Enabling Seniors To Leverage Technology & Stay Home, Will Be *Very* Big Business
In November of 2013, I wrote a post called New Connected Device for Seniors at Home that received thousands of unique views in its first month. That post was one that continued on a topic regarding technology for seniors that started with one of my most popular posts ever with tens of thousands of views, Elderly Need Super-Simple, Phone-like Skype.
I was certainly interested in this topic…but why were so many others?
My interest began as my father, Bill Borsch, was aging-in-place and in his last few years (he passed away in March of 2013). I was filled with anxiety knowing so much about available technology, but feeling like I couldn’t quite leverage what was currently available.
Knowing that we were right on the cusp of tech that would transform his world was both exciting and anxiety-producing since I really wanted to help him out. Sadly, it turns out that 2011-2013 was still too early for me to deliver any sort of transformative technology in Dad’s home. I’d purchased him a very early SmartThings kit (from their Kickstarter project) but even that was too early at the time.
Today we have a lot of great technology for (or able to be leveraged) that seniors can use, but the entire “connected aging” space is changing almost by the week. There are so many things going on in the space right now like personal security and medical alert stuff, wearables including the Apple Watch, connected in-home automation sensors and devices, and so much more, that it is really hard to stay on top of what’s going on.
Startups and existing companies, however, are staying on top of the opportunity that great technology for seniors represents. For those who do provide highly functional and affordable technologies for seniors, will undoubtedly be able to tap in to the expected 73 million retired baby boomers by 2029 (see: U.S. Census Bureau: The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060).
How big is that opportunity? According to USA Today’s recent article, Senior tech helps baby boomers come of digital age, “Worldwide revenue generated by home healthcare devices and associated services are expected to soar to $12.6 billion in 2018, up 121% from $5.7 billion in 2013, according to numbers released by market researcher IHS.”
Though I can’t locate the original citation that multiple articles I found do cite, US News & World Report stated it in this article, “Although they represent only 32 percent of the U.S. population, Americans over 50 control 77 percent of the total net worth and have nearly $46 trillion of wealth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
I’m going to keep a close eye on senior technology, aging-in-place, and the Internet of Things (IoT) for those of us nearing or in retirement.
Here are some links you may find of interest ones I hope help you in some way:
- Aging in Place Gadgets
- CNN: Sensors let Alzheimer’s patients stay at home, safely
- AARP recently aligned with RealPad to make this $149, Android-based tablet
- Here is an overview video of RealPad
- Here is one called the GrandPad. While expensive at $60/month, that does include the Verizon LTE connection, insurance, support and training and more.
- Great Tech for Seniors
- How Connected Devices Help Seniors Age in Style
Though this isn’t exactly senior technology, I am hyper-aware and concerned about seniors and their vulnerability, especially when it comes to identity theft. Check out this article since this service may be of interest to you: iTOK Arms Seniors with All-Encompassing Identity Protection Service.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.