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?

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  1. The young qualified selfies may show the most interest in tech gadgets, but they aren’t the largest demographic in size. That’s the boomers.

    There were only about 2.5 babies per one million population born during WW-II and over 4.0 per million born afterwards. That post-war “baby boom generation” is now some 76M strong, compared to just 41M for those aged 40-50 (the baby bust) and about 64M for those 20-30 somethings (the echo boom), and far less for those aged 75+ ( the forgotten generation).

    Those simple demographics may explain why market researchers so often cut off their market segmentation at age 65+, describing them as “seniors” while ignoring the real seniors in their 80s. The boomers represent the largest market opportunity, at least in sheer size.