By Editor of WUSF News – June 12, 2015 – Mary Theresa Anderson is sitting in the back of a Miami Beach Convention Center ballroom, listening as entrepreneurs pitch health apps geared toward her and other retirees.
The former trauma nurse from Maryland follows along as venture capitalists drill aspiring businessmen and women about products offering brain exercises, real-time health monitoring, even online vitamin delivery.
From FitBits to smartphone calorie counters, mobile health apps are one the fastest-growing parts of today’s booming health care industry.
Entrepreneurs are pitching more and more to care for older consumers.
Anderson groans at the suggestion that these smartphone apps and other technology are beyond a senior’s grasp. She’s plenty savvy.
“Before I left my profession I had to learn how to use a computer. I had to do all my charting in computer. I had to order my medications, order tests and everything else via computer,” said Anderson, adding, “We just go right along with the flow. Because I think older people are wiser and smarter. And I think they can keep up with technology.”
Lisa Suennen is a venture capitalist who’s moderated 50+ LivePitch events since the first one in 2011 Los Angeles. She says the events remind entrepreneurs and consumers that technology isn’t too complicated for the AARP crowd.
“People in Silicon Valley tend to invest in things and select things and like things that are like themselves or remind them of their own lives,” said Suennen. “And since so many of the people in those roles are young, sometimes people forget to look up and realize that the over-50 marketplace in health care is as large as it really is.”READ MORE