Seniors Reach All-Time High in US Population But Startups Slow To Respond

This week, the US Census Bureau announced new population data for 2015. One group reached an all-time high: people over 60 now comprise 15% of the population. Globally, the trend is even more pronounced. The older population is expected to triple over the next 50 years. At the same time, average costs for assisted senior care are rising quickly, from $42k per year in 2011 to $51k per year in 2015 (MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs). Tech companies, large and small, have been slow to adapt to this demographic shift. However, a few Israeli companies have launched innovative digital tools and services for the Senior Market.

Population Aging Map, Global AgeWatch Index 2015

The marketplace for technology to assist aging adults is poised to grow from $2 billion today to over $30 billion in the next few years, according to Aging in Place Technology Watch. This will be driven by customization of software and hardware. Even faster growth is anticipated for home-based care, representing 35 percent of elder care service revenues through 2018. Despite this trend, many of the Milennial startup founding teams addressing digitgal health, and their VC investors, are ignoring this key demographic. 

VC investment in digital health tools targeting Seniors represents only 2.6% of all 2015 digital health venture investment

Tools and solutions need to focus on both the End-User, and their caregivers, who are often family members and loved ones.
Below are six Israeli technology startups targeting the Senior healthcare sector, selected by Dov Sugarman, an expert foc used on Israel technologies to address Aging:
1) E2C: Smartphones designed for seniors, distributed by wireless carriers
2) Amity: Developed by Xorcom, this is a home monitoring solution for seniors aging in place
3) PowerTags: Disposable tracking device with an intuitive, real time location sensor system
4) VideoTherapy: Cloud-based tele-rehabilitation platform focused on Seniors
5) Moving Life: Mechanized mobility scooter that folds into a lightweight trolley
6) Safe Beyond: A “digital time capsule” and online platform allowing users to record and store video, audio and written messages to be accessed posthumously by their heirs and loved ones

The largest proportion of the healthcare population is the most under-invested. This is likely to change. In October, tJP Morgan and AARP, the 40 million member US association for Seniors, announced a $40 million venture fund. The three focus areas are Aging at Home, Convenience & Access to Healthcare, and Preventative Health. Earlier in 2015, Prudential launched an Innovation Lab and Venture Capital Fund addressing the needs of seniors, Gibraltar Ventures

Go-to-market for the Senior demographic can be tricky. Focus on testing and iterating marketing messages, providing friction-less adoption with monetization from SERVICES, and cultivating the loyalty of family and caregivers. 

Interested in creating technologies to address the  fastest growing and largest segment of the healthcare sector? Join the mHealth Israel "Future of Aging" Hackathon and panels at the upcoming mHealth Israel conference, February 18th in Tel Aviv.