AgeTek–Aging Technology Alliance–steps forward at What's Next

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Late Thursday afternoon, after three-hour brain-bending ‘boot camps’ at the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit, a standing-room-only group of over 50 CEOs, company founders, VPs and other executives crowded into a lower level meeting room at the Hyatt Regency Chicago–without being served drinks and snacks–and participated in the first open meeting of the Aging Technology Alliance–AgeTek. The purpose of the group is akin to a local Chamber of Commerce–to promote the awareness, benefits and value of member products and services, and to assist in the advancement of member companies in the aging technology industry.  The ‘consortium’ format was first formulated during the Silvers Summit at CES 2010 to–unusually–encourage cooperation among companies.  The ad hoc board of directors reflects the potential membership as a whole–small companies, service and product vendors, and educational advisers.  Potential members joined or discussed membership (companies of 100 employees and below, plus advisory and associate members from non-profits, educational organizations and services/product vendors), committees on six topics were formed up, a message and value proposition were discussed.  It was exciting–and much more work ahead.  To find out more, including updates from the Chicago meeting–www.agetek.orgAgeTek flyer, release (PDF)

[Editor’s note:  AgeTek from the start is developing in a remarkable way.  The first is the emphasis on sharing and cooperation.  The membership will inevitably include competitors in fall detection, remote monitoring etc. but that everyone understands that the industry as a whole still needs to establish its place in the boomer/senior/chronic condition monitoring market, and to do so they must work together.  An expanding industry means, as director Laura Mitchell reminded the participants, ‘the tide will lift all boats.’  Another is that the board has deliberately constituted voting membership, at tiered levels of affordable dues, to include small companies only.  This benefits the innovators–companies whose primary/only business is aging technology–and also encourages a foundation of shared interest and partnerships, without the concern that a large company might have other agendas.  This also promises a high level of nimbleness–contrasting with Continua Alliance, which priced out smaller companies almost immediately, emphasized the giants, and had to restage itself after two years.  Donna]

Comments

  1. Steve Hards, Editor

    AgeTek for the UK?
    Well, here’s a difference between the UK and the US – at least five years ago I floated the need for such an organisation for small telecare and telehealth companies, but nothing happened. In the US, AgeTek was conceived and born in just a few months.

  2. Donna Cusano, Editor North America

    It’s promising!
    Perhaps AgeTek will serve as a model for the UK and for Canada. In addition, right now the alliance currently includes only US-based companies, but if they are doing business and have a base in the US….?

  3. Peter Radsliff

    Aging Technology Alliance

    First of all, thank you Donna for such an accurate and succinct write-up.

    A few comments:  You are right on that this alliance was formed out of a need of smaller companies to band together, share resources and help each other succeed. But larger companies are welcome also, only as “Advisory Members.” The thought being that these well-established companies don’t need the help of a self-help group. And, certainly, AgeTek members don’t want the agenda steered off-topic, but at the same time having an advisory relationship with academic institutions, non-profit companies, and large for-profit companies is desirable. 

    As for international members, quite honestly the board hasn’t yet discussed it other than to include global aspirations in our vision. I will put this on the agenda for our next board meeting. I don’t see why we wouldn’t encourage “across-the-pond” relationships, but again, our desire is to also stay focused on our mission as we just get off the ground. Again, thanks.

    Peter Radsliff, ad hoc board chairman, Aging Technology Alliance http://www.agetek.org, mailto: agetek@me.com, also president & CEO Presto Services Inc. http://www.presto.com

  4. Susan Ayers Walker

    Aging Technology Alliance

    I am thrilled that AgeTek has formed. The timing is right for the formation just ahead of the global advancing age wave.

    With collective strength in membership, this organization is poised to inspire other companies entering this market to adopt quality of service and ease of use standards that are important inclusions in products targeting older adults. Agetek members can lead by example.

    AgeTek will have the collective strength to reach the consumer and caregiving markets with timley information on products that could deliver quality of life, peace of mind, safety or be assistive as consumers age at home. I look forward to AgeTek growing in membership and inspiring best practices for their unique industry.

    [Editor’s note (Donna):  Susan Ayers Walker is the co-founder and managing director of the Smart Silvers Alliance and a co-organizer of the Silvers Summit conference/Digital Health Summit (and others) at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).]