“People lose interest in wearables very quickly,” said Jody Holtzman, senior vice president for market innovation at AARP. “They can see the potential, but design is problematic.” According to AARP studies, he added, users had difficulty with syncing wearable products with their computers or even finding directions that explain how to use them.
“There’s quite a lot of funding available, too,” Mr. Holtzman said. “A few years ago, when we showed up at a V.C. event, people wondered what we were doing there.” That doesn’t happen anymore, he added.
Now, AARP holds yearly pitch events and even has its own incubator, The Hatchery.
Read more at The New York Times
But there are some signs of a shift. For one thing, in October the AARP and JPMorgan Chase JPM -0.08% launched a $40 million fund to back technologies and services for the over-50 cohort.
And, Jody Holtzman, senior vice president of market innovation for the AARP said he’s seen demonstrable uptake in interest among both entrepreneurs and those backing them in serving this market.
AARP’s annual Demo Days, for example, have seen startup applicants grow from 80 in 2012, to 127 in 2013, to 193 in 2014, to 228 last year.
Read more at Fortune
“The market opportunity here is huge and growing,” said Jody Holtzman, senior vice president of market innovation at AARP. Many entrepreneurs and VCs have underestimated this space for a long time now, not realizing that the boomer generation needs and wants technology, too, he added.
Read more at CNBC
For healthcare, that’s a $20 billion+ market over the next three years, according toParks Associates. It’s such an inviting market that AARP and UnitedHealthcare launched The Longevity Network this week as a hub for digital health ideas targeted at the 50+ market in general.
Read more at VentureBeat
Today at the 2014 HealthTech Conference in San Mateo, AARP and UnitedHealthcare announced the launch of “The Longevity Network” to promote innovations in health care that will improve the quality of people’s lives as they age. The platform will serve as a central hub where entrepreneurs, advocates and consumers can share information and access ideas, press and other media, social feeds and event invitations about health care innovation for the 50+ community.
Read more at HIT Consultant
AARP is already deeply invested in finding digital health solutions for their over-50 constituency. Earlier this month, it launched the Longevity Network together with United Healthcare, another advocate for senior health. Part advocacy platform, part collaborative hub, the Longevity Network will bring together thought leaders, entrepreneurs and consumers to fuel innovation in digital health for seniors.
Read more at VentureBeat