Innovation touches us all in 3 ways:
- Advances the companies who adopt & adapt
- Chips away at the benefits of existing solutions
- Changes expectations for consumers and employees
Last night in San Francisco, 7 startups presented their business and technology innovations to the Aging 2.0 crowd.
Aging 2.0 is about opportunities, not challenges. The startups all presented exciting and optimistic solutions. The winner, Sensassure, advances to the next round in the global start-up search.
Tim Swift is the man who brought 60 lb. exoskeletons to military vets so they could walk again after major injuries. Now, he is part of a team bringing a lightweight, 5 lb. exoskeleton to seniors. The prototype drawings (below) show devices that look like athletic braces, yet help seniors get up out of chairs, and up and down stairs. This is one to watch: bionics that attach with velcro. The target price point is <$5,000. I hope Lee Majors gives the demo.
Are you a senior with a spare room to rent, in exchange for services such as driving and grocery shopping? Or do you have a spare room you’d like to rent to a senior? Room2Care.com is the AirBnB of housing for seniors. They have nearly 1,000 families using the service in 4 counties in southern Florida. Read, “Will This Company Do To Senior Living What Uber Did to Taxis?” R2C is hiring/partnering with people to help them expand in new markets. The sharing economy comes to senior living, I hope Room2Care goes big. @room2care
A resuable sensor that goes on the outside of adult diapers. The sensor tells if the diaper is wet. Did you know 50% of seniors in skilled nursing have incontinence problems and so must wear diapers? That’s a lot of checking (by hand — is it wet? still dry?). Night-time checks are very inconvenient. Sensassure has cracked the formula of high ROI and low investment which makes it economical for skilled nursing facilities. Nurses can see data for “who needs changing” online (see below). I’m thinking stripper pants over Depends could create an Elon Musk moment for this pitch.
Butter is a monthly $49 subscription service that takes care of your home. A 2-sided marketplace, they have no problem finding handy-people and appliance repair technicians. The market is big: 2/3 of all homes are owned by people over fifty years old. Subscribers get a personal steward, who acts like a property manager for home repairs. Butter has no hidden agendas, they don’t take commissions on appliance sales.
Now you can keep your child’s drawings and art projects forever, digitally. Originally designed as a way for kids to share photos of artwork with grandma and grandpa. Now, grandparents are hacking it to share photos of themselves. Everyone can snap a photo and add an in-screen video to talk about the snap. “This is a martian in the sunrise,” says the 6 year old. “This is me playing the accordion when I was your age,” says her grandpa. The fremium app offers upsells such as t-shirts and mugs displaying the child’s art. Keepy’s founder has 2 prior successes in photo apps. Look for this in your iTunes store.
That alarm clock on grandma’s nightstand is called Rosie, and it cleverly disguises a voice communications and monitoring system. You can remotely ask, “Mom, did you take your heart pills today?” The unobtrusive assistance prolongs independent living. Rosie works hand-in-hand with Circura, the software platform used by senior housing and caregiving associations to monitor dozens or hundreds of seniors with Rosie in their room.
This is a b2b2c technology. The b2b part is when EmPowerYu sells sensors to home security companies. They, in turn, make the sale to seniors — b2c. The in-home sensors capture data that provides a “normal” pattern of behavior. Family caregivers can monitor this data online, and get alerts when the senior’s behavior patterns are changing. Useful as an early warning system of creeping medical or behavioral problems, as well as an incident alert system. Smart technology with a smart team. Medicare authorized reimbursement for in-home monitoring devices in 2016.
Special thanks to Aging 2.0 and the insightful questions posed by the panel of judges:
- Joanne Handy of LeadingAge California
- Ki Siadatan, Community Ambassador of Silverado Senior Care (and champion of their Nexus program)
- Elaine Levin, Assistive Technology Designer (there with the tres-chic 3-wheeled walker she designed)
- Kathy Burkle of Jewish Senior Living Group, creator of beautiful vibrant communities
- Andy Cohen, of Caring.com (the lead generation machine for senior living facilities)
I’m looking for companies in Aging/Tech/Caregiving/Housing who want strategy workshops, short-term coaching or long-term programs for digital strategies, online marketing, PR, and investor outreach.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.