Four Aging and Health Technology Blog Posts from August, 2021

august20201820image 0August should have been a sleepy month – but no. Multiple interesting acquisitions during August make tech and older adults intriguing. Early in the month, the largest franchised home care company (Home Instead) was acquired by a tech upstart, Honor – to ‘scale up home care’. Connect America (which had already acquired the ‘aging and caregiving business of’ Philips Lifeline, then acquired a remote patient (RPM) monitoring startup and AI-virtual assistant company called 100plus. Investor interest in age-tech startups is growing, older adults are certainly aging – synergy between these phenomena will certainly follow. The blog posts for August:

Innovation is booming in categories to help older adults. Perhaps it’s not surprising that innovation focused on older adults is ramping up – mitigating issues of social isolation, wander risk and safety, engagement, caregiving, financial management and many other categories. Not only was last year a bad year for older adult life expectancy at 65, the older adult (65+) population is still growing and a sizable number, particularly women, will live an average of nearly 20 additional years. Read more.

Honor buys Home Instead, shaking up the Home Care industry. One of the newest buys one of the oldest. Honor, a recipient of $255 million in total investment (Series D in October, 2020), has pivoted here and there since its $20 million-fueled launch in 2015, always intent on disrupting the home care industry. For a while, many in the industry were skeptical. They viewed it as a threat – see interviewee comments in 2017’s Tech-Enabled Home Care. Honor began as a home care company, then a home care tech platform company and buyer of smaller home care companies — bulking up prior to Friday, when it acquired the largest home care company in both the US and UK– Home Instead. Read more.

Age of Majority tracks tech adoption of older adults. It’s a slog searching for data about tech adoption of older adults. So many years of searching and trying to understand gaps in adoption, less and less usable data. Survey organizations exist that track adoption by age (think Pew Research, Nielsen, AARP) – but the frequency with which they publish surveys about technology has diminished over the years. Checking out the main page of Pew, for example. See how so many other topics are more click-worthy than their Internet and Technology material. AARP’s tech surveys are annual – and this year slipped into April. Others like Forrester, Gartner, and Parks Associates survey, but do very little analysis based on age. Read more.

10 barriers to boosting tech adoption of older adults. Access to technology is a vital sign. Non-adoption is not an option. Post Covid-19 we have reached a technology dependency level that is worrisome (see remote hacking), problematic for young people (see social media impact), positive/negative impact on depression in older adults. But when viewed in aggregate, lack of access may be worse. Consider categories like smartphones and text messaging, voice assistants, wearables, cameras, computers, tablets, digital health, medication management, home security services, fall detection, fintech, hearables, location tracking, online shopping and more. What? You know older adults who could use a few of those categories, but likely are not. Why not? Perhaps they are worried about barriers, from A to Z. Read more.

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