Future of Aging Research

Goals

To have a broad understanding surrounding the future of aging. An ideal response would provide information, data, and/or statistics surrounding trends in social support, care giving, and home health technology for those 50+ and what they can expect as they age, as well as any social, emotional, environmental, financial, and technological challenges that those 50+ are facing. Additionally, and separately, to understand any innovative new strategies that individuals, health care providers, governments, and businesses are coming up with to address those challenges.

Early Findings

  • We were not provided a geographic focus for this project, so we assumed a global view, even though our early findings for one aspect of the ask returned United States data. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.

Home Health Technology For Those 50+: Trends, Challenges

  • According to the AARP, older adults are keeping pace on tech usage, which includes home health technology. In fact, fifty-one percent of older Americans say they bought some tech product, and more specifically, twelve percent reported that they purchased smart home technology or smart home device.
  • AARP asserts that "Consumers over 50 are helping fuel the demand for smart home technology, such as home monitoring, security systems, home assistants, and smart appliances. Many find the products are convenient and give them peace of mind. Although many adults ages 50 and older are interested in buying smart home safety technology, just 10 percent of older Americans are using these safety devices now."
  • "Older individuals are particularly interested in using smart home and security tech to see who is at the front door (59%), automatically shut off appliances (42%), control a thermostat (38%), detect a fall or get emergency help (39%), and monitor doors and windows (48%). "
  • "Yet older Americans also see a downside: Only about 1 in 10 are very or extremely confident that their interactions with any smart home technology will be kept private."
  • "With 76% of adults age 50 and older indicating a desire to age in place,1 voice activated tools such as home assistants and home health care technology (emergency or virtual care) are relevant potential purchases for them. "
  • If offered a choice, over half (53%) would prefer to have their health care needs to be managed by a mix of medical professionals and health care technology.
  • Data privacy is a concern. Those who use a wearable would share health-related data collected with health care providers but not with many others.
  • While most would share health data with their health care providers, just over a third say they would share those data with their health insurance company. Three in 10 say they would not share health data at all.
  • Interest in cutting-edge health and wellness technology is higher than ownership rates among older adults.
  • While only 2% of older adults report they currently own and use a tech device that communicates with a health care provider that they have taken their medicine as planned, a rather large 42% reported that they would be interested in purchasing tech that does that.
  • Again, while 2% of older adults report they currently own and use a device that reminds them when to take their medicine and which medicine to take, 40% report that they would be interested in that tech and would purchase it.
  • Only 1% of older adults reported that they currently have technology in their house that allows them to push a button to call for help if needed, 32% revealed they would be interested in buying that tech.
  • Home assistant adoption rates in 2019 among those 50–59, 60–69, and 70 and older are, respectively, 20%, 18% and 12%
  • Though most older adults find home assistants useful, they do face some challenges. While 70% reveal that their home assistant is somewhat/very useful, 67% report that their home assistant sometimes or always misunderstands them, and 31% assert that their home assistant sometimes or always responds unintelligibly.
  • Among older adults, smart home technology adoption rates more than doubled in the past two years. [Smart home technology includes items like home monitoring, security, or safety devices (e.g., doorbell cameras), and internet-connected home thermostats and appliances (e.g., smart fridges or smart coffee makers).]

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our initial hour of research was spent ensuring that the large scope of these research questions could be answered in the public domain, and we are confident they can be, with very recent sources from the past 6 – 24 months.
  • We also returned information, data, and statistics surrounding one part of the ask which was surrounding trends and challenges in home health technology.
  • As discussed at the very top of this document, we were not provided a geographic focus for this project, so we assumed a global view. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Proposed next steps:

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