By 2020, the number of Americans who are expected to need assistance is projected to be 117 million, yet the number of unpaid family caregivers is expected to reach only 45 million. We need technology more than ever to bridge the gap. Project Catalyst, in collaboration with HITLAB, conducted a survey with over 1,000 caregivers, aimed at identifying their technology interest and usage. The research found that caregivers have a high interest in using technology to care for their loved ones – 71 percent of survey participants expressed interest in using technology to support caregiving activities while less than 10 percent have currently or previously used caregiving technology. Adoption rates are low due to a range of factors including lack of awareness, high cost, perception that technology may not be a benefit, and lack of time to learn and adapt new technologies. This presents an opportunity for the technology industry to leapfrog existing offerings and provide viable alternatives to the 40 million caregivers actively seeking ways to lessen their workload. Read the full Report (PDF)
For our inaugural project, Project Catalyst is leveraging Georgia Tech Research Institute’s HomeLab, which uses a network of over 550 older-adult research participants to conduct in-home research and testing of products and services. HomeLab conducts in-home ethnographic studies to provide the most accurate and actionable data of everyday product usage.
Roughly 1 in 10 Americans own an activity or sleep tracker. But do older consumers see these devices as valuable in their quest to improve their health and manage chronic conditions? AARP’s Project Catalyst and the Georgia Technology Research Institute’s HomeLab examined this question – and the market opportunity – by conducting a real-world study. Participants 50-plus used these devices in their daily activities for six weeks and shared their experiences, observations, frustrations and recommendations for product improvements. Trackers showed promise for improving overall health with older consumers. Seventy-seven percent of participants reported trackers to be useful, and 45 percent reported increased motivation for healthier living; but usability issues presented major barriers to adoption by older consumers.
Read the full report (PDF)
In subsequent studies, Project Catalyst will continue to research the unmet needs, aspirations, behaviors, usability challenges, experiences and latent demands for technology, including the nine frontiers of innovation opportunity.