Top Senior Living Takeaways from the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show

by | Feb 13, 2019

My primary reason for attending the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month was to look at what we, in the senior living field, should be expecting and planning for over the next five to ten years.  While there were many cool things at the show — yes, I want my personal hovercraft! — most did not really apply to our field.  The following are eight takeaways that stood out to me as potentially having a meaningful benefit to our communities and residents in the years ahead…plus a more whimsical one.

Smart Home Technology

No, this is no longer new, or even news.  It’s ubiquitous.  And that’s the point:  Senior living organizations need to adopt and implement smart home technology into our residences.  It has become a basic consumer expectation.

Using Technology to Enable Aging in Place

Research presented at the conference showed that 56% of seniors surveyed said they were interested in using digital tools to monitor and help address health issues.  On display at the conference were a plethora of web- and Bluetooth-enabled health devices that could be used to track residents’ health and prevent small problems from growing into bigger ones.  Implementing this technology could be a key way to differentiate our communities in the future.

Using Technology to Grow Continuing Care at Home

An extension of the above idea, and addressed in more detail in this blog, incorporating a package of web- and Bluetooth-enabled health devices into CCaH programs could provide the value differentiator prospective members need, and thus spark sales.

Technology-based Health Systems Need to be More Like Video Games

Why are video games so addictive?  They include multilevel reward systems that encourage players to keep playing and reach the next level.  Technology alone will not motivate seniors to use digital tools to monitor their health.  Reward systems will need to be integrated into the technology.

Doctor on Demand

This, and similar services, enable residents (or continuing care at home members) to have a “face-to-face” consultation with a physician via their tablet or phone.

Sports Simulators

Our communities have many current and former golfers and tennis players.  Sports simulators let them continue to enjoy their sport year-round, indoors.  Imagine playing St. Andrews or Augusta National in Boston in January!

STaFit Gold Simulator

Small, electric, automated transport vehicles

Many of our communities provide various types of on-campus transportation to residents.  These small vehicles could automate the process, running continually without incurring the cost of a driver.

Panasonic’s SPACe-C concept vehicle

Robotic Window Cleaners

Yes, there are now Roomba equivalents for windows.  I can’t tell you how frequently we visit mid- and high-rise communities where the big, bright windows in common areas haven’t been cleaned in years.  These robotic devices could solve that problem at a much lower cost than regularly hiring professional cleaning companies.

Skyworth Video Wall

Yes, this is the more whimsical one, but just imagine:  You’ve got a great apartment with a terrible view.  Install a video wall in place of the bad view, and you can have your choice of a Tuscany landscape or a Paris night skyline—or a hundred other inspiring views—at your fingertips.

Skyworth video wall


Whether whimsical or widespread in the mainstream, these technological advancements will affect our field sooner than we may think. To dive deeper into any of these topics in particular, and get a feel for how it could impact your organization, feel free to get in touch.

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