Age technology, often shortened to AgeTech or agetech, is an emerging subset of the HealthTech sector that focuses on technology and innovation to improve the lives of older people.
In the past six months, the media has embraced the terminology with multiple articles citing “AgeTech.” The most comprehensive definition states that:
“AgeTech is an emerging branch of the healthtech industry that applies technology to improve the lives and well-being of senior citizens.”
The increasing use of smartphones, smart wearable devices, genomics, IoT, Ageless Design, HealthTech monitors and sensors are all examples of technologies aiming to make services more accessible to the elderly. In Europe alone technology specifically focussed on for seniors, is estimated to be worth €3.7tn.
AgeTech companies consist of both startups and established consumer focussed institutions and technology companies. These companies are innovating in order to replace or enhance existing solutions and technologies and gain improved competitive advantage.
Age technology has been used to improve aspects of insurance, domiciliary care, residential and nursing homes and health care. The services may originate from various independent service providers or the interconnection of devices and services, through the Internet of Things.
Examples of AgeTech
In the US, startup Ageing 2.0 launched in 2015 and has since organised 170 meet-up events. It has opened volunteer chapters in 30 countries and signed up 30 companies for its own accelerator program. Amongst these, SingFit “makes it easy for everyone to become a music therapist.” While, WalkJoy is a wearable sensor that measures a person’s gait and alerts caregivers when someone could be about to fall.
Active Protective is a personal airbag that inflates to stop someone breaking their hip during a fall. Another, Vynca records a person’s dying wishes, so families aren’t left unsure and disputing details.
In Europe, London-based AgetTech startup Birdie secured a €7 million Series A to help elderly adults live independently. Meanwhile independent living platform Kraydel has raised over £1m in innovation grants to develop its smart device. The Kraydel system uses TV-based video calling to connect elderly people to their carers, family and communities.
What is certain is that the senior demographic is growing rapidly and are increasingly receptive to using familiar technology. AgeTech will continue to rapidly expand to improve longevity, promote independent living and deliver peace of mind.