Research & Insights
Caregivers & Technology: What Do Caregivers Want and Need?
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.
Activity and Sleep Trackers
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.
Caregiving Innovation Frontiers
Can 40 million caregivers count on you?
Where can I find reliable help with meals and medications? What does this bill mean, and will my insurance cover it? And how can I help Mom and Dad stay safe and healthy? As people live longer lives, questions like these touch us all. According to the 2015 report “Caregiving in the U.S.,” an AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving study, nearly 40 million Americans in 2014 were providing unpaid care to people who are older, disabled, or otherwise in need of assistance. A quarter were millennials and half were under the age of 50. Some call it “informal” care, but there’s nothing informal about the emotional, financial and day-to-day stress such a role can involve or the growing gap between the number of caregivers and the number of care recipients. By 2020, 117 million Americans are expected to need assistance of some kind, yet the overall number of caregivers is only expected to reach 45 million.
The Longevity Economy
By 2015, more than 1.6 billion people in the world were part of the 50-plus cohort. By 2050, this number is projected to nearly double to about 3.2 billion people. Throughout the world, the growth of this age group is having a transformative impact, economically and socially. The U.S. alone is home to 111 million in the 50-plus cohort; they represent a powerful force that is driving economic growth and value. This is the Longevity Economy, representing the sum of all economic activity driven by the needs of Americans age 50 and older, and includes both products and services they purchase directly and the further economic activity this spending generates. The difference it makes is substantial. In our first report released in 2013, the Longevity Economy fostered $7.1 trillion in annual economic activity. This figure has now been revised up to $7.6 trillion in our 2016 report. The outsized contribution reflects the changing demographics, wealth and spending patterns of the 50-plus population as the life span increases and the Longevity Economy becomes more pervasive and central to economic and social policies.
Health Innovation Frontiers
In 2013, AARP and Parks associates identified a rare, untapped opportunity to generate revenues for entrepreneurs, investors and others in the private sector to generate revenues while meeting the greatest wants and needs of a substantial, influential and important population: people 50 and over. Updated in 2014 with new revenue and market forecasts as well as ground breaking market landscapes, this research finds that it is an opportunity that could, within five years, generate $30 billion in additional revenues for entrepreneurs and investors while having a significant impact on the lives of 100 million people.
2016 is the year the Longevity Economy spreads its wings. Market disruptions are happening at an astonishing pace. Revenues are steadily shifting away from traditional players. So what’s in store for 2016? Expect an increase in innovation-fueled solutions and an ongoing transformation of care through 2020. And the revenue potential is bigger than previously imagined — cumulative revenues are forecasted at $34 billion, $4 billion more than the previous estimate.
Health innovation frontiers represent a vast and under-addressed market opportunity. Breakthrough technologies, innovative services and disruptive business models will benefit more than 100 million people 50-plus and represent $20 billion in revenue by 2018.
- Top 12 Most Active Investors in the Digital Health 50+ Market (PDF)
In recent years, many of the most influential investors in venture capital have placed significant bets on digital health and in the 50-plus market specifically. This report highlights the 12 most active investors in the digital health 50-plus market over the last year (through April 2014) and looks at investment trends in the nine categories of health that make up the 50-plus market.
- Digital Health Insights 2013 Annual Report for the 50+ Market (PDF)
This report, published by StartUp Health and AARP, tracks and reports on early stage investment in digital health solutions for the 50-plus market. It highlights the encouraging rise in health innovation targeted at addressing a growing population with increased medical needs. The total digital health and wellness industry has rapidly expanded from $999 million in 2010 to $2.82 billion by the end of 2013 with a 4-times increase in deal count. The report found that the annual total funding in the 50-plus digital health and wellness space has kept pace with growth in the overall market accounting consistently for greater than 40 percent of funding and deals between 2010 and 2013. Funding in the 50-plus digital health and wellness market rose from $425 million in 2010 to $1.15 billion in 2013.
50+ Consumer Electronics
AARP has sponsored research with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)* to spotlight the technology needs and wants of people age 50 and over.
- Consumer Electronics Recycling and Reuse (PDF)
- Consumer Perspective on Home Automation (PDF)
- Digital Imaging, Photo Sharing and Printing (PDF)
- Evolving Video Landscape (PDF)
- Eye on Emerging Technology: Text-to-Voice (PDF)
- Eye on Emerging Technology: Video Chat (PDF)
- Eye on Emerging Technology: Voice Control (PDF)
- Eye on Emerging Technology: Voice-to-Text (PDF)
- Getting Connected with Fitness Technologies (PDF)
- Millennials: The New Face of Retail (PDF)
- 14th Annual Consumer Electronics Ownership and Market Potential (PDF)
- 19th Annual Consumer Electronics Holiday Purchase Pattern Study (PDF)
* Through a relationship with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), AARP has sponsored custom analysis focusing on the needs and wants of the 50-plus community. This research and analysis has been conducted wholly by CEA. AARP was not involved in the gathering of data, analysis or production of the research or publication of the results. The results are presented here with permission of CEA.
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The summit in New York, Nov. 2–Dec. 1, offers a series of carefully curated talks, panels and collaboration opportunities to engage the most creative minds in health and technology.
AARP Innovation@50+ is proud to be an innovation partner for the event in Palm Springs, Calif., Nov. 30–Dec. 2, embracing the question, “What if?” and inspiring important conversation focused on shaping a healthier world.