Futurism, Innovation
August 20, 2021

The Future is… ElderTech

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, human life expectancy should reach an all-time high of 85.6 years by 2060. By 2035, there will be more Americans over 65 than under 18 for the first time in history. Now factor in that 43% of Americans over age 60 identify as lonely, and you can see there’s a desperate need for care and caring. As the ranks of the very old swell, we’ll need strategies to manage and optimize their well-being. Which explains why ElderTech is booming. Advances in robotics, AI, sensors, and more promise to transform senior lifestyles to become easier, healthier, and happier.

This week, we look at three of the most promising and buzzworthy areas of innovation.

NOW: Robo BFFs


Source: University of Bedfordshire

What’s Fresh: Tech is stepping in to solve for loneliness. AI-driven aides and pals, like Akara’s Stevie and Pepper — robotic companions with advanced conversational and emotional abilities — are currently being used in senior residences. There’s also ElliQ — a friendly, intelligent presence in older adults’ daily lives, offering tips and small talk — as well as the cuddly little Lovot bot, deployed in Denmark to bring joy to dementia patients.

How it Changes the Game: Tech steps in and fills the caregiving gap, increasing our reliance on AI. It also means there’s a new gatekeeper for many elder consumers — how will brands buddy up to this powerful new presence?

3 Action Steps for Brands:

  • Focus on delivering solutions to elder loneliness. Escape, entertainment, community, and connection are all needed.
  • Attune your chatbots and other tools to recognize and serve a vital new demographic: the rising numbers of super-agers.
  • Partner with robotic caregiver businesses; this will keep you connected to tomorrow’s seniors.

NOW: Aging Smarter at Home

Courtesy of SensFloor

What’s Fresh: Gone are the days of those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” necklaces. Now, thanks to embedded IoT sensors, our environments keep watch over elders. For instance, Luna Lights detect when a senior gets out of bed, illuminates the room and notifies caregivers. A layer of smart tech in SensFloors can tell when a person takes a tumble, and it wirelessly transmits that info to aides and medical personnel. And the E-Vone, a smart shoe, offers another approach: It sends out an alert if the wearer falls down.

How It Changes the Game: IoT is ushering in a new era of being able to age in our own homes. Tech has readied its response to eldercare’s key challenges with smarter, safer, sensor-laden living for seniors.

3 Action Steps for Brands:

  • Plan for your brand’s role in enabling senior wellness through environments.
  • Integrate with the businesses building the smart homes of tomorrow, gaining primacy and placement.
  • Consider how your brands will enhance the lifestyle of hyper-monitored seniors: What’s missing? What’s the right messaging?

NEXT: Virtual Reminiscence Therapy

Courtesy of Rendever

What’s Emerging: Elders who are homebound or dealing with cognitive decline can still go on amazing adventures. Rendever, for instance, has pioneered customized reminiscence-therapy tools. Via VR, seniors can revisit their childhood home, travel to see the Northern Lights, and stroll through Paris. By sharing these journeys with others, socialization soars, too.

How It Creates the Future: This technology will make loved ones digitally immortal. The next-gen versions will incorporate digital twins, so seniors can live their best life in these virtual worlds.

3 Action Steps for Brands:

  • Cannabis and psychedelics may play a role in the Virtual Reminiscence Therapy Market.
  • International travel will take on new meaning.
  • Identify and target the new decision-makers: They may not be seniors themselves but rather their children, HCPs, and caregivers.


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