The New Mobile Age:

How Technology Will Extend the Healthspan and Optimize the Lifespan

Digital technologies can be leveraged to transform healthcare from traditional to connected. We have added 25 years to our lifespan, but done little to improve our healthspan. Let The New Mobile Age guide you with its clear vision of the next healthcare revolution—to enable individuals to remain vital, engaged and independent through their later years, and create a better healthcare system for everyone.

About The Book

The New Mobile Age: How Technology Will Extend the Healthspan and Optimize the Lifespan

Aging Baby Boomers want control of their health and want to grow old on their own terms. Digital technologies are creating a new kind of old, enabling individuals to remain vital, engaged and independent through their later years. But it has to be the right technology, designed for an aging population, not just what technologists and app developers think people want. Social robots, artificial intelligence, vocal biomarkers and facial decoding will analyze emotion, anticipate health problems, improve quality of life and enable better relationships with healthcare providers. It's also about using data to better understand the 'soft science' of wellbeing and address the neglected crisis of caregiving. It's a business model but, more so, it's a new way of life. The New Mobile Age will explore what needs to be done in order to achieve healthy longevity, at a time when digital and connected health solutions are needed more than ever to stem this 'Silver Tsunami.' Health tech innovations will not just improve healthcare for older adults, but will create a better and more responsive healthcare system for everyone.

The Foreword, written by Charlotte Yeh, MD, Chief Medical Officer of AARP Services, provides her unique perspective, insights and experience in redefining how we think about aging, and the relationship between social engagement and health.  She is a longtime champion for the role of technology in health and her knowledge is incorporated throughout the book.

Excerpts from The New Mobile Age

The aging of our population is a worldwide phenomenon. Low birth rates and a longer lifespan are causing a global demographic shift—people almost everywhere are living longer than ever. The pace of population aging may vary from country to country, but according to the World Health Organization by 2020, for the first time in recorded history, the number of people on earth aged 65 plus will outnumber children younger than 5 years. By 2050, the number of people 65 plus is expected to triple to 1.5 billion, representing 16% of the world’s population.

The fact is, we are not at all prepared to address the implications of caring for an aging population that will soon be twice the size of a younger demographic, both in the United States and around the world. We are still, in large part, floundering, trying to quickly cobble together policies and services to meet the needs of the diverse and growing older population.

The demographic shift from young to old poses a once-in-a-millennium opportunity for smart entrepreneurs, investors, startups and existing companies to design the next generation of tools that enable older adults to live fully and well throughout their extended lifespan.

Older consumers are fueling the sizzling hot global “anti-aging” market, which, according to Research and Markets, will reach $300 billion by 2020, much of that driven by baby boomers seeking new ways to look and feel young. I’d like to add an important caveat. The “new old” are not interested in clunky, big-number phones or tools designed specifically for “old people.” They want what everybody else wants: sleek and attractive looking tools that don’t scream “I’m old.” But they also require devices that are well-designed for aging adults and that are effective and “seamless,” requiring little fuss or bother.

Smartphone ownership is the one area where older people are falling behind: owning a smartphone drops off at age 65. As of 2016, 27% of people over 65 owned one—that figure represents an 8% increase since 2014. In contrast, 85% of 18- to 25-year-olds own a smartphone. Since so many health devices and apps are linked to smartphones, it limits their use among the older age group. This is a shame and we need to do something about it. From the perspective of mobile providers and communications companies, the aging population represents a potential and large new market. Maybe it’s time to get over “ageism” and design some products that appeal to this generation—and that includes better smartphones!

Despite significant progress—especially among baby boomers—there is still a demonstrable age gap within the older population itself in how these technologies are being used to improve health. The people who could benefit the most from connected health technologies—the oldest and sickest among us—are not yet using them. I would argue that the reason these technologies have not gained traction among many older adults is not the fault of consumers, but rather can be attributed to poorly designed devices that fail to meet the needs of the market.



