The ‘grey’ market is where it’s at for ‘quantified selfing’

Surprisingly in the tech-addicted (and young-skewing, based on subject matter) Gigaom is this short piece on how health tech companies are missing the boat by targeting the young, healthy fitness addict or plain addicted-to-the-data Quantified Self (QS) market, rather than those over 50 and their families. ‘Simple’ and unobtrusive are the keywords, especially for what the late and much missed MetLife Mature Market Institute termed the ‘old-old’–those over 80. Mentioned are home activity monitoring systems such as Lively, BeClose and GrandCare Systems supplanting the PERS pendant (Lifeline) and the additional alert capabilities offered by GreatCall/Jitterbug. (This Editor will also mention a new telecare system entering the European and Americas markets, Essence Care@Home, which premiered at Mobile World Congress 2014. More on this in the next few days.) What’s notable about the article is the emphasis on the market size (via expert Laurie Orlov): $2 billion now, ten times that in 2020. What’s incomplete about the article is no ‘look-ahead’ to how devices like smartwatches (and watch-like forms such as AFrame), sensor-based wearables which connect to smartphones–and sensor-equipped smartphones, tablets and even Glass-type devices with simple apps which can help with self-or group-monitoring, prompts for those with cognitive difficulties, and more. Worldwide, we are also running out of carers [TTA 24 April]. Who will crack the code on tech for seniors?

Some ‘Lively’ness in telecare with $4.8 million in funding

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Our April profile of Lively (or Live!y)’s telecare system for monitoring ADLs in private homes ended with their (imminent, then actual) failure to acquire $100,000 in Kickstarter funding. Last week, they announced a reversal of fortune, with $4.8 million in Series A VC financing from Cambia Health Solutions including a contribution from their seed investor Maveron. Our earlier article discussed their setup, pricing, (more…)

Telecare as entrepreneurial platform (US)

Telecare ‘grizzled pioneer’ GrandCare Systems, which extended some time ago into both telehealth and socialization, is profiled in this Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article on local entrepreneurship and the relationship of intellectual capital to economic success. CEO Charles Hillman, COO Gaytha Traynor and VP Marketing Laura Mitchell are interviewed in the video (05:26).

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]But telecare has attracted a new entrant, Lively (or Live!y). It’s an in-home behavioral monitoring system which uses neatly-designed motion sensors and M2M connectivity. It strongly resembles to this Editor QuietCare as originally positioned for older adult independence and safety in the home, but developed out in a version 2.0 or 3.0. Activity information feeds over to a web/smartphone platform which generates alerts when something is off the routine (again, like QuietCare). Pricing is right with an equipment cost of $149 (same as the original QuietCare) but with a far lower per month subscription of $19.99–lower than PERS which averages around $35-45–and unlike QuietCare, it is fully self-install. The connectedness overlay is (hold the presses!) direct mail–a ‘LivelyGram’ every two weeks which turns friends and family photos, news and updates into a booklet. The sticking point may be the usual–the older person finding this intrusive and ‘I don’t need this.’ Their Kickstarter appeal has unfortunately started off slowly even with initial discount pricing of $99 for the system; as of 23 April, $11,534 pledged of a $100,000 goal with 21 days left. Neil Versel reviews at Mobihealthnews.