So, Age-Tech Is a Thing?
You could be forgiven for not being familiar with the term “age-tech,” but there is no denying that it is a rapidly-developing segment of the tech economy. Investors, developers, corporations, startups, and venture capital firms are seeking to make their mark on this corner of the market, and age-tech solutions are beginning to pop up in portfolios all over the world.
What is Age-Tech?
“Age-tech” refers to the fast-growing suite of technology solutions aimed at meeting the needs of the world’s aging population. Tech is no longer a “young person’s game” — especially since the 54+ population contributes about $45 trillion to the world’s economy. By 2050, one in six people will be over the age of 65.
Age-tech solutions run the gambit from health and wellness apps to end-of-life planning assistance, to housing and employment solutions, to caregiving, to social apps. Age-tech is primarily intended to help people live longer, fuller, healthier lives, and to empower people to have more control over their lives as they age.
Key Segments of Age-Tech
Age-tech solutions exist across many economic sectors, but there are a few key segments in which age-tech is particularly useful.
- Cognitive Health
- Social & Connectivity Needs
- Mobility & Transportation
- Activities of Daily Living
Health and wellness is the largest age-tech sector, with about 23% of age-tech startups existing in this category. Operations (daily living) and caregiving are the next largest sectors, with about 15% and 12% of age-tech startups emerging in these categories, respectively.
Major Players in the Age-Tech Space
The majority of age-tech companies exist in the US and United Kingdom. Age-tech is primarily a startup market at this time, meaning that new companies are emerging to provide solutions, rather than existing tech giants dominating the space.
Some of the top players in the age-tech space today include Honor, a company that achieved unicorn status in 2014 and is the largest player in the $500 billion home care market; The Helper Bees which provides assisted living solutions for seniors; and GetSetUp, a digital community for seniors to learn, share, and socialize.
What is “Aging in Place”?
Aging in place refers to the desire of older people to remain in their homes and communities to lead lives that they choose to live, rather than being forced to live in assisted living facilities. Aging in place is a major objective of the age-tech sphere, and most age-tech solutions are geared toward helping older people achieve this goal.