Emerging tendencies in innovation for aging: lessons from OPTIMIZE

Emerging tendencies in innovation for aging: lessons from OPTIMIZE

During three days, startups, investors, senior care executives and seniors themselves from around the globe explore how technology can transform the aging experience.

OPTIMIZE is representative of the interest that develops in USA, among start-up and innovators, for the issue of technologies for aging, with the desire to expand the market worldwide. In this respect, the objectives of Aging 2.0 are comparable (at private level) to European initiatives (e.g., EIT Health), though less centered on the relationships between academic research and innovation.

Interestingly, the spirit, objectives and scope of the network has evolved from focusing on challenges, exclusively medical and siloed approaches to more collaborative, lifestyle oriented, and opportunity-driven. This is certainly representative of the most promising direction to take that is different from those developed by classic “Gérontopoles”, more centered on medicalization and loss of independence.

Different domains are considered as strategic for future development of technological innovation: i) Mind and, in particular, how technology meets neuroscience using brain-computer interfaces, drones and robotics, virtual and augmented reality or digital products (dementia is the most frequent addressed issue); 2) Mobility that is, how (sometimes even simple) technologies can improve mobility of older adults (for instance through self-driving google car), 3) Care that is, how technology can reduce the cost of care and, iv) Independence that is in particular, living at home and smart cities, better life, well-being and active aging. This domain includes technologies dedicated to healthy older adults for prevention of the effects of aging (brain games, exergames…).