Research about baby boomers and their use of consumer health technologies.

Move the Digital Health impact needle -- invest in error avoidance

It has been a week of negative consumer health and tech news.  In the midst of learning about Mobile health growing pains, that was validated by the concept that patients should be less engaged, not more -- that is, bothered less to participate in 'patient engagement' portals, apps, devices.  And non-engagement of the doctor -- in addition to the patient --was clearly the underpinning of the assertion that doctors don't care about your Fitbit data.  For those creating that ground-breaking health-related app, too bad, we now know that most users don't regularly download apps, staying with what the devices (assuming smartphones AND tablets) had when they were sold.  And along with the slowdown in consumer spending, apparently western tablet shipments have slowed. 

 

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What health tech acquisitions matter for boomer health?

Healthcare technology acquisitions have a fever pitch -- do they matter to boomers? Never mind the investors, the media hype, the redefinition of all gadgets with chips, all portals, healthcare IT systems, all of it slapped into the definition and story of Digital Health.  And when all medical, consumer, and insurance-related tech is covered under one moniker, the story of Digital Health is broad enough to cover nearly everything.

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California dreaming -- who will buy digital health tech investors love?

Parks Associates segments the Digital Health market -- i.e. broadband households.  In the slowing days of August, you may have let this graphic slide by you without considering what it means.  So first, let's recap: Parks Associates has segmented the Digital Health consumer market, which they have defined as the population of US broadband households -- presumably they mean the 70 percent of all households age 18+ that were identified a year ago by Pew Research. As an aside, remember that Pew notes: "The demographic factors most correlated with home broadband adoption continue to be educational attainment, age, and household income." For example, only 43% of broadband adopters, according to Pew, are age 65+. For this report, Parks did its own survey of broadband households.

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Khosla speaks: Doctors will be replaced by cell phone apps

Since diagnoses are not reliable, we will give up and use the app. Vinod Khosla, someone who gets far more attention than his pronouncements deserve, is an investor in digital health companies.  His latest pronouncement, reported by MarketWatch under the guise of 'health coverage', asserts that doctors make diagnostic errors; technology makes fewer errors; ergo, the doctor will only be needed for making 'ethical calls'.

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Boomers need viable AND useful smartphone health apps

Smartphones are everywhere -- good thing we don't need them for anything vital. The oldest baby boomer is now 68, the youngest is 50 (AARP entry level).  By Social Security standards (age 62), movie ticket discounts (age 60), recommendations about investing that range from age 50+ to age 55+ , and lots of health advice all the way to 65+, that boomer is well on the way to being a senior. So what percentage of these folks have smartphones? First take a look at Pew-- where smartphone penetration in the 65+ age ranges seem to be around half.

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The Internet of Things -- Nothing to See Here, Move Along

  • New announcements -- here comes the Internet of Things.  We've been treated lately to a plethora of pronouncements about the arrival of the Internet of Things. And it is true that we all know that if stuff can transmit, stuff likes to transmit, even if there is nobody listening to the transmission. Compelling examples of this IoT? Forbes: "Thermostat adjusting the temperature of your home after you leave.

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Challenging Innovators to Match Offerings to the Needs of Older Adults

Advice to Innovators who target older adults. This week this new website, Boomer Health Tech Watch (xhealthtech.com),  officially reveals the first report under the Boomer Health Tech Watch umbrella. Sponsored by AARP's Health@50+ team under the leadership of Senior Vice President Jody Holtzman, Challenging Innovators is the result of 21 interviews with entrepreneurs and experts on the challenges and pitfalls of designing for an amorphous population that reflects multiple addressable markets, based on need. So what does the report imply?

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The Consumerization of Health-Care -- is it working?

The applause meter is overwhelmed by Digital Health.  The racket level about Digital Health (wow, a Check Engine light for your body!!) and its pseudo-pseudonyms is rising to new heights.  And when we say racket, of course, we mean the so-called good news: Apple (amazingly, all by itself and with its HealthKit announcement) transforms healthcare.

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Health tech overselling -- a bubble of hype and reality of non-use

Nurses are mad – tech has been oversold and they don’t like it.  Not something you see often in our tech-hyped bubbly world of quantified selfies and health tech trendiness – but check this out:  this 185,000 member Nurses union has begun a campaign AGAINST over-reliance on ‘unproven’ technology in healthcare.  Over-reliance on EMRs with inadequate or incorrect diagnoses, the rise of robotics – and the use of tech that is more likely to

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Boomer Tech, Plenty of Tech and TEK at AARP Life@50+ Boston

Boston is a tech town – and AARP’s Boston event was tech-enabled.   I spent most of my decades in Beantown. They were great years, great tech jobs, in which I discovered the MBTA and Green Line, baseball, Legal Seafood chowdah and Route 128 traffic. So it was great to see the bi-annual AARP event held there -- and get a chance to return. This event was notable for its Washington-Post sponsored Booming Tech event.

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