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Caregivers & Technology

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)

smartphone, smart watch, health sensor, Innovation 50 +, Project Catalyst

Denys Prykhodov/Istockphoto

Project Catalyst is helping to gain valuable insights into 50-plus consumer behavior and usage of popular and new-to-market health-tech products.

Activity & Sleep Trackers

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.


Building a Better Tracker: Older Consumers Weigh In on Activity and Sleep Monitoring Devices

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)

What's Next

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.

Stay in Touch With Project Catalyst

Contact Us

For more information on Project Catalyst, please send an email to projectcatalyst@aarp.org.

Innovation@50+ Events

FinovateSpring 2017

Anyone with an interest or stake in the future of banking and financial technology should come to the event in San Jose, Calif., April 26-27. AARP Innovation@50+ is proud to be an event sponsor.

Health Datapolooza

The Datapalooza will engage patient and consumer voices and bring national and international leaders from the C-levels of business and government together in Washington, D.C., April 27-28, for discussions that improve health and health care, and drive market value.

Milken Institute Global Conference

Meet Jody Holtzman, senior vice president of AARP 50+ Market Stimulation, at the global conference in Los Angeles, April 30–May 4, where some of the world's most extraordinary people convene to explore solutions to today's most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education.