Amazon is working with AARP to develop new tools for ageing populations
At present, there are over 960mn people worldwide who are over 60. By 2050, this number will have soared to 2bn, where approximately 400mn will be over 80 years of age.
It is therefore no surprise that Amazon is looking to develop new digital tools and solutions and tap into this rapidly growing market.
CNBC has reported that Amazon’s health team has been working with the US non-profit organisation AARP to look at new tools and solutions which will attract older generations and support them with everyday tasks.
Whilst the baby boomer generation is set to reach retirement, this particular group have embraced digital tools and are increasingly tech savvy and are already utilising technology on a daily basis. This area of the market will therefore increasingly favour bespoke, digital tools which can support them as they age. By gaining the support of this market, technology companies will also seek to remain competitive in what is becoming an area of increased interest of many.
Amazon’s launch of voice technology, Alexa, has been particularly popular with older generations. For many who live alone, it provides company and is able to answer basic questions. The technology has been implemented in a number of healthcare initiatives, where it will continue to be an essential tool in supporting the needs of such a growing population.
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Amazon’s Vice President of Special Projects, Babak Parviz, recently revealed the company’s interest in developing tools for ageing populations and has claimed that it is something Amazon “deeply cares about.”
"We have looked at the older population in the context of health... and we know this group has a lot of issues and unmet needs," he said.
With homecare options increasingly favoured over traditional nursing and residential placements, it is no surprise that technology is playing a significant role in revolutionising the healthcare space and enabling greater independence, choice and flexibility. It is thought that the technology will become further enhanced and provide vital assistance within medication management, amongst many other advantages.
The company has also recently appointed the FDA’s first Chief Health Informatics Officer, Taha Kass-Hout to work alongside Parviz within its healthcare operations., highlighting that developing new tools in healthcare will be an area of increased focus for Amazon.
Its partnership with the AARP will therefore enable Amazon will learn what features will appeal most to this market and provide essential solutions to cater to this demand.
NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities.
The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75.
Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement.
However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector.
Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.
Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities.
Other key findings of the survey include:
* Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
* 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
* 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
* 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
* 47% are worried about their parent being lonely
* 46% are concerned they could fall over alone
The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn.
Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space.
"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”