Longevity is the world’s fastest-growing market. Older adults are fueling the global economy with spending powers that are expected to reach $15 trillion by 2020. Those numbers did not go unnoticed by the world’s tech giants, and they are taking steps to make sure that they get a piece of longevity economy pie.
This pioneer of voice-first devices, with its squad of Alexa and Alexa enabled devices, is available in millions of homes across the world.
Alexa’s “drop-in” feature allows you to check-in on users, using voice or video, without forcing the user to answer. Alexa Skill developers are specifically building skills for seniors, and companies like Marvee are creating content strategies for companies that want to engage their elderly users.
In 2018, Amazon employees were taken on a road trip to study aging and rumors about a possible collaboration between AARP and Amazon started circulating. Further, in that same year, Amazon acquired pillpack, a full-service online pharmacy.
In September, Apple announced that the Apple Watch 4 got FDA clearance, and that it will be able to detect both falls and irregular heart rhythms. This feature is automatically turned on for users 65+ years old. Additionally, Apple is talking to Medicare providers about possibly subsidizing the watch for at-risk seniors.
By recently unveiling 2 new apps that will enable communication for those who are hard of hearing Google forrays into this market as well. Hearing loss is a common issue among older adults, affecting 1 in 3 seniors.
They are also exploring the senior market for it’s Nest smart home products. Specifically, Google is looking into using Nest sensors to help seniors age in place safely and has been talking to senior assisted living facilities.
Although not a tech company, retailer Best Buy is worth mentioning on this list because of its innovative approach to the longevity economy. As a major player in the consumer electronics game, it was the first to recognize the opportunity in this market.
Their Geek Squad service, which was launched in 1994 and now includes 20,000 employees, offers Best Buy customers 24/7 tech support and assistance with setting up and installing new devices (a huge barrier in tech adoption by older adults).
In 2017 Best Buy launched its Assured Living service, which helps seniors age-in-place. The acquisition of GreatCall, in 2018, proved that Best Buy is truly committed to serving the needs of the older population. GreatCall is a veteran and a leading Connected Health Services Provider.