Technology holds great promise in addressing the needs of older adults as they focus on remaining healthy, active, socially connected and independent. To understand their behavior around adopting tech products, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the CTA Foundation surveyed older adults and caregivers and found a deep interest among the group to embrace tech that promises greater convenience, safety and health.
The report, Active Aging: Consumer Perceptions and Attitudes, shows the U.S. market for solutions provided by smart, connected devices is expected to grow from $9 billion in 2018 to nearly $30 billion in 2022. The largest segment of this market will be safety and smart living technologies, which will triple in size in that time. As awareness grows about the types of tech to maintain independence and more options at a variety of price points become available, we expect to see increased usage from older adults and caregivers.
Some key findings from the report:
- While most older adults (age 65+ in this study) are not early tech adopters (although some are and should not be overlooked), they are interested in and use technology that offers/creates independence. In fact, more than 60 percent of older adults say they would embrace tech that helps them live independently.
- Caregivers are more concerned about emergencies than older adults. While there are definite worries among older adults related to falls and other accidents happening while alone at home, in every case the degree of concern was higher among caregivers.
- One of the major challenges for adoption is learning about which technologies are available, how to install and maintain them, and how to best use them – a clear sign that a focus on such services would resonate among older adults and their caregivers.
- Seventy-one percent of older adults say tech recommendations from doctors and health care providers, even above family and friends, would increase their trust in products and services.
- To address concerns about training, installation and maintenance, companies are providing resources for people 50-plus. These companies range from Best Buy’s Geek Squad to startups like Candoo, technology installers and integrators, and nonprofits organizations like Senior Planet Centers, Community Technology Network, OASIS and AARP.
The growth of this market represents an opportunity for the 50+ population to engage with tech companies and ensure that the devices being built are meeting the needs of consumers. Aging actively with the help of cutting-edge technologies is an enterprising way of living that accomplishes balance between growing older and maintaining quality of life.