By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

digital

LAS VEGAS – Caregiving is expected to be a $72.2 billion industry by 2020, according to a new Caregiving Innovation Frontiers study presented Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show, a global consumer electronics and technology tradeshow.

The study, done by the American Association of Retired Persons, was done to look specifically at caregiver technology needs. The technology research followed  AARP caregiving research released last fall that found about one-quarter of family caregivers are Millennials aged 18-34; another 25 percent are Generation Xers.

Both groups are familiar with technology and are likely to be receptive to technology products that would address their caregiving needs.

Already in the past 12 months there were 34.2 million adults looking after an adult 50 or older, according to the AARP.

“There are silos of solutions currently,” said Dr. Vidya Raman-Tangella, Head of Innovation Center of Exellence, UnitedHealthcare. “What we need is a well-knitted together, end-to-end solution.”

To help transform caregiving, technology brands will first need to find the way they approach caregivers. That’s because many people don’t even realize that they are in that position. More often, they characterize what they do as helping out or looking after a loved one.

In the future, bringing both the patient and the caregiver in to discuss what is needed will help when creating new products.

“They are both part of the equation,” said David Inns, chief executive of GreatCall, Inc. “It’s a balance between what’s a violation of their privacy and what’s helpful.”