BOSTON – As CEO of AARP, JoAnn Jenkins sees opportunities for developers of home health technology to step in and disrupt the way care is delivered to an aging population.
“The products we’re bringing to the market aren’t really keeping pace with the way we’re aging,” Jenkins said in her keynote address at the Connected Health Symposium last week. “There are huge opportunities for companies to disrupt aging in the health care space.”
Jenkins described a new vision of health care that puts wellbeing at the center of people’s lives. She laid out four shifts that need to take place to keep up with the rapid changes in health care: going from physical/mental diminishment to physical/mental health and putting fitness at the forefront of the country’s conversations; putting the primary focus of treatment on prevention and wellbeing so that people are taking control of their health outcomes; shifting from dependent to empowered patients; and going from uncertain to dependable access to care.
Jenkins said AARP sees these shifts as inevitable, and as they happen, older patients will increasingly seek ways to engage with companies that deliver home health technology. She described opportunities in medication management, care guidance, social engagement, smart aging, behavioral health, diet and nutrition, new care delivery, safe living and physical fitness.
“At the center of all of this is innovation and technology,” Jenkins said. “The misperception that people over the age of 50 don’t use technology just isn’t true.”
Jenkins said that developers of home health technology must keep the shifting landscape in mind as they develop new products, but the market is wide open.
“These products and services have the potential to be adopted by more than 100 million people by 2020,” she said.