Populations are ageing very rapidly across the world – due to rapid increases in life expectancy and reducing fertility levels. Since 1840 life expectancy has been increasing at the rate of 2.5 years per decade (= 5 hours per day) in the developed world. This resulted in an additional 30 years being added to life expectancy in the last century alone. These driving forces pose big challenges for societies and governments across the world. But they equally offer exciting new opportunities for the right solutions to address them. The really big and complex challenges cannot be solved by any one company or government agency on their own, and instead require a collaborative multi-sectoral approach.
Opportunities in the smart ageing economy span across a range of sectors including:
EDUCATION & TRAINING
LEISURE & TOURISM
New products could include, for example, functional foods that prevent or arrest the development of dementia. They could also include financial products that insure against future care needs.
Within the health sector, virtual reality technologies that extend physical mobility or predictive apps that alert against falls are already proving important. The medical device sector as well as new surgical procedures that improve longer life offer enormous potential.
Lastly, housing is likely to be very significant with clustered housing solutions that encourage independent living for longer.
*Source: Merrill Lynch