The world population is aging at an unprecedented rate. In 2019, one in 11 people were over the age of 65. By 2050, one in six people will be older than 65. By 2050, the population of people 80 years old and above is expected to triple. Never in human history have we had so many people reach old age. 

As people grow older, their health issues increase. Healthcare systems need to be ready to handle this change. Age-tech is a huge opportunity to revolutionize the way older people experience care.  

What is age-tech?

As the population ages, the demand for products that ensure older people can live comfortably, meaningfully, and independently will increase. Age-tech is technology designed to meet these needs. 

Tech companies are tapping into the earning potential of age-tech products. For example, Lively a health technology provider, and Lyft, an app for rides, launched transportation services just for older adults. 

The greatest market opportunity for age-tech providers is in healthcare. The Gerontechnologist features the 2021 Age Tech Market Map, and the top categories were:  

  • Health  
  • Wellness 
  • Senior Living 

Although many people believe that the elderly don’t enjoy or use technology, 53% of older respondents said they would prefer a mix of medical staff and healthcare technology to manage their needs. Even if the elderly did prefer only medical staff, making that possible is becoming harder and harder. 

The Care Gap and its effect on age-tech

One huge reason health care age-tech is increasingly popular is because of the Care Gap. Many countries are experiencing a shortage of caregivers, and the caregivers that are still working are getting burnt out. Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. Experts estimate 4 in 10 caregivers find their jobs highly stressful. This never-ending stress causes many caregivers to drop their exhausting jobs altogether.  

The ongoing professional caregiver drought has shifted responsibility to personal caregivers, for example, family members, who spend an average of 24 hours a week providing care, all unpaid. But these personal caregivers have their own career, lives, and even their own children to care for as well.  

Healthcare age-tech can provide technological solutions to bridge the Care Gap. This can ease the burden on all caregivers, personal and professional. But even with all the benefits of age-tech, will the older population be able to and want to use healthcare technology? 

Do older people want to use health care age-tech?

There are sure to be people with doubts about the effectiveness of age-tech. There are stereotypes that the older generation can’t use or don’t want new technology. However, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports 

  • People 50 years and older use technology at the same pace as younger adults.
  • 3 in 4 older Americans want to stay in their homes, and technology helps them achieve that goal.
  • 40% of older respondents indicate they are interested in using technology for medication reminders.
  • 21% of older Americans are open to videoconferencing with their doctors.

Not only can older people use healthcare technology, but they want to as well. But what kind of medicine counts as health care age-tech? 

What is health care age-tech?

While age-tech is a broad term, here are some examples of age-tech specific to healthcare: 

  • Health monitoring 
  • Personal emergency response system (PERS) 
  • Medication management 
  • Telehealth for healthcare communication 
  • Hearing aids 

These examples of healthcare age-tech not only help the elderly, but they also help everyone around them.  

Age-tech benefits everyone

There’s no reason not to embrace age-tech; It eases the process of providing healthcare, and it also helps those receiving it. For the older generation receiving care, age-tech helps them maintain a sense of freedom. For caregivers, it alleviates  stress.. 

If you’re looking for a healthcare solution for seniors, our Ōmcare Home Health Hub® is your answer. It’s a video-based, complete care-in-the-home solution that ​ensures users can get their medicine and speak with their providers, pharmacist, or caregivers in real-time.  ​​Reach out to Ōmcare to learn more!