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Baby Steps: Will Boomers Buy Into Mobile Health?

Laurie M. Orlov
Mobile technology has the potential to improve health care efficiency, support self-care, and lower costs. The massive baby boom generation stands to benefit most.

Mobile health technologies include apps, gadgets, and tech-enabled services such as sensor-based activity trackers, wearable patches, and personal health devices. By improving self-care, all of these offer potential benefits to providers, payers, and consumers.

Investors and inventors, spurred by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are eager to serve the growing interest in these technologies, and a prime target market is the baby boomer generation because of its massive size and the looming health costs it represents.

But the boomer response has been disappointing so far. This issue brief by health tech industry analyst Laurie Orlov looks at the fit between existing products and senior consumers' needs. Drawing on interviews with a wide variety of tech industry experts, health plans, and consumer groups, Orlov points out specific mismatches between what inventors want to accomplish and what boomers are likely to buy and use.

She also forecasts ways that the mobile health tech market will change and how those changes could benefit the boomer generation and improve their self-care.

The complete issue brief is available as a Document Download.