Millennials tend to get the lion's share of attention when startups become the topic of conversation. However, when it comes to healthcare consumption, much of the target market is actually Baby Boomers and even the few members of Generation X who have made it past the age 50 mark.
Because of this, many healthcare startups have been launched with seniors and near seniors in mind. Here are six health related startups with a mission to make life better for seniors in 2017.
Absolute Care And Health
Home health care has been increasing in popularity over the last decade or so. It is a more flexible way of meeting the needs of seniors. Absolute Care And Health takes advantage of this by offering up a cafeteria plan of in home health services that range from transitional care to total in home care. They also offer occasional and ongoing care for seniors who don't need intensive services. This Melbourne-based started was founded by Tull Roseby to meet the needs of Australia's growing senior population.
One of the challenges of finding healthcare services, researching health conditions, or finding community based health resources is the need to be able to navigate the internet and use a computer or other device. For seniors, having poor vision, limited motion, being bed ridden, or simply having a reduced level of cognitive functioning can make this difficult.
This is where Breezie can help. It is a software package that creates an interface on any tablet that is specifically designed for seniors. In addition to being easier to use, it comes with several apps and features specifically designed to help seniors find healthcare related information and services. It also has a portal so that caregivers can also access information and best meet the needs of the senior. The company received its first stage VC funding in 2015.
Sometimes families need a simple, non intrusive way to check up on a senior, and verify that they are okay. The 3 ring plug offers a simple, inexpensive option for doing just that. It is a simple outlet adapter that, notifies loved ones that a senior is up and about. For example, if a senior first heads to the kitchen to make coffee in the morning, they can plug the coffee maker into the 3Rings outlet. Then, family members or friends are notified. They are also notified if no activity is detected.
What's really interesting is the technology behind all of this. Many in home devices similar to this rely on either a wifi connection or the home having a landline. In this case, the device itself is essentially a modified mobile phone. This means that it requires no additional infrastructure be available at the senior's home.
Tiny Bots is a robotics company that was founded in 2015. They are working to develop small robots to help improve quality of life for dementia patients. This Netherlands based startup is truly in the very early stages of launch.
When their product comes to market, they will engage dementia patients in social experiences, and help them navigate their daily lives. This will include playing music, telling stories, sending out reminders on matters such as self care, and engaging in cognitive therapy.
There is no denying the importance of companionship when it comes to the overall health and wellbeing of seniors. This includes casual, friendly companionship as well as romantic companionship. Stitch provides seniors with a variety of options for connecting with companions that range from services that help people find travel companions, to an online matching service for those seeking out romantic connections.
This startup is currently growing due to its receipt of series A funding in 2015. It is based in San Francisco, CA but the company is international in scope.
Easy to Connect
Easy to Connect provides smartphones and tablets that are specifically designed for those over the age of 70. In the near future, their offerings will expand to include smart televisions and wearables.
One of the sad ironies of life as a senior is that this population is often one of the least connected in spite of having a more urgent need for that connection. One of the roadblocks to having this need met is that communications technology simply isn't designed for seniors. Easy to Connect meets this need by providing consumers with technology specifically adapted to their needs and abilities.
It will be interesting to watch as these seven healthcare and healthcare technology startups progress over the next twelve months. Each has a unique business model designed to serve the needs of a very solid consumer base.