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Agetech could transform the care industry

Agetech could transform the care industry (FT)

  • According to two chief executive of technology companies, Age-tech, i.e. applications of technology designed to address issues faced by elderly people, are often left unexploited as they do not appeal to “kids doing start-ups”.
  • Age tech start-up Birdie has designed a system for care workers to digitise and keep track of notes on elderly people living in care facilities. The company has thus far raised €9.5m, with more than 100 UK providers already using the tech.
  • Birdie is also trialling a combination of static motion and sonar sensors designed to pick up irregularities in behaviour through machine learning that could indicate health issues.
  • Another tech company (which remains unnamed) is targeting the steadily growing Alzheimer’s therapeutics market through specially designed devices/toys that stimulate cognitive function.

Analysis and Comments

  • The author makes an important point towards the end of the article by highlighting that the typical customer for technology such as the above is likely to be an older person who is caring for an elderly relative.
  • As such, players in this space that aren’t exclusively targeting care facilities are in the tricky position of having to design solutions for the use of people who themselves might be similarly uncomprehending of thetech as their elderly charges (the article includes an example of a healthcare start-up which failed for that reason).  
  • Last year was an interesting year for Age-tech, as it saw PointClickCare, a leading Canadian SaaS platform targeted at the long-term and post-acute care market, valued at a minimum of USD1bn following its latest funding round.
  • See here for a 2019 Age-tech market map including both listed and private players.

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