- Amazon Alexa introduced Care Hub, a system for caregivers to monitor seniors.
- And swelling interest in “aging at home” and boosted smart speaker adoption among seniors will set it up for success.
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Care Hub links Alexa voice assistant users’ accounts with those of aging relatives to better keep tabs on seniors from afar via Alexa’s mobile app, according to CNBC.
A caregiver can send over alerts to seniors and view their activity feed—giving them insights into how seniors are faring at home. It’s also stocked with an emergency contact feature: When a senior says “Alexa, call for help,” it will automatically send a notification to the caregiver.
Amazon pulled the curtain back on Care Hub at an opportune time considering the mounting “aging at home” push that’s coinciding with boosted smart speaker usage among seniors.
- As more seniors eschew nursing homes, there will be a higher demand for tech that enables them to interact with remote caregivers. Nearly 90% of US seniors said that they wanted to stay in their homes as they age in 2018, per AARP—and we imagine the coronavirus pandemic has cemented this interest: The pandemic has underscored major flaws with nursing homes and long-term care facilities, which were massive outbreak hot spots. With a larger push for home healthcare, devices that facilitate continuous monitoring between seniors and caregivers will prove valuable.
- Seniors have been increasingly turning to smart speakers. Twenty percent of adults over 60 used a smart speaker in 2019—most of whom named Alexa devices as their preferred speakers, per Voicebot.ai. And usage among seniors has been climbing in recent years—which, too, looks to have been accelerated by the pandemic: 16% of adults ages 55+ said they’ve spent more time using their smart speakers since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Thus, it’s likely older adults would be more comfortable turning to these devices as part of their home care regimens.
Amazon is roaring ahead with its push into healthcare—and its voice assistant could start to play a more pivotal role. The tech giant is inserting itself into various pockets of the healthcare industry—from health insurance to pharmacy to telemedicine. It has included its voice assistant in some of its healthcare ventures—some health systems are using it in hospital rooms, for instance.
Amazon dominates the US smart speaker market with 70% of users owning an Echo device, per eMarketer. Thus, we expect Amazon to lean more heavily on its voice tech for healthcare. We could imagine it integrating Alexa into its telemedicine service—which is currently only offered to employees, though we predict an impending public rollout.
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