We are such huge fans of AgeInPlace Tech Watch blogger, Laurie Orlov

Below is her newsletter – you can read more from Laurie at www.ageinplacetech.com


Aging in Place Technology Watch June Newsletter

Did you know? Thirty percent of seniors age 65+ (or 13 million) now have broadband  access in their home, up from 19% a year ago. And in the 50-64 age range, broadband usage is now 61%, according to Pew Internet Research. The implications of this should give pause to tech innovators targeting boomers and seniors who based access decisions (like telephone dial-up or non-PC base units) on outdated survey data. Further, for those thinking about Internet-based businesses, the prospective market size is impressive and incomes don’t have to be high for people to acquire broadband access. Last year, the overall population with income under $30,000 grew 34 percent.

Directly in the zone of that increased access, firstSTREET and MyGait announced the GO Computer at the Boomer Venture Summit in Santa Clara, sponsored by Santa Clara University and spearheaded by Mary Furlong & Associates. The computer is our ‘company of the month.’ Why? Nice pricey box ($799), great that it’s tackling many ease of use issues, with a remarkable telephone-based service model ($19.99/month) — by seniors for seniors. In addition to direct-to-consumer purchasing, I wonder if senior housing, councils on aging, senior centers, or even fitness centers should think about this as a product they resell, that comes with service they don’t have to provide?  Let’s imagine LA Fitness offering a new program for the many boomers and seniors who work out during the day. Get healthy, get fit, buy personal PC training.

This month we updated the 2009 Market Overview of “Technology for Aging in Place” — and reverted to free downloading of this 29-page report with vendor chart directly from the website for registered users. Vendors, please go forth and download, since you may want to update pricing or other factoids. Why make it free again? Because the report is useful to self-employed professionals and startups who want to start helping boomers and seniors in their communities — and as they launch their businesses and grow, a report charting new territory like this market should be widely available.  Please forgive previous confusion on this point.

Key blog entries from the past month:

What are the dimensions and drivers of home healthcare technologies? While continuing to thread carefully into the quagmire that is technology for healthcare in the home, the beginning of a conceptual framework is emerging around cost, capital, and clinicians that factor into who participates in telehealth and what will shape its usefulness in the future. I also wonder about parallel universes of passive monitoring, telehealth monitoring, and platform decisions that limit a senior’s role to that of patient.

Seniors using social networking — online but not out and about — caught my eye this past month. I wonder if a reporter can find these people, why can’t local councils on aging and outreach groups? And the nearly daily discussion in the press on YANWAD (Yet Another New Way to Avoid Dementia) got me a bit depressed, especially about the fact that my crossword obsession turns out to be nearly useless at preserving my mental capacity, according to an NPR radio interview with another non-expert — Dean Olsher.

This month we launched new form topics — one in which people looking for speakers on the topic of aging and technology can post a request — and those willing to speak can list themselves. The other topic is intended to stimulate thoughts about product evaluation criteria for this technology market — whether it is too early a market to set criteria — or if not, what should the criteria be?

Lots more insights, observations in the blog — hope you wend your way around it yourself. That’s it for June!

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All the best,

Laurie Orlov

Founder, Aging in Place Technology Watch