A new way of living - and moving the clinic into the home

The days of the assisted living facility (ALF) may be numbered - or at least in for some major disruption. Innovators should study this and extrapolate the implications: the ability of smart technology to deliver “branded, on-demand” services, is ready for upending the market for care for older Americans. Many of the services and functions needed by older people can be easily delivered directly to the home. A recent study by The MIT AgeLab suggested surprising findings: “...for an older person who required higher levels of support, the cost of using on-demand services from home could actually be half the cost of the nation’s average monthly assisted-living fee.”

Other key excerpts:

  • “This new way of living, where countless branded services are provided on-demand and proactively to older adults and caregivers, is transforming the home into what the MIT AgeLab refers to as home-as-service.”

  • “The freedom the connected home provides for one to choose services a la carte, rather than being incorporated into the one-size-fits-all environment of the facility, is an enormous benefit not only for older adults’ wallets, but for their own sense of independence and personal control.”

  • “It does, however, upend the business model for assisted-living facilities. The assisted-living model has rested on the compelling assumption that the most affordable way to provide for the needs of older adults is to house them in one place. But in our new reality of smart technology and on-demand services, that may no longer be the case.”

What intrigues me just as much is the potential of bringing care directly to the home for a range or clinical and health services for people of all ages. This is not just for the elderly. The notion of going to a “doctor’s office”, clinic, or even a hospital I predict will soon feel quaint, or even archaic. We know companies working on this notion right now. The medical office will not stay the same after this.

Read WSJ: Why the Home May Be the Assisted-Living Facility of the Future

Read from MITagelab: Sharing is caring: The potential of the sharing economy to support aging in place

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