Study Reveals Most Gen Xers and Boomers Want to Age at Home but 95% Fear
Today’s Technology Is Not Up to The Task
Philips and Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative Examine Barriers
to Technology’s Ability to Improve Quality of Life for Aging Population
ANDOVER, Mass. -- November 6, 2013
Philips and the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown
University’s McDonough School of Business released a survey today that found
both baby boomers and Generation X (Gen X) place high value on technology as
they age. However, 95 percent believe today’s technology needs to be better
developed to help them successfully age at home, or age in place, for as long
While 73 percent of boomers and Gen X surveyed want to age in their own home,
they believe they will have significant barriers to achieving this through the
aid of technology, such as access and adoption, cost, privacy, complexity of
use, product integration, and public policy.
These barriers, which need to be addressed for future generations, already
have a deep impact on how seniors currently use technology today. For
instance, only 18 percent of those over 65 own a smart phone and only 56
percent use the Internet.* These behaviors are echoed in the Philips/GSEI
study as both Gen X and boomers feel that their aging parents (age 60+) are
not utilizing technology as well as they could. Findings include:
*53 percent of boomers and Gen X believed it would be a good thing if their
parents used technology more with 45 percent of these stating that it will
help them stay better connected with friends and family.
*Only 9 percent of those surveyed believe that their parents are savvy or
extremely savvy when it comes to technology use.
*Boomers and Gen X want their aging parents to utilize monitoring
technologies, such as home health monitors (45 percent) or security
systems (43 percent). However, only 17 percent are using home health
monitors and 12 percent have a security system.
*40 percent of boomers and Gen X said their parents think technology is
“too hard” to learn. Respondents point to the fact that the time involved
in learning to use a device and fixing potential problems discourages use.
“For people to live independent, fulfilling lives in their own homes and
communities as they age, technology must continue to become easier to learn
and use while also being better integrated with adjacent technologies,
including patient care,” said Bill Novelli, distinguished professor of the
practice, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, and member of
the Philips Aging Well Think Tank.
The results of this study and the individual barriers were discussed in an
expert roundtable at Georgetown University facilitated by Philips and GSEI in
September 2013. Meeting participants included thought leaders with expertise
in aging, health care, technology, and policy.
"Philips is helping lead the way to make aging well a reality for more
people," Novelli added. "Together, Georgetown, Philips, and others are working
towards a full continuum of care for our aging population."
Outcomes and a full report out from the round table meeting, as well as the
full results of the study, can be found at
About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being
company focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in
the areas of healthcare, consumer lifestyle, and lighting. Headquartered in
the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs
approximately 114,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100
countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care, and home
healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions, and new lighting
applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News
from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
The Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown University’s McDonough
School of Business aims to prepare current and future leaders to make
responsible management decisions that create both economic and social value.
Led by Distinguished Professor of the Practice Bill Novelli, GSEI engages
corporate, nonprofit, government, and other stakeholders to advance the
understanding of social enterprise.
GSEI encourages social value-focused thinking, learning and activity through:
*Development of comprehensive curriculum and experiential programs;
*Partnerships with corporations, nonprofit organizations, civil society,
government and multilateral agencies to tackle large-scale challenges in
key issue areas; and
*Convening of thought leaders to share best-practices and key learnings
from the field.
About Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business provides a
transformational education through classroom and experiential learning,
preparing students to graduate as principled leaders in service to business
and society. Through numerous centers, initiatives, and partnerships,
Georgetown McDonough seeks to create a meaningful impact on business practice
through both research and teaching. All academic programs provide a global
perspective, woven through the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in a way
that is unique to Washington, D.C. – the nexus of world business and policy –
and to Georgetown University’s connections to global partner organizations and
a world-wide alumni network. Founded in 1957, Georgetown McDonough is home to
some 1,400 undergraduates, 1,000 MBA students, and 1,200 participants in
executive degree and open enrollment programs. Learn more at
http://msb.georgetown.edu. Follow us on Twitter @msbgu.
Notes to the editor:
*Methodology: The survey “Aging Well: Next Generation Tech” was conducted
online in partnership in partnership with Research Now and CQuest, among a
sample of 1200 Americans aged 34-67, weighted to reflect a nationally
*Additional Data: Outcomes and a full report out from the roundtable
meeting, as well as the full results of the study, can be found at
*Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project Spring
Tracking Survey, April 17 – May 19, 2013
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
Philips North America
Lea Armstrong, +1-978-659-3467
Public and Media Relations
McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
Teresa Mannix, 202-687-4080
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