The Philippines calls it the “New gold mine”. In India it’s “White Hot”. Across the world and in Asia, pundits and publishers are issueing their lists of ‘what to watch’ in the year and decade beginning 2010….. and ageing is a constant issue to watch.
This article in the Philippines Business Enquirer says:
In 2008, the world’s median age is at 26 years old. This is expected to increase to 36 years old by 2050.
Branded products and services that appropriately talk to and engage this market is likely to be profitable. After all, a good number in this segment also have the buying power.
Techtree in India talks about the opportunities for mobile technology and headlines: Keeping in shape: Mobile healthcare
Mobile healthcare is another fast growing segment in Asia with its aging but tech-friendly population. In a recent study, Solidiance estimated that by 2010, the Asia Pacific mobile healthcare business will be worth just under $1 billion with 70 percent of users in more advanced economies. This innovation will involve many parties, including software/applications development, system integrators, mobile integrators, mobile marketing, mobile operators and handset players, and hospitals and other medical service providers. Applications cover a wide range of possibilities and may include but are not limited to remote patient monitoring, mobile nursing, mobile medical records access, access to free mobile healthcare information and more.
Finally, the Deccan Herald in India predicts:
An ageing — but rich population — particularly in the West will see an increasing demand in jobs that cater to this demographic. In the US, for example, the Labor Department says 13 of the 20-fastest growing occupations up to 2014 will be related to healthcare. The department lists home health aides, medical assistants and physicians’ assistants in the top five. Personal and home care aides was one of the fastest growing occupations in 2008-2009, according to the department, posting a 50 per cent increase over the previous year.
Jobs in allied occupations, such as medical assistant, grew 35 per cent.
And of course, doctors and specialists will continue to be in great demand, even here in India, where it isn’t unusual for 60-year-olds to be visiting a battery of consultants regularly, such as neurologists, osteopaths and opthalmologists.
Are we approaching the tipping point?
These predictions however all seem to focus on ‘old for old’ (Old products and services for old people). What about remaining relevant and accessible to the massive, ageing and often afflluent customer base as they experience the inevitiable effects of physiological ageing?