Designers of Mobile Health Technologies are Ignoring the Needs of the Boomer Market According to New California HealthCare Foundation Sponsored Research

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In the new CHCF-sponsored report, "Baby Steps: Will Boomers Buy Into Mobile Health?" Industry analyst Laurie M. Orlov finds that mobile and wearable health technology has been designed by the young, for the young -- and why that needs to, and can change.

Mobile health technologies include apps, gadgets, and tech-enabled services such as sensor-based activity trackers, wearable patches, and personal health devices. By improving self-care, all of these offer potential benefits to providers, payers, and consumers.

Investors and inventors, spurred by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are eager to serve the growing interest in these technologies, and a prime target market is the baby boomer generation because of its massive size and the looming health costs it represents.

But the boomer response has been disappointing so far. This issue brief by health tech industry analyst Laurie M. Orlov, founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch, looks at the fit between existing products and senior consumers' needs. Drawing on interviews with a wide variety of tech industry experts, health plans, and consumer groups, Orlov notes: “There are significant mismatches between what inventors want to accomplish and what boomers are likely to buy and use.”

She also forecasts ways that the mobile health tech market will change and how those changes could benefit the boomer generation and improve their self-care.

These insights are part of a new report sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation, called “Baby Steps: Will Boomers Buy Into Mobile Health?” The document is the result of interviews with health technology and policy experts, investors, technology executives, and entrepreneurs.

Long-time tech industry veteran Laurie M. Orlov is the leading analyst describing trends and technologies in the boomer and senior markets. This report is the latest of her industry reports that also include her 2014 Market Overview of Technology for Aging in Place.

“Laurie Orlov is one of the gifts to the industry representing boomers, seniors and caregivers. Her incisive mind and thorough analysis of the market have helped many entrepreneurs, non-profits and corporations,” said Mary Furlong, founder of the What’s Next Boomer Business Summits.

Headquartered in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Aging in Place Technology Watch provides thought leadership, analysis and guidance about technologies and related services that enable older adults to remain longer in their home of choice. In addition to her technology background and years as an industry analyst, founder Laurie M. Orlov was a long-time member of the Philips Think Tank on Health & Well-Being. Most recently, she provided testimony at a US Senate hearing on technology and aging.

Orlov spent more than 30 years in the technology industry, including 24 years in IT and nine years as a leading industry analyst at Forrester Research. She is a recognized expert and has consulted to organizations like AARP and Philips, and her insights have been referenced in publications like Kiplinger, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

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