Failure, success or both? This week is the kickoff of Aging in America (includes middle agers) and the ‘What’s Next Boomer Business Summit.’ So it’s time to consider what’s next after the bugling and missteps of so-called Digital Health. Gartner did the Digital Health industry a service at the end of 2014, though given all the hype and hoopla, it was likely missed. From their chart, we can see projected peaks in interest in quantified self, smart robots, mobile health, and wearable consumer interfaces – all of which was big, big, big in 2014. And a UK consultant seized the day and created the Digital Health Hype Cycle Chart.
However, something happened during 2015. Investors were likely disillusioned with consumers and mobile health – and the term Digital Health took-over, much of it, wait for it…Health IT! Was it because of an abandonment of fitness wearables? Did they really expect everyone to buy a smartwatch because of Apple? That really depends on who you mean by everyone. What was the real reason behind Digital Health funding dropping $1.2 billion year after year?
Or maybe they weren’t disillusioned at all? Is it a market when a category is in the kitchen sink of genomics, wellness, doctor productivity and mobile health apps? Consumer categories that include patient or consumer experience top the list, followed by wellness/benefits and workflow. Hmm – are those consumer categories? At the end of 2015, MobilHealth News gave up and decided to call the whole shebang “Health Tech.” Is this tech for consumers? Not so much.
Gartner’s cycle, notes that eventually markets do mature. So what would maturity look like in the Health Tech world as it applies to boomers/seniors? Will the smartwatch be the center of the boomer universe? Maybe if the font is enlarged and they never need charging. Right now Apple is fixated on doctors, who may not appreciate all of the business partnerships reflected in that watch. Tablets were the center of the innovation universe in 2010 – now sales (not just iPad) are declining as phones become ever-larger. Is the mature Tablet Market one in which the devices are turned over to seniors? Will that also be true of smartphones, where 56% of the boomers that have them, don’t like mobile ads – and according to Deloitte, they may not download ANY apps.
Five characteristics of Digital Health Market maturity. What would boomers want to have in our mature Digital Health world? Well here’s a starting list – comments welcome. 1) Their ‘privacy is well protected’ by their insurers, doctors, software, social network and device makers; 2) Their ‘health information is well-integrated’ into the multi-company health provider world – no need to carry around those CDs of EHRs; 3) Trends in their health patterns are noticed by care providers who use ‘predictive analytics’ to not possible problems; 4) Boomers do less driving to specialists, more ‘remote consultations’, which are appropriately reimbursed through Medicare; 5) Fitness gadgets are replaced by ‘well-being devices and systems’.
Read Article (Laurie Orlov | ageinplacetech.com | 03/21/2016)
The article refers to the Aging of American and boomers but don’t get this twisted, we are all aging. And the five characteristics apply to all ages of Americans; What age group would deny themselves or their family any of these five?
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