The Baby Boomer population bubble following World War II lasted for 18 years of optimism from 1946 to 1964. The first Boomers turned 65 in 2011. The youngest cohort will cross the senior citizen threshold in 2029. This immense group of 75+ million individuals, raised with high expectations, will put unprecedented pressure on healthcare and other social systems. The current surge in health tech development occurs at a fortuitous time of opportunity with a large market that will grow for almost two decades. By 2023, U.S. senior citizens will represent one-fifth of the entire population, a group that demands a high quality of life.
Glendale, California-based non-profit Front Porch introduces new technologies to senior living facilities to “help individuals live their best lives, particularly as they age.” One Front Porch program, It’s Never 2 Late (iN2L), is currently used by more than 2,000 senior living communities. iN2L employs large touchscreen displays, tablets, Alexa personal assistant devices, exercise simulators, virtual reality setups, and other devices. Users choose from a selection of more than 3,000 applications and content choices for social and spiritual connections, intellectual stimulation, physical engagement, video care plans, emotional support, and even vocational interests. Community participants can access their favorite apps and interests via individual pages. The pages can be customized by the residents themselves or remotely via a family portal that allows access by select family and friends.
Health tech that supports cognitive function, socialization, and quality of life with diverse senior populations is a just-in-time opportunity. Ever-rising health care costs and the burgeoning number of citizens 65 and older require new solutions such as telemedicine and platforms such as the iN2L system.