Every blogpost you could read so far was mainly on whether the elderly would accept technology or not for several reasons. But In this post I would like to discuss the financial impact. As I noticed in my first small “survey: elderly and technology” the financial aspect is often the major barrier to use technology. For smaller devices such as a mobile phone (you can find a simple model for something around 40 euros) these are not a big problem. Desktops are currently found for a reasonable price.
But there are many medical devices that the elderly simply can’t afford with their retirement. And even if they have a health insurance, there are often costs they have to pay by themselves. The cheapest or second hand electric wheelchairs costs around 1500-3000 Euro. For a more advanced or newer model, the price would increase to 5000- 10000 Euro.
Another example is the hearing aid. There are simple budget models that you can find for 500euro these models will be repayed by the health insurer (1). Then there are the basic models who have noise reduction,… . So how better the hearing aid (more technological improvements) how costlier. But today these instruments are often adapted to the customer. What is a great improvement compared to the basic models. It will cause less side effects and the hearing aid is more comfortable for the wearer. First they measure the ear by 3D scanning, then they make the adapted earpieces for each customer for instance with 3D printing (a company that make such pieces is Materialise (2))
The maximum coverage for a hearing aid for one ear is 629.92 euros (health insurance the CM (3)). We see that only the budget/basic model will be played back by the health insurance, but once you want to buy a high-tech model is at your own expense.
Other examples for high costs are: implants, robotic surgery, medication and so on.
Not to mention all the new technologies, home automation systems, robots, …
So maybe the elderly are eager to technology, but unfortunately not everyone can afford it. And especially all the new technologies that are invented are often the most expensive, because there are not a lot of competitors on the market because it is new (cell phones VS exoskeletons).
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