A Disruptor of Aging
A report by the Consumer Technology Association says the active aging industry which includes safety and smart-living technologies, health and remote care, and wellness and fitness technologies will triple over the next few years. It confirms that health and remote care lead the way.
As boomers grow older, they gravitate to more activity, independence, and technology as the big disruptor allowing these goals. If you're an entrepreneur with tech development skills, here's your opportunity.
Medicare Advantage Plan companies continue to sink revenue into technology as a big part of the puzzle of how they provide health care services that the older adults demand. They believe a health care system focused on preventing disease could mean work & income need not pivot around saving for future health & long-term care costs.
Some key findings from the Consumer Technology Association study say seniors have concerns about the cost and learning new technologies. But caregivers have less concern over those issues. Both caregivers and seniors show high levels of concern over potential emergencies, and the caretakers are more concerned than seniors over every day safe living.
A few things consumers look for when buying technology or any device that helps them age in place:
- Recommendation from a doctor and health care provider, especially if the device collects health data.
- Available tech support for any product or service to ensure proper installation and they know how to use it.
- Installation and management services to ease concerns when implementing new technology.
- Ease of use - need the product or service to have an easy-to-use app that both seniors and caretakers can use.
- Reassurance - the family or paid caregivers need reassurance that the product will keep the care recipient safe and well.
- Rely on testimonials, case studies and referral programs to see and hear from others who have used the product successfully.
- Manage day-to-day care is as critical as solutions for emergencies. This is an important ingredient for caregivers.
About eighty percent of seniors own a smart phone and one-third of caregivers own a smart speaker, so digital assistants, like Alexa and Google Home, with voice control will play a greater role in active aging. Use this tech in your product if you can.
The Consumer Technology Association survey is an online panel of seniors. Thus, some of the data such as technology ownership is amplified because this sample is already comfortable with technology.
Carol Marak, aging advocate and editor at Seniorcare.com. She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.
Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column
Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.