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

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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Are smartphone health apps for boomers really useful?

Our smartphones, ourselves – are they useful for managing our own health? In 2009, Eric Topol, the wireless health medical prognosticator, noted that 'we would soon use our smart phones to monitor our chronic conditions.'  Well, maybe – it all depends on what he meant by 'soon.' App developers are obviously struggling to identify a) an app that is useful and b) who the cohort is that would use it.

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Deriving meaning for boomers in the health tech Bubble

You may have noticed some unfortunate headlines lately.  Startups betting on making a killing on Obamacare, for example, probably in the context of health care delivery, an unfortunate choice of words.  But it’s a chance of a lifetime for venture capitalists!  How to make money right out of the gate, doing something with the $700 million of investor money that poured into the sector in just one quarter.  Doctors, call now, operators are standing by!  Get your payer administration or big data analytics software here, your care coordination app there!

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