By now we all have a close elderly relative who once stuck to making short phone calls on landlines, watching their cable TV, reading paperback books and mailing letters by USPS – but is now tracking their walks, monitoring their sleep and Snapchatting or Whatsapping with their grandkids around the world.
The idea that seniors aren’t users of tech is outdated.
According to a consumer insight study of seniors conducted by Google and research house Known, in mid-2020, 86% of seniors indicated that they spend on average 6 hours online and own an average of 5 devices and view it as an imperative to be “online.” Imperative to be online? Five devices?!
And according to a recently completed study by AARP’s AgeTech Collaborative, older adults are motivated to use technology to stay connected, safe and independent. So to say that older adults aren’t techie is an antiquated viewpoint that seniors themselves have put to bed. They not only have the spending power, but with their sheer market size, companies that focus on AgeTech are ripe for growth in the coming decades.
53% of older Americans have given meaningful consideration to modifying their home so that they can stay in it longer, and the global smart home device market is expected to hit $165B by 2025.
The pipeline for AgeTech investments is robust and growing quickly, as is the ecosystem of accelerators, grants, venture capitalists and nonprofits focused on the aging space. AARP, National Institute of Aging/NIH, Next Age, and Techstars are among the quickly growing list of organizations that launched efforts to support AgeTech entrepreneurs in the last two years, a signal of both the imperativeness and the opportunity in AgeTech solutions.
Large tech players such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Google are focused on the space as is the senior housing industry. Google, Amazon, and Facebook all have smart play displays or virtual assistants for seniors which utilize voice recognition and easy touch screens to initiate phone calls, watch YouTube videos or TV among other things. Best Buy is very focused on the 77% of seniors that say they prefer to stay in their homes by investing in new products and services. In fact, Best Buy spent $800MM to acquire Great Call and another $125MM for Critical Signal Technologies, both remote senior monitoring emergency response services to establish a foothold in the home.
Seniors are ready for tech-enabled solutions and the pipeline of new companies with tech-enabled products and services is robust which is why we are invested in the space.
If you have a solution you’d like us to know about, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.