Friday, October 4, 2013

Technology for Aging is Big Business!

Laurie Orlov's blog on Aging in Place Technology Watch recently wrote about a September 24, 2013 press release on just how big is this eldertech business. The blog references a new study released by Semico Research: Aging in Place: the Internet of Things for the Golden Years that projects revenues by 2017 in excess of $30 BILLION (yes BILLION-and that is in a little over three years). The blog describes Semico's study as:

a primer on the market, showing areas of opportunities for growth and innovation, and providing examples of vendors already on the market who are making significant inroads. This report is not meant to be an exhaustive list of every vendor in the market, as this market is so new there are no significant market leaders. Every day there are new entrants who have the capability of capturing a large market share of shipments.

So while we are talking about business, on July 25, 2013 Venture Village ran Michelle Kuepper's story about Aging2.0: a global network of startups using smart tech to revolutionise the ageing process. The story features several innovations, including Aging 2.0, "a global innovation network." BigFONT (the name pretty much says it all) is downloadable in the App store or for desktops.   One other one is called Lively, which the website describes as "provid[ing] older adults with a secure and respectful way to measure their healthy living patterns. They can show their loved ones that they're still in control of their lives while feeling safer and more confident about living on their own."  How does this work-you may ask. Well, the website offers a four-step overview:

The Lively sensors, placed on objects within the home, learn an older adult's routine for medications, food and drink, getting out, ... Once plugged in, the Lively hub captures activity signals from the sensors and sends it securely to the Lively website via a built-in cellular connection (no home internet connection required!)....Via web or smartphone, Lively shares activity patterns and notifies loved ones whenever there's anything out of the ordinary... Closing the activity-sharing loop, a printed LivelyGram mailer containing photos and messages from family and friends is automatically created twice a month for each independent older adult.

Businesses just keep coming--to help folks age in place. Amazing opportunities...I think it makes a useful conversation with students. Stay tuned for more. This is REALLY big business.

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