Consumer Technology and Home Services Players See New Opportunity in the Senior Market

by Jennifer Kent | May. 5, 2020

As connected technology continues to evolve and mature, device manufacturers and service providers are expanding their purview beyond early adopters to a rapidly growing segment of the population – seniors. Companies with a footprint in the home are looking to the senior segment to expand their user bases, product sales, and service revenues.

Service providers are searching for new revenue streams to offset losses from the decline in pay-TV subscriptions, and as younger consumers are more likely to cut the cord, seniors are an increasingly important core segment of subscribers. Smart home device manufacturers want to expand their user base by providing new use cases for their existing products, and security providers are looking to add value to their systems as they counter competition from DIY security solutions. Security monitoring services and smart home devices, sensors, and platforms are easily re-positioned as tools to help seniors age safely and well in their own homes. Finally, wearables manufacturers need to attract new buyers beyond the young and fit, and are adding emergency detection and vital sign monitoring to appeal to a broader audience.

In short – consumer technology companies recognize the enormous opportunity that exists to serve the growing market of seniors and caregivers with solutions that fit their unique needs and desires.

  • Independent living systems represent an affordable, accessible alternative to assisted living facilities for seniors that do not require full-time medical care.
  • Telehealth and on-demand virtual care services can expand access to care for those who have difficulty getting to the doctor, whether due to distance, transportation issues, or medical condition.
  • Connected medical devices and consumer wellness/fitness products have the potential to be a powerful, unobtrusive addition to the independent living toolkit.

This opportunity is not without challenges. Maintaining a level of flexibility with marketing strategies and business models to find success in effectively reaching older consumers and their caregivers is critical for companies developing products and services in this market.

Parks Associates research shows:

  • 87% of consumers age 65+ rank living independently, in their own home, for as long as possible as a highly important aspect of retirement life
  • One-third of seniors are likely to purchase an independent living system with their must-have features, but 40% believe a solution would be too expensive.
  • Four of the top seven must-have independent living system features are monitoring functions, though seniors are highly resistant to internal cameras.

Parks Associates study, Independent Living: Senior & Caregiver Perspectives analyzes the existing and anticipated independent living needs among people ages 50 and older, as well as their family caregivers. It explores consumers’ motivation and perception about aging, quantifies current use of technologies to aid independent living today, and tests interest and likelihood to buy selected solutions/services, including those enabled by smart home technologies and products.

Jennifer Kent, Senior Director, Parks Associates
As Senior Director, Jennifer manages the research department and Parks Associates' process for producing high-quality, relevant, and meaningful research. Jennifer also leads and advises on syndicated and custom research projects across all connected consumer verticals and guides questionnaire development for Parks Associates’ extensive consumer analytics survey program. Jennifer is a certified focus group moderator, with training from the Burke Institute.

Jennifer earned her PhD in religion, politics, and society and an MA in church-state studies from Baylor University. She earned her BA in politics from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

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  • Kelly McDonald wrote

    Great insight from Dr. Kent on how TV service providers can pivot from entertainment to the smart home segment. As smart homes become the standard people will want help in managing the devices (particularly seniors) and will not want to DIY. They will want to DIFM (do it for me)!

    on Wed Jun 3 19:24:58 2020

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