Tech Investors See A Profitable Market In Aging Americans
45-year-old venture capitalist Greg Yap is experimenting with newer technologies that will help him and others take care of the elderly without having to invade their privacies. People in their 60s and 70s, living independently instead of in assisted living, are at great risks of strokes, heart attacks or falls. Hence Yap is going beyond mainstream devices like Apple’s smart-watch, Amazon’s Echo or Alphabet’s Nest thermostat with facilities like fall detection, medication reminders and motion sensors to new products. These products are developed for providing assistance in such cases, like Silver Mother that can incorporate sensors on mattresses, front doors and pill boxes for remote monitoring of sleep, safety and health. Working at Menlo Ventures, Yap believes that although the primary technologies are here, one needs to weave them all together for easier installation and use. Furthermore, looking from product perspective, the gadgets need to be useful and intuitive without being extremely expensive. Fulfilling the requirements like keeping the gadgets minimally invasive and burdensome, while keeping the products affordable is a real challenge, according to Yap.
Tech industry veteran, Michael Skaff says that the industry is full of many hobbyists who are just trying to hack together pieces of a way to keep track of their parents without disrupting their personal space. He states that there are several kinds of sensors that could prove beneficial, particularly when all information and data is aggregated like smart locks and connected lights which can turn off during night-time, refrigerator sensors with ability to track opening of fridge doors, moisture sensors for water spillage monitoring and window and door sensors that can provide updates when one enters or leaves home. There also are numerous smartphone apps linked to traditional medical devices. Mark Prince believes that modern technologies are wonderful innovations. Kyle Armbrester agrees and says that with most elderly Americans having access to smartphones, previously remote care giving has now become easier and more extensive.