The U.S. market for technology that supports a proactive lifestyle for seniors and their caregivers—more than 85 million Americans, or more than a quarter of the population—was $24.4 billion in 2015. That number is expected to swell to $42.7 billion in 2020 as Baby Boomers come of age, according to a new report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
This 12 percent compound annual growth rate in the active aging market represents a massive opportunity for healthcare technology that promotes aging while pursuing a high quality of life.
In a press release, CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro commented that, “Technology is fundamentally changing the way we live – and active aging tech can dramatically improve our lives as we age.”
“These innovative, connected technologies not only enable seniors to live safer, healthier and longer lives – whether through personal health technology or remote monitoring solutions,” Shapiro said, “they also allow their caregivers to be more closely connected while they care for their aging loved ones. More, these consumer benefits can translate into billions of dollars in savings for the U.S. healthcare industry.”
What’s Driving Growth?
The CTA report points to several key drivers behind the growth in the active aging market.
The population of Americans over age 65 will grow from nearly 57 million Americans in 2010 to more than 75 million over age 60 by 2020. Complicating matters, these Baby Boomers are expected to live longer than previous generations. And while the need for senior healthcare services will rise, there is a shortage in capacity and limited funding and reimbursement. The cost for institutional long-term care services is high, which makes aging in place more appealing to many seniors.
Along with the aging population itself, technology plays a role in the growth. The Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home technology is advancing rapidly and simplifying life for consumers. This tech also offers providers and payers data and insights on the populations they care for, as well as to patients themselves.
Finally, the FDA is working to improve transparency by clarifying and improving its review process, removing a significant amount of market uncertainty for device maker and app developers who are behind many of these active aging technology advancements.
Opportunities in the Active Aging Market
Developing the right technology to connect with this aging population is key to taking advantage of the opportunities ahead.
The CTA report mentioned several opportunities, including:
- Safety and Smart Living: Safety monitoring using sensors, emergency response solutions and home living support services
- Health Device and Remote Care Providers: Technology that tracks personal health indicators, remote diagnostic and monitoring solutions and virtual consultations
- Wellness and Fitness Solution Providers: Wearable fitness activity trackers, diet and weight-loss tools that encourage healthy eating and age-appropriate exercise together, and wellness monitoring tools and apps that help seniors address a range of niche wellness needs