In a saturday article on the New York Times, the author wears an “instant-aging” suit to understand the physical challenges of a 74-year-old person. It’s part of the research being done on aging at MIT. Other examples abound in which the idea behind studying aging is no longer just for medical or policy-making, macro-economic, demographic-challenge stuff: it’s about senior citizens as a consumer force to be reckoned with, and how to market for them. As one person says in the article: “If you are a Fortune 100 company, or an inventor in a garage, where are you going to find another demographic that is that large, that robust in spending power, that open to new possibilities, and that underserved?”
Related thought: we’re always struck at how international research institutions and universities work closely with companies. Why is it so hard to foster the same culture in Brazil, and more importantly, how much is this holding us back?
One interesting source from the article is the Disruptive Demographics blog, by Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab. We’re still starting to digest their content.
We were very interested in the work and research of Eric Dishman, a fellow at Intel in charge of research into digital health/ assisted living technologies. His talk at TEDMed 2009 is quite thought-provoking. We’ve also found a poorly-filmed yet very interesting interview with him by the Health Care Blog where he highlights some examples of products that have been available, embedded next to the TEDMed talk.