AARP and Parks Associates today issued a Caregiving Innovation Frontiers (CIF) study aimed at addressing the current and future needs of caregivers and those needing care, as well as identifying key business opportunities and in-demand solutions sought after by participants in this growing marketplace. The report also points out six key areas ripe for disruptive innovation.

The Caregiving Innovation Frontiers study notes that by 2020, 117 million Americans are expected to need assistance of some kind, yet the overall number of caregivers is only expected to reach 45 million. It also details how this market is set to grow thirteen percent over the next four years, resulting in an aggregate revenue opportunity of $279 billion over the years 2016-2020, with 80 percent being out-of-pocket spending.

This market is ripe for disruption,” said Jody Holtzman, senior vice president, Enterprise Strategy and Innovation, AARP. “It is in full alignment with AARP’s social mission to enhance the quality of life for people 50-plus, as it pertains to caregivers as well as those receiving care. Caregiving tech is a huge growth opportunity that can help us bridge this ‘needs gap’ and deliver better, more relevant products to improve people’s lives.

In 2014, nearly 40 million Americans were providing unpaid care to people who are older, disabled, or otherwise in need of assistance, with this number expected to increase to 45 million unpaid caregivers by 2020.

Technology offers a key opportunity to deliver solutions to address current unmet needs. In fact, 67 percent of family caregivers want to use technology to monitor their loved one’s health and safety—but only one tenth are currently doing so. Other challenges involve the fact that caregiving solutions remains extremely fragmented, poorly adapted to caregiver needs, and, in some cases, undefined and underdeveloped

The physical, mental, and financial burden on family caregivers are real and their sacrifice for loved ones were aggravated by lack of well-designed decision support tools and shortage of effective care task management solutions in the past,” said Harry Wang, director of mobility and digital health research at Parks Associates, the co-author of the report. “Fortunately, the tech industry has been mobilized and this report shines the light into caregiver needs areas where critical innovations and breakthrough business models are immediately needed.

The CIF report identifies six areas of business opportunities. These include:

  1. Daily Essential Activities accounts for $207.6 billion of market opportunity and includes meals, home and personal care, home repair, delivery, transportation services
  2. Health and Safety Awareness accounts for approximately $20.3 billion of market opportunity and includes health alerts, diet and nutrition, medication management, personal safety monitoring, telehealth
  3. Care Coordination accounts for $8.4 billion of market opportunity and includes care planning, care professional engagement, records and benefits management, recovery support
  4. Transition Support accounts for $21.3 billion of market opportunity and includes home retrofit services, long-term care insurance planning, long-term care provider referral, legal assistance, hospice/funeral planning
  5. Social Well-being accounts for approximately $5 billion of market opportunity and includes digital inclusion, life enrichment and empowerment, community networking, life companions
  6. Caregiver Quality of Life accounts for $17.2 billion of market opportunity and includes respite and backup care, social support, health and wellness, financial/job security


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