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Mayo Clinic’s lab for senior healthcare innovations finds another partner

The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation‘s new lab devoted to researching healthcare technology and services that will help seniors remain at home, healthy and independent now has its second founding consortium member.

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society — the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of senior care and services — has signed on to support Mayo’s Healthy Aging & Independent Living (HAIL) Lab. Established in September in collaboration with the clinic’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Center for Aging, the HAIL lab is located in the Charter House, a continuing care retirement community that’s connected to the clinic.

“The HAIL Lab will be a place for focus groups, as well as for designing, prototyping and piloting new services and technologies with voluntary participation from residents of Charter House and other community agencies,” Mayo said in a June news release.

It’s supported by member organizations, like the Good Samaritan Society, that share the clinic’s mission to create innovations for the growing elderly population. Best Buy was the first founding consortium member to sign on to the project in September.

It seems that now is as good a time as ever for the center. Census data from 2010 revealed the number of U.S. adults over the age of 90 is now at nearly 2 million; they comprise 4.7 percent of the population, compared to 2.8 percent just 30 years ago. And that number is predicted to quadruple by mid-century.

Mayo is just one of many big-name companies and institutions investing time and money in researching and developing healthcare technology for the elderly. For example, Pfizer and Humana committed to a five-year partnership in October to investigate pain, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s in the elderly.

The convenience factor for the aging population coupled with cost effectiveness has resulted in a booming long-term care and home healthcare market. BCC Research estimated that the global market for elder-care technology products was worth $2.6 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow to $4 billion in 2015.

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