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Tech startups turn attention toward seniors

December 27, 2013

While younger generations may have a reputation for being more tech-savvy compared to their older counterparts, entrepreneurs are turning their attention to seniors. A growing number of innovators are focusing squarely on developing gadgets for the retired population to help them better navigate the challenges of senior living, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Katy Fike and Stephen Johnson are among those who are leading the charge. The business partners launched a program known as GENerator, which helps fund startups aimed at providing helpful technology to seniors. Fike says she is focused on making sure younger entrepreneurs are addressing the right issues.

"We'd talk to CEOs of assisted living and they'd be like, 'Yeah, that thing is cool, but that's my ninth-biggest problem,'" she told the newspaper. "The entrepreneurs are nimble, they want to solve the right problem, but we need points of connection and learning."

There are plenty of examples where technology for seniors has already proven successful. For instance, Sabi, which provides products designed specifically for seniors with a more updated look, was founded by Assaf Wand after he noticed the drab products his grandmother used. Meanwhile, there are many programs, smartphone and tablet apps meant to help seniors with activities of everyday living. 

Perhaps most helpful are programs that help seniors with medication management. One of the most popular of these is Pillboxie, which turns taking prescriptions into something of a game, according to Gizmodo.  The simple restructuring of the vital activity might make seniors more likely to follow through with their medication schedule. Though it has some drawbacks - seniors can't set reminders except for on the hour - it has earned many positive reviews.