mHealth, Alpha Daughters and Healthcare Reform

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Equipping working women who provide care for their ageing parents with mobile phone based healthcare services could take pressure off healthcare and social care providers and spark the next boom in mobile and online services. This is one of the conclusions of a report published this week by Cambridge UK based consultancy, Wireless Healthcare.

Unlike their parents, who are currently passing through the care system, baby boomers have used mobile technology and online services in their working lives and will expect the same technology to be used as part of the care process

Equipping working women who provide care for their ageing parents with mobile phone based healthcare services could take pressure off healthcare and social care providers and spark the next boom in mobile and online services. This is one of the conclusions of a report published this week by Cambridge UK based consultancy, Wireless Healthcare.

Peter Kruger, Analyst with Wireless Healthcare and author of the report, points out: "The 76 million people who make up the baby boomer generation in the US have created a market for a wide range of consumer goods in their lifetime." He adds: "The most important component of the boomer generation is the birth cohort of 1947, which saw the birth-rate rise by almost 1 million in a single year. It is these consumers who generated consensus in market." The report explains that products such as Levi Jeans and the Volkswagen Beetle owe their success to the consumers who made up the sharp leading edge of the baby boom and that mhealth products and services adopted by these consumers should dominate the market for rest of the decade.

The report contains a case study describing the care an alpha daughter provides for an elderly parent suffering from COPD, and explains how mhealth based symptom checking and remote monitoring of vital signs and medication compliance could assist the alpha daughter. As Kruger notes: "There are already up to 30 million potential alpha daughters who are providing some level of care for their parents in the US today. mHealth could be the last big consumer market created by the sixties generation."

According to the report, providing mhealth based services to alpha daughters could also make a relatively pain-free contribution to the US healthcare reform package and, at the same time, help rebalance the economy. Kruger explains: "For the last two decades baby boomers have been preparing for their retirement by putting money into pensions or other forms of savings. Investing this glut of funds has caused asset price inflation. Now, as the baby boomers retire, an increasing amount of wealth is in the hands of people who are no longer economically active. In addition, as people are living longer, even some of this inherited wealth is being passed down to family members who are, themselves, retired and no longer economically active." Kruger feels that eventually governments will be forced to recycle wealth and stimulate consumption by encouraging elderly people to contribute to their own care. In its report, Wireless Healthcare suggests that alpha daughters will then have a financial incentive to provide care for their elderly parents and will regard spending on mhealth technology to support that care as an investment that will help keep the family's wealth intact.

Take-up of mhealth technology as a tool to support care for the elderly will, according to the report, be accelerated by the familiarity with mobile technology amongst both the elderly and the alpha daughters. "Unlike their parents, who are currently passing through the care system, baby boomers have used mobile technology and online services in their working lives and will expect the same technology to be used as part of the care process," says Kruger.

The report notes that marketing campaigns for mhealth services will be similar to those aimed at the baby boomers when they were children. Then, toy and confectionary companies targeting children knew they would pester their mothers to buy the product. Now, according to Wireless Healthcare, companies will target baby boomers again with advertisements for healthcare technology and services, knowing the elderly parents will pester their alpha daughters to include them within the care process.

Further details on "Alpha Moms, Alpha Daughters and Mobile Health" are available at http://www.wirelesshealthcare.co.uk
About Wireless Healthcare

Wireless Healthcare are UK based analysts specialising in the mobile and wireless technology in the healthcare sector.
http://www.wirelesshealthcare.co.uk

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