I woke up to yet another story of yet another retail gaint buying up a startup whose primary use cases are all for active young adults. I myself have elders to care for in a different part of the world. This got me thinking about the mainstream commerce options we have for elders not just for my case but also in geographies that I have been to where we know the population pyramid will mean increasing aging population, at some point. Globally mobile workforce and AI challenged job market will make it increasingly difficult for younger generations to personally care for their elderly or disabled.
I do know that we have specialized home care services delivered by people but these come at a premium because their cost base and service base is limited. Mainstream commerce companies operate at a wider cost and service base enabling them to service at 0$ or low cost. We need to get those economies into elder care.
Come to think of it, use cases for elder care don’t just have to be for elders alone, they could be for general convenience or for the general consumer when they are temporarily sick. And they can be delivered using technology. Universalizing elder care use cases gets them a business case with mainstream, I think.
P.S. By elder care, I also include permanent or temporary disability, sick and recovering.
The Use Cases
I broadly think of the above use cases in three categories –
Based on past i.e. Use Cases 1 & 2 above: For example – Trace if a certain wheat protein comes from a crop variant that in a recent medical study is proven as harmful for the Hashimoto Syndrome patients
In the moment i.e. Use Cases 3 & 4: For example – Respond while the person is in the kitchen about what they can cook today and help them mix and serve their drink on their table
Pre-emptive i.e. Use Cases 5 & 6: For example – alert about a new book reading at a nearby store that they can go by walk in a pleasant route that will also contribute to their daily activity routing
Benefit to mainstream commerce companies
Imagine spending millions and near-billions on acquiring capabilities for curb-side pickup – something people have an ‘option‘ to not a ‘compulsion’ to, because they can also get it delivered at home. Now think of building capabilities for the occasional ‘compulsion‘ for some and for the permanent ‘compulsion‘ for a few – compulsion because they wouldn’t have ordered that special protein mix or had that walk to the book reading if not for technology enabling it. There a direct additional consumption value plus an indirect value in that the family might be influenced to purchase from the same mainstream commerce platform later or even the sick individual might just stick on to the platform later.
Ping me if you want to talk more about this