AARP and UnitedHealthcare, two of the leading organizations in senior advocacy and health care, today announced the launch of “The Longevity Network” to promote innovations in health care that will improve the quality of people’s lives as they age.
The two organizations unveiled the digital platform, www.longevitynetwork.org, at the 2014 HealthTech Conference in San Mateo. The platform is a central hub where entrepreneurs, advocates and consumers can share information and access ideas, press and other media, social feeds and event invitations about health care innovation for the 50+ community.
Breakthrough technologies, innovative services and disruptive business models are expected to represent $30 billion in cumulative revenue over the next five years and benefit more than 100 million people 50 and older, according to a study from health research firm Parks Associates.
“The Longevity Network will help foster innovations across the consumer and health care landscape that will improve the health and well-being of the 50+ population,” said Tom Paul, chief consumer officer, UnitedHealthcare. “AARP and UnitedHealthcare have a long history of partnering on health care initiatives. We created the Longevity Network to encourage entrepreneurs and consumers to develop meaningful innovations that address the 50+ market.”
“The Longevity Network seeks to publicize and develop the extraordinary business potential in serving the 50+ community with health care innovation,” said Jody Holtzman, senior vice president of thought leadership, AARP. “Health innovation frontiers represent a vast and under-addressed market opportunity. The Longevity Network can harness market participants to help drive the innovation we all need.”
The Longevity Network inverts the common assumption that the senior demographic is a drag on the economy due to growing health care costs and highlights the enormous power of aging consumers to drive the economy. In fact, the economic power of people 50 and older dwarfs that of Millennials and Generation X. More than 106 million comprise the 50+ demographic that is responsible for at least $7.1 trillion in annual economic activity — a figure that is expected to reach well over $13.5 trillion in real terms by 2032, according to a study from Oxford Economics.
How the Longevity Network works
AARP and UnitedHealthcare have focused on nine innovation “frontiers” that offer a framework for distinct innovation pipelines so entrepreneurs can focus their attention on these high-need areas. The nine frontiers are: medication management; aging with vitality; vital-sign monitoring; care navigation; emergency detection and response; physical fitness; diet and nutrition; social engagement; and behavioral and emotional health.
The Longevity Network will promote innovation by focusing entrepreneurial attention on these large, high-growth market spaces. The goal is to drive a national dialogue about the longevity economy and ensure everyone driving innovation in this country is asking themselves, “What is our 50+ strategy?”
The Longevity Network will include focused research, success stories and discussion groups, and will regularly publicize significant achievements in this area and the best innovations in each of the nine frontiers. The innovations will be evaluated for recognition based on their potential impact, marketplace viability, business model, originality, quality of design, and consumer appeal.
To better serve the 38 million people AARP represents, and the nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries nationally who are UnitedHealthcare members, the two organizations have collaborated on a variety of important health initiatives over the past 25 years, while supporting health innovations that benefit seniors and all consumers.
Since 2008, AARP and UnitedHealthcare have worked together to foster innovations that benefit consumers 50 and older, including efforts related to health literacy, mobile health and condition management programs. Earlier this year, AARP launched an investment fund to support start-up businesses, including efforts focused on health care. In addition, AARP, with support from UnitedHealthcare, is conducting a series of “LivePitch” events to identify and promote entrepreneurs who are developing health care products and services for the 50+ community. These events, which have been held for the past three years, have attracted more than 400 applications and helped companies raise approximately $47 million in venture capital – funding that was unaffiliated with either AARP or UnitedHealthcare.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.