In October AARP announced it was establishing a $40 million (venture capital) fund to focus investments on companies and ideas that “provide capital to innovative companies focusing on improving the lives of people 50-plus”. In what's being billed as The AARP Innovation Fund, this investment allocation will focus on companies developing innovative products in three healthcare related areas: Aging At Home, Convenience and Access to Healthcare, and Preventative Health.
The aging of the U.S. population, along with an increasing emphasis on aging at home — instead of in assisted living or a nursing home — is fueling investment in technologies such as telemedicine, which allows patients to communicate remotely with health-care providers. According to a 2014 study by IHS Inc., the global telehealth market will increase to $4.5 billion by 2018 from about $440 million in 2013. – Bloomberg Business, Oct. 1, 2015
There's little doubt that a big focus for investment will be the idea of “the connected home”. The idea is that the right convergence of technology will allow individuals to live independently in their own homes longer. An industry buzz word(s) for this phenomenon is called Aging-In-Place. Products and/or services like telemedicine programs, connectivity hubs (to family and/or caregivers), medical alert systems, and new mobile apps aimed at seniors seem like great investment options in this space.
People 50-plus are online, connected and make use of technology that is intuitive and consumer friendly. They have tremendous buying power – responsible for at least $7.1 trillion in annual economic activity – a number that is expected to grow to $13.5 trillion by 2032. Companies working with the AARP fund have a great opportunity to grow the double bottom line: They can increase revenue and improve the lives of Americans as they age. – PR Newswire, Oct 1, 2015
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We look forward to watching and learning about beneficiaries of this fund. The hope is to find innovators with staying power in the boomer/senior space. Those that find the magic combination of best-in-class product + best-in-class service could be destined for greatness.
Have a favorite new product or service we should be aware of? Let us know in the comments below!