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What Is the Future of the Field: Q&A With David Inns

Stria Staff July 23, 2018
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As Stria publishes the results from our first reader survey, Perspectives on the Longevity Market, we spoke with four industry leaders to hear more about their outlook. We asked Great Call’s David Inns what makes him feel optimistic and what worries him most right now?

David Inns, CEO, GreatCall Inc. David leads GreatCall, the leader in connected health for active aging. With health and safety solutions for older adults and their family caregivers, GreatCall’s innovative suite of easy-to-use mobile products and award-winning approach to customer care helps aging consumers live more independent lives. Products and services include: Lively Mobile, Jitterbug Flip, Jitterbug Smart, Lively Wearable, Lively Home and Health, and safety and wellness apps Urgent Care, GreatCall Link, MedCoach and 5Star Urgent Response Service.

By 2030, the 65 plus population in the U.S. will have increased by over 100% since the year 2000 to over 70m people. The resulting number of family caregivers helping take care of the most vulnerable within that population will have similar momentum. At the same time, the ratio of family caregivers to seniors needing care will have gone down from 4 to 2, meaning each caregiver is going to need more help and will need to be more productive.

These three things combined create an unprecedented amount of opportunity in the longevity market. While today the market is primarily made up of traditional care services, like all markets, it will eventually shift quickly to technology enabled services that will deliver better, more targeted support for seniors, more visibility and peace-of-mind for caregivers and will lower costs for the healthcare system. So, while the entire longevity market has a bright future, in particular, I believe tech services that support independent aging is a once-in-a-lifetime market growth opportunity that is ready to explode.

What worries me is that there have been too many companies that have tried and failed to be successful in this space. However, I do believe that most of the failures have been self-inflicted. Too many companies have focused on the technology first, or the healthcare system first, or the family caregiver’s needs first, instead of focusing on the needs of the senior themselves. Not putting the needs of the senior first in your product and go-to-market strategy will spell doom. The senior needs to be connected and engaged for tech services to work, and trying to force solutions on them that they do not like or want will simply fail.

MORE FROM DAVID INNS

We asked David what book he most often suggests to longevity professionals. Find out what title he recommends.