Predictions for the longevity industry in 2023

Last year was when we all got the wake-up call about longevity. From major reports published on the impact of longevity by the National Academy of Medicine and McKinsey to every leading newspaper, public discourse highlighted how our global healthcare, financial and housing infrastructure was failing to serve a rapidly growing older adult population.

While this demographic data is not new, from kitchen table talk to Congress, there was a heightened call for urgency and immediate action.

At Primetime, we observed this wake-up call beyond the research and media attention. First, our deal flow of early-stage businesses in the sector increased from 70 in Q4 2021 to 120 in Q4 2022. And, we were one of only three dedicated funds investing in aging and longevity when we launched in 2020, but we are now aware of at least six more agetech funds in formation, in addition to many other existing funds keen to expand their team to cover the sector.

We are very optimistic for 2023 as we see incredible founder momentum, untapped areas to build new businesses and a window to an increasingly tech-accessible, rapidly growing consumer market.

Here are our top predictions for the longevity industry in 2023.

By 2030, the 50-plus market is projected to swell to 132 million people, who are projected to spend an average of $108 billion every year on tech products.

Health span is the new life span

The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on older adult behavior with regard to technology usage, penetration of telemedicine and remote health monitoring, early retirement and financial insecurity. Sadly, one of the harshest implications of the pandemic was that life expectancy in the U.S. declined to 77 from 79.

This year will shift the conversation from “life span” to “health span” — how we live healthier for longer.

While telemedicine usage has declined from its peak during the pandemic, the new average is much higher than before the pandemic. We are particularly excited about companies that will accelerate the growth of 100+ primary and specialty-care telemedicine startups by managing their technology, patient payments and reimbursement, as well as provider acquisition and certification.

In an effort to prevent costly hospital visits, the past few years have seen a proliferation of startups offering supplemental health plan benefits for older adults — from transportation to home modification.

This year, we will see a shift from the mere availability of benefits to the utilization of benefits provided by health plans and the government. Companies that offer personalized care outreach and incentive programs are leading this emphasis on benefits management.

Global demand for monitoring hardware for chronic conditions (diabetes, heart disease and respiratory diseases) is expected to triple in the next six years. We’re seeing a new wave of monitoring solutions focused on diagnosis and prevention, such as at-home blood tests, hormone tracking and cognitive decline diagnostic tests. Mature women’s care will also see significant consolidation as healthcare players look to increase the ways they help women with menopause. With many new entrants in the estimated $600 billion menopause category, these early stage businesses will be prime for acquisition.

In 2023, we will see a slew of new dementia care solutions. With at least four digital therapeutics in the FDA’s queue and an increase in annual Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding to $3.5 billion in 2022, there will be a steady stream of new dementia interventions.

The home

In 2022, the term “aging in place” became normalized, fueled by a slew of hospital-at-home startups and persistent consolidation in the home health sector. This will continue in 2023, complemented by new fintech and proptech solutions.

We will see traction in the evolution of long-term care insurance as Americans realize they must privately fund their in-home care assistance. New players will partner with incumbent insurance companies to offer hybrid products.

Similarly, to afford to age in place, new home financing and equity products will gain in popularity. I also expect to see more real estate mobility as folks downsize, looking for relocation and property management services. The confusion, localization and inefficiencies of downsizing should and can be solved by entrepreneurs.

The workplace

In the face of silent resignations, employers normalized remote work and expanded well-being benefits. To retain talent, more businesses will offer employees of all ages greater access to retirement benefits, family caregiving and bereavement support — a boon for startups across those industries.

As the humongous boomer generation reaches retirement age, there will be an emphasis on 401(k)s and IRAs. The space will continue to expand as new legislation forces businesses to offer retirement plans.

This year will usher in the second wave of retirement innovators, which some call retire tech, who are creating more flexible and compelling products. In 2024, age diversity will become an agenda item as employers seek to retain and reengage the wisdom and skills of an experienced workforce.

The zeitgeist

Finally, 2023 will see a more positive light being cast on aging and older adults. Ageism and tired characterizations of older adults as frail and immobile are out, replaced by boomers in their 50s, 60s and 70s living their best life.

In fact, by 2030, the 50-plus market is projected to swell to 132 million people, who are projected to spend an average of $108 billion every year on tech products.

A spark has been lit. We cannot wait to see how these themes continue to evolve over the course of 2023.