Research Outline

Smart Watches for the Elderly


To understand the market size for smart watches/health devices for the elderly, the demographic for this market, the competitive landscape in this market, the cost and other statistics such as how many elderly die from falling or someone that looks after them.

Early Findings

Market Size

  • EMarketer estimated that in 2019, 8.2 million older consumers would use a wearable device, most likely a smartwatch or similar mainly because of "the growing array of health-monitoring features available."
  • While this group still forms a small part of smartwatch users, that was an estimated increase of 15% in that age demographic over 2018.
  • Parks Associates in 2018, estimated that more than 10% of the 65+ population would own a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) device by 2021. For those older than 75 years, that figure would be 15%. In 2021, it is estimated that more than 56 million Americans will be 65 years and older.
  • More recent research from Parks Associates estimates that "more than 5 million consumers in the US will own PERS devices by 2024." According to their forecast, "traditional and mobile PERS revenue will reach $1.1 billion" in 2024.
  • Parks Associates divides the market into legacy PERS devices and "alternative devices with emergency response capabilities—such as mobile phones, smart watches, smart speakers, and residential security systems."
  • One of the trends mentioned in the PERS segment is that some "industry players are taking advantage of the widespread penetration of these devices and finding ways to integrate more robust emergency response technology into the devices already in consumers’ homes, while others are utilizing these form factors to develop new PERS-specific solutions that appeal to a broader consumer base and encourage adoption."
  • Market Watch has estimated the global PERS market to be worth $6.7 billion in 2020 and expects it will grow to $10.19 billion in 2026.

Statistics on the Elderly Falling

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25% of Americans aged 65+ fall each year.
  • The organization states that "every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall." This is "the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults."
  • "Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths."
  • "In 2015, the total cost of fall injuries was $50 billion. Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs."
  • "The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020."

Summary of Findings

  • During the initial hour of research, we focused on finding the market size for smart watches and other health devices and statistics of elderly falling.
  • We were unable to find a specific market size figure for smart watches, but we were able to find estimates on the number of elderly who are projected to use such devices.
  • We were also able to find some figures on the gravity of falls under the elderly and the costs.