entered your birthdate. Still with me?  Assuming that Apple knows your date of birth AND it is 65+, the default setting turns the Fall Detection feature on – you then have to turn it off.  Which, since it is set to call Emergency Services unless you Cancel, might, as it has been with Apple Watch emergency calls, be a problem

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The Apple Watch and Fall Detection – What’s it Mean?

When Apple speaks, a puzzled market listens. When Apple announces, industries crane their necks to hear. Last week they announced two features of a new watch, ECG monitoring and fall detection. In July, Tim Cook apparently did not want to get into the world of FDA regulation. Well, that was then – or he just wasn’t saying. In this new watch, both the ECG feature and fall detection have received FDA clearance within 30 days of applying, startling some observers who noted that closer to 150 days was more typical for a medical device.  Healthcare observers are concerned that false positives from ECG readings could propel people unnecessarily to already-overloaded Emergency Rooms. To date, the Apple Watch may have been of greatest interest to 40 year old males. Interestingly, 70% of cases of atrial fibrillation are among the 65+ population.  Does Apple really want the 65+ population to buy an Apple watch?

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