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GE-Intel, Aging in Place Technology

by Louis on August 3, 2010

The big news is that GE and Intel have formed a far reaching alliance to develop and market technology products that “will help seniors live independently and patients with chronic conditions manage their care from the comfort of their home or wherever they choose”* according to a press release from yesterday’s joint company announcement.

What can we glean from their press on the alliance?

1. These two giants see a huge and growing market, in particular they see the home and independent living market as growth opportunities. “The market for telehealth and home health monitoring is predicted to grow from $3 billion in 2009 to an estimated $7.7 billion by 2012.“*

2. These two international giants are conducting their model programs in European markets where health care is managed much differently than in the US.

3. GE and Intel see Aging in Place as a route to reducing health care costs. They see this as a growth opportunity for them AND a factor in the economic recovery and the reigning in of health costs.

4. Both giants see this growth area as a significant change in the way health care will be delivered.

What are implications for smaller players in the Aging in Place sphere?

It is time for providers who do not have the deep pockets Intel and GE have to work together to make sure our pieces of the pie are developed in lock step. We need research showing that a comprehensive system including design, non-electronic assistive technology and the full range of other services to folks living independently in their homes is MUCH better at saving money than the high tech stuff on its own.

A rising tide floats all boats, but we have to get our boat in the harbor for it to matter, other wise we are just floating on an endless sea.

*quotes from the joint Intel/GE press release

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil Stafford August 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Right on Louis! Hi-tech stuff is glamorous and sometimes good. Hi-touch is ALWAYS good and it requires workers too!


Jane Regan August 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I completely agree that it is a strong and powerful alliance being created, that will have lots of top talent and world influence.

And I would love to partner with others in this market to bring some other, lower tech solutions to the market. I think one of the missed opportunities is for large corporations to understand the individual and human side of aging as the key – not just managed health solutions. I work with AIP clients every day, and they aren’t thinking about fancy, expensive health care gear to keep them in their own home. They are carefully considering planning a layout, safe and secure kitchen, bedroom and bathroom functions; inexpensive, not fussy, easy to care for products (like countertops) and accessible homes. This is where the focus should lie – with all companies who provide products in the market – awareness of the phases of life, and universal design, and standardize on things like heights, usability, interoperability; as we designers and builders continue to make the world a better place one remodel at a time!


BETH WISEMAN August 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I wish I could get someone to talk at our January meeting. I have several people scheduled but these would be great presenters. January — Aging-in-Place, Part III: I Want to Stay in My Home, Tell Me About Assistive Technology.


Michael Thomas August 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

What ever options are available that might permit an individual to retain a measure of independency will be great !


Martin Simenc August 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more. Technology is just one piece of this challenging puzzle.


steve gurney August 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Great thoughts as always louis! There seems to be a huge amount of investor capital flowing into assistive technology recently. It will be interesting to see if paying customers will follow, and/or what products will get customers through Medicare and Medicaid funds and if it will be enough for them to thrive.

One of the things I am already seeing is how the large companies/products need the small providers on the “street” to help spread the word about their offerings and get them in the hands of the customers.

Keep up the good work!


Marc Gunther August 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I imagine this is good news for the “Aging in Place” movement. GE and Intel will put lots of marketing and research money into their alliance. And individuals will need help from local, service-oriented providers when they want to understand and negotiate their options.


Louis August 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Marc, Thanks,
I think you are right. My sense of the industry is that few (almost no one) has really figured out how to get into people’s homes on a sustained basis. I think it will be trusted provider relationships in a comprehensive mix that is the foundation for success.


Leslie Kessler August 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm


Maybe you can work with Intel-GE to showcase their innovations – along with your own – in a model home. You and I have talked about how to get people to act on the great ideas that can help them remain in their homes safely and with maximum independence. I think seeing, touching and experiencing such space, design and product may be a way to help people realize what they can have and know that they must take action. Where to get the model home? Maybe Intel-GE would support the project? Maybe a visionary philanthropist would donate a home to be remodeled? Maybe there is a grant available? That’s a tough one… Maybe Home Depot would lease a corner of a store to you… all products identified to offer exposure to those companies developing them… Just a thought for your day!


Louis August 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Great ideas Leslie, There are some demo homes around. Eskaton national demonstration home is getting good marks. Many are created in annual parade of homes by builders and remodelers, but they are not available too long. I am working on a demo home project for some new houses a team I am on is building near the DC area in Howard County, Md. We hope to start construction next month and possibly hold a home open for 18 months.


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