Long before the internet, health and wellness trackers, apps, sensors or smartphones even existed, Joe Kvedar was creating a new model of health care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor’s office into the day-to-day lives of patients. Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, Vice President, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, is leveraging personal health technologies to improve care delivery and help providers and patients better manage chronic conditions, maintain health and wellness and improve adherence, engagement and clinical outcomes. Under Dr. Kvedar’s two decades of leadership, Partners Connected Health has launched a number of innovative health tracking programs, mobile health, virtual care initiatives and clinical research programs for the more than 1.5 million patients served at Partners HealthCare-affiliated hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, community and specialty hospitals, community health centers, home care and other health-related entities. Connected health programs address a wide range of health challenges, from heart failure, hypertension and diabetes, to prenatal care, medication adherence, cancer pain management, teen asthma and smoking cessation. Partners Connected Health has also conducted seminal studies that have demonstrated the positive impact of personal health and wellness monitoring to promote and maintain healthy behaviors. He is the author of The Internet of Healthy Things (2015), describing how everyday objects will capture and use real-time biometric data to ultimately change behavior to improve our health.

Dr. Kvedar, who is internationally recognized as a pioneer and visionary in the field of connected health, has authored over 1000 publications on the subject. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of npj Digital Medicine, a Nature Research journal. The popular cHealth Blog provides his insights and vision for connected health. Dr. Kvedar serves as a strategic advisor at Wave Edge Capital, Puretech Ventures and Qualcomm Life, and he is a judge for the Harvard President's Challenge for Entrepreneurship. Dr. Kvedar is co-chair of the American Medical Association's Digital Medicine Payment Advisory Group; he is also a member of the Board of Excertia, a collaboration between AHA, AMA, DHX Group and HIMSS dedicated to improving the quality, safety, and effectiveness of mobile health applications (apps).

Based on the technology platform developed at Partners Connected Health, a personalized health technology company was launched and later acquired by a leading insurance company to support its program encouraging healthy behavior and wellness education among employee populations. In 2013, Dr. Kvedar launched Wellocracy, a leading source of impartial, easy-to-understand information on new personal “self-health” technologies like activity trackers, wireless devices and mobile apps to empower people to get and stay healthy.

Connect with Dr. Kvedar
Connect on Twitter: @jkvedar, @connectedhealth
Connect on LinkedIn: Joseph C. Kvedar
Learn about The Internet of Healthy Things
Read The cHealth Blog


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The New Mobile Age: How Technology will Extend the Healthspan and Optimize the Lifespan
The Internet of Healthy Things
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Praise for The New Mobile Age

“The baby boomers are beginning to transform aging itself—and Joe Kvedar has a clear and compelling vision about how their healthcare must evolve.”

“If we follow Joe’s lead in The New Mobile Age, we will catalyze a transformation in how the healthcare system interfaces with the aging population and, along the way, we will improve care for all.”

“The New Mobile Age provides a framework for how to create innovative, connected health tools to better care for our aging population, support our caregivers and improve our healthcare system to benefit all stages of life.”

“Joe Kvedar provides the vision, insight and inspiration for creating connected health tools to improve and extend the human healthspan. We all should follow Joe’s lead, to fi nd solutions to address population aging, one of society’s most urgent challenges.”

“Joe Kvedar shows how the right digital health technologies can support our aging population, not just to live longer, but to live better, while better utilizing our healthcare resources.”

“Dr. Joe Kvedar shows us how new connected health technologies will disrupt aging in ways previously unimaginable, bringing us incredible opportunities to choose how we want to live and age.”

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Partners Connected Health

Partners Connected Health is the leading force in the use of technology to deliver care outside of a hospital or doctor's office. Applying personal health technologies, including remote monitoring, mobile health, personal health trackers and sensors, we are creating new solutions for empowering individuals and providers to better manage health and wellness. Partners Connected Health is affiliated with Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals, including Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.


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25 New Chardon St, 3rd Floor, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02114

Find us on Twitter: @jkvedar, @connectedhealth
Connect on LinkedIn: Joseph C. Kvedar
Learn about The Internet of Healthy Things
Read The cHealth Blog


Gina Cella, Cella Communications
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