…or for that matter, With the number of seniors Today?
Many of us who are old enough to have parents who are old enough to need some sort of medical alert system remember the I’ve Fallen But I Can’t Get Up ads from a company named Life Alert. Yes, Life Alert is still around and kinda-sorta still using that same line and that same commercial, though with a few updates from the 90s clip we all used to lampoon. What Life Alert is mainly known for now is having the highest prices in the industry with many competitors in line simply with the angle to save you money versus what Life Alert costs the average senior.
If you are in the market for a device for you or an agin parent, Consumer Reports has a good write up of some of the major brands and their price points, alongside savvy ways to decide what is right for you and yours.
However, what we are more curious about, after having looked at dozens of medical alert images is that they don’t seem to be much smarter than they were a couple decades ago, and they certainly don’t look any better. Fair point to say that seniors want what they’ve seen before and we’re still in that era, but we’ve had smart devices for more than 10 years with plenty of seniors who have them. Getting one of these ugly things might just make a person feel old, which is likely worse than having to be trained on a newfangled system.
What’s more, there are more seniors today that an any other point in history, AND THAT NUMBER IS GROWING! Population Reference Bureau details how we are on pace to double the current record number of seniors over the next 40 years, and this group will increasingly become more digitally savvy and comprise 20+% of the population in the US.
Business people know this. Innovators know this. They are all aware of these trends, yet here we sit with out of date devices that are old, clunky, and–while improved from 20 years ago–very much behind the curve compared to technology for hailing cabs or food home service delivery or sundry other mobile device tech.
It’s true that Apple has a medical alert app and it can be paired with an Apple Watch, which is about as sleek and stylish as they come. But Apple is not senior-first. They aren’t going to become senior-first either and ruin their image as being cutting edge. They will eat into this market, for sure, but they aren’t about to lean in harder than they have.
The market for seniors in general is popping and for medical alert devices it has got to be a bull market. It IS COMING. But it has been behind and needs to catch up. Fast.