Tech-Enhanced Senior Living: Insights from the 2024 NIC Spring Conference

March 28, 2024

AgeTech  • NIC Spring Conference  • Senior Housing  • Blog

The 2024 NIC Spring Conference saw a dynamic convergence of senior living operators and technology companies at the Innovation Lab, “Enhancing Health Outcomes Through Innovation: Tech-Enhanced Senior Living.”

Led by Moderator Abby Miller Levy, Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Primetime Partners and vice chair of NIC’s AgeTech Committee, and featuring panelists Amy Silva-Magalhaes, COO of The Bristal Assisted Living, and Greg Furst, Technology M&A Strategy Consultant at Omega Healthcare Investors, the session aimed to explore the transformative potential of technology in senior living. 

Abby’s strategic approach to kickstart the dialogue included polling session attendees, which uncovered a notable presence of tech vendors. This established the foundation for an insightful discussion on the best approaches and challenges with technology implementation, the complexities of the relationship between technology companies and senior living partners, and the emerging technologies making waves in the senior housing and care industry. 

The panelists shared invaluable insights into the strategic prioritization of technology roadmaps. Mr. Furst emphasized aligning tech investments with organizational goals, underscoring the importance of budgeting, estimating costs, and assessing ROI. Ms. Silva-Magalhaes complemented his suggestions by stressing the significance of end-user inclusion and piloting options to ensure seamless adoption and user satisfaction. 

Transitioning to implementation strategies, Mr. Furst outlined recommended dos and don’ts, emphasizing thorough vendor diligence and alignment of expectations. This sentiment was echoed by Ms. Silva-Magalhaes, highlighting the inevitability of challenges and the importance of proactive planning to mitigate glitches. 

The session progressed as Ms. Levy introduced an interactive activity, encouraging attendees to break into groups and identify various pain points and best practices for the technology implementation process. Participants discussed several challenges, such as the growing demand for robust resident tech support, the significance of user-friendly interface design, and the crucial role of reliable Wi-Fi infrastructure in supporting technology systems. 

Some of the best practices shared included prioritizing user-friendly design over complex technology, setting micro goals for employees to ensure successful technology implementation, planning for potential failures in design and implementation, conducting weekly meetings to explore sales opportunities and maintain team alignment, and establishing a resident tech committee within communities to enhance implementation efforts and garner support. 

In a rapid-fire conclusion, Abby facilitated a recap of each group’s findings, fostering collaborative problem-solving and knowledge exchange. This segment provided attendees with the opportunity to relate to one another’s professional journeys and depart from the Innovation Lab equipped with actionable insights gleaned from diverse perspectives, thereby enriching the discourse on tech integration in senior living. 

Overall, the Innovation Lab served as a catalyst for exploring innovative solutions and fostering collaboration between tech vendors, capital providers, and senior living operators. It underscored the transformative potential of technology in addressing the unique challenges faced by older adults, paving the way for a future where technology plays a pivotal role in promoting health, wellbeing, and quality of life for older adults. With strategic planning, user-centered design, and proactive implementation, the vision of tech-enhanced senior living can be realized, ushering in a new era of holistic care and improved health outcomes.