Thanks to age-tech, senior citizens are better able to stay on top of their health, combat loneliness,
and age with grace. Technology has traditionally been associated with younger, more agile,
and future-forward generations. When thinking about innovative technological developments, the image
of a young adult or teenager wielding a gadget immediately comes to mind.
Not your parents or grandparents. But recently, a shift in mindset has occurred, leading to the birth of
a concept called the “Longevity” economy, and the development of “age-tech,” technology geared towards bridging the gap between older people and technological innovation, for the purpose of promoting greater longevity and a better quality of life for years to come.
Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to several challenges as they age. These include retaining their independence (living alone), combating loneliness and isolation, suffering from age-related physical, cognitive and emotional impairments, illnesses and disabilities, financial wellness, communication & mobility, and care coordination. In the not so far off past, these challenges would have been resolved, in part or in whole, by family members caring for the older adult in their own home. Today, it’s far more likely for senior citizens to remain in their own homes with a caregiver, or to be placed in assisted living and be cared for by a staff of trained professionals.
That being said, the world’s population is aging at breakneck speed. People are getting older, and fewer babies are being born than they were just a few decades ago. It is estimated that by 2050, over a quarter of the people on our planet will fall under the category of “senior citizens.” That means that in just 30 years, there will be more older people than there are today grappling with the above-mentioned challenges, but fewer young people around to support their needs as they age.
A recent AARP study found that technology adoption among older adults is at an all-time high. They’re turning to the internet, smartphones, wearables, and other digital devices to stay connected, monitor personal data, learn new things, and entertain themselves. The catch: senior citizens must clearly understand the value of the technology and its uses, in order to be sold on using it to fulfill their various needs instead of having those needs attended to by younger family members, or caregivers.
Age-tech seeks to fill the human resource gap for aging people. It serves as a significant disruptor in the attempt to keep senior citizens thriving and as independent as possible. And, according to a report by the Consumer Technology Association, the age-tech or active aging industry is expected to triple in worth the next three years and be valued at an estimated $30 billion, making it a great avenue for tech start-ups and companies to invest their time, money and resources.
Age-tech includes safety and smart-living technologies, as well as products geared towards remote health care, and wellness & fitness. Safety and smart-living technologies include motion-activated monitoring systems, fall-alert systems, smart detection systems to detect water leaks, air quality issues, stove alarms, smart bath monitors that prevent overflow and other issues, and more. Remote health care technologies include health monitoring devices, smart medication reminders and pillbox organizers, virtual reality rehabilitation devices, and telemedicine systems. And lastly, wellness & fitness technologies are innovations designed to get senior citizens up, moving and more content. These can include assistive technologies – remote-controlled gadgets to help complete household tasks, large, high-visibility displays and keyless entry locks for aging hands. They can also include apps that encourage safe exercise within the older adult’s limits, as well as “robot pets” and other communicative tools to help fight off loneliness, as well as virtual assistants, like Siri and Alexa.
Highroad Launchpad is looking for next age-tech innovators to join their next cohort!
Israel may be full of young entrepreneurs, but as a population, we hold fast to our responsibility to “honor thy father and mother.” As such, the Highroad team is on the search for promising start-ups looking to innovate in any of the following four categories of digital-enablement: services purchased by older people; services purchased on behalf of older people; services traded between older and younger people; and services delivered to future older people.
Contact Highroad about joining our Launchpad’s next cohort, and discover how your start-up or company’s product or services can be nurtured to disrupt the “Longevity economy” and improve the lives of the elderly population.