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Developing the assistive technology consumer market for people aged 50–70


Within the United Kingdom (UK), assisted living technologies are mostly provided through statutory health and social care services following assessment of individual need and application of eligibility criteria. This paper describes the first UK study to explore and develop business approaches and innovations required to make electronic assisted living technologies more accessible to consumers in their fifties and sixties. A robust mixed-method approach was used including a large sample size for a consumer survey, triangulation of methods and confirmation of research findings through validation workshops. This three-year study makes significant and original contributions to understanding consumer needs in this rapidly changing market and offers unique insights into the needs and wants of people aged 50–70. Analysis shows significant differences between consumer and business perceptions, indicating that marketing is not closely aligned to consumers' needs and is affecting the development of the market. New approaches to consumer-led business models are presented to improve information and marketing aimed at 50–70-year-old consumers. A ‘Broker/Independent Advisor’ business model showed most potential for meeting the needs of both consumer and business stakeholders. Findings support future development of an assisted living consumer market to meet growing levels of need and demand, and to offer greater consumer choice of mainstream technologies to enable people to age in place.

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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Gillian Ward, Innovation, Design and Technology Unit, Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK E-mail:
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Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
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