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Aging2.0 - greater innovation is needed as our society ages

What tops your mind when it comes to getting old?  “Dull, Lonely, Inefficient…” and the list goes on. There are a lot of negativities associated with aging. Yet, aging is inevitable for humans and the older population is growing dramatically in developed countries throughout the past few decades.  

Pointed out by Stephen Johnston, Founder of Aging2.0, there isn’t nearly enough innovation in the 50+ market. It is bizarre that technology & startups that have done so much in all other areas do not focus on important topics such as enhancing the quality of life for older people.

Aging2.0 was founded with the mission to encourage more companies and talented entrepreneurs to focus their efforts on the 50+ market. In the medium to long-term, the network anticipates an explosion of interest in the space, which will result in higher quality products and services at lower costs to improve the lives of older adults. Areas with high potential for innovation include wearable health and safety trackers, devices that make it easy for seniors to keep in touch with relatives, social networking sites like Stitch, and smart home devices, which help people with limited mobility live independently.

In a nutshell, Aging2.0 represents a paradigm shift that seeks opportunities out of Active Ageing.What’s going on in Hong Kong?

In case we haven’t made our name known, there is actually an Aging2.0 local chapter in Hong Kong! The newly established chapter has hosted the city’s first Global Startup Search event on 25 March 2017. The event is part of an annual program designed to source the best aging-focused startups across the globe. The competition kicks off with a series of pitch events in chapter cities around the world. The winning startup from each local pitch event moves forward to an online voting round, where the general public and panel of expert judges evaluate and contribute to the selection of finalists. The final pitch event will take place during the Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE Conference in San Francisco, USA on 14-15 November 2017.

The pitch teams compose of eight carefully selected startups with focus areas that span across eHealth record system, rehabilitation devices, pharmaceutical IoT, and on-demand caregiving services. While evaluating on the business models of the startups, the judging panel remarked that scalability and relevance to global markets are key factors they value, given the fact that the local winner will be competing with teams from all over the world for investors’ interest.

Human Washer Limited (a.k.a. Sit & Shower), Hong Kong’s winning team, is a startup that produces automated bathing devices for seniors and the mobility impaired. The startup aims to solve the problems of falls that happen in the bathroom and thermal shock from bathing that triggers heart attacks. The bathing device covers everything from automatic soaping all the way to drying, and will help the user to live and bathe independently and safely.

Remarks

With STEM education gaining attention as of late, it’s important to also motivate our younger generations to solve pressing societal issues with an experimental mindset. Millennials must realize that bringing innovative solutions to the aging population today will ultimately benefit their own future.

* For corporates & individuals who are interested in getting in touch with Aging2.0 Hong Kong, please feel free to email us at hongkong@aging2.com.

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