Fulfilled Industry Research: Applied AI Elderly Care in the 11 Trillion Yuan Chinese Market

Written by: Terry Yuan

Edited by: Ying Dong

Whilst AI might trigger the Fourth Industrial Revolution in human history, here we explore the possibilities of how AI models can help land elderly care scenarios by looking at market size, market categories, demand growth classification, and leading companies. We also directed a threat and opportunities analysis based on the current data available.

1.Market Size and Penetration Rate of Some Products

According to the research report of East Asia Qianhai, “When the AI hits the pension in the depth of the pension robot series,” the market size of China’s smart pension is 11 trillion yuan. The main landing scenes are intelligent appliances, intelligent security, and intelligent escorts. The elderly care industry has an optimistic outlook due to the negative growth of China’s population since 2023, and AI-enabled intelligent elderly care appliances will see good demand growth in the next ten years by reducing the cost of nursing labour.

2. Market Categories

Home care will be the main mode of care in our country in the future. According to the policy direction disclosed at the press conference of the National Health and Health Commission, at present, China mainly implements the “9073” structure of the pension model, that is, 90% home care, 7% community care, 3% institutional care, the ageing process is faster and Japan, which is also an Asian country, is also based on the home care model.

In the scenario of home care, the elderly are in a familiar environment and have a stronger sense of comfort and belonging, which is conducive to their physical and mental health, and the cost is lower. From the social level, home care can reduce the social burden and deal with the shortage of beds in pension institutions, so it is the mainstream pension model in China at this stage. We draw the market prospect analysis framework of intelligent elderly care home scene from three dimensions of elderly demand intensity, intelligence and application level, and penetration rate, and divide it into five categories:

1) Strong demand and strong application scenarios, including security monitoring, health management, and household cleaning. We think it’s the fastest landing scene in the future. Features in the whole market have strong demand, and the penetration rate is high; we believe that scenario 1 may be the fastest landing in the future of the smart elderly home scene; the reasons are: first, the industrial chain links and technology are relatively mature, high conversion application rate, only from the function

And the design to do the ageing transformation can achieve the landing transformation. Second, the current penetration rate is relatively high, the market cultivation process is fast, the whole market demand is strong, and the penetration from the young market to the elderly market can be achieved in the form of children’s payments.

2) Strong demand and strong application scenarios, including intelligent bathrooms, intelligent lighting, intelligent temperature control, rehabilitation physiotherapy, etc. We think it is the scene with the largest long-term penetration space. It is characterized by the relatively strong demand of the elderly group, but the penetration rate is not high, such as inconvenient bathing in the toilet, high requirements for indoor environment, more sleep disorders and chronic diseases, and stronger demand for health monitoring, rehabilitation and health care.

We believe that scenario 2 is expected to be the scene with the largest permeability improvement space driven by the demand for elderly care in the future. The reasons are as follows: First, the elderly market is the potential core market of this scene, but the market cultivation is insufficient, especially the construction of the B-end real estate home improvement channel, and the supply side also has the incentive to expand the market; Second, there is greater room for improvement in the level of product intelligence, experience, and cost performance.

3) Some stages have strong demand and low application scenarios, including intelligent nursing beds, nursing robots, mobile assistance robots, etc. We are optimistic about the B-end market space. The feature is that it is mainly targeted at semi-self-care, disabled and mentally retarded elderly people, and the C-end penetration rate is low. In the scenario of health monitoring, the C-end penetration rate of products is low, on the one hand, because intelligent devices and even robots are still only auxiliary rather than substitutes for elderly care workers at this stage, and on the other hand, the price

is high. Therefore, we believe that in the short term, we should pay more attention to the demand of the B-end market of products in this scenario, that is, elderly care institutions, rehabilitation institutions, etc. At the same time, with reference to the relatively high penetration rate of interactive care robots in Japan, care robots are expected to become the first landing scene in the field of robots.

4) Some stages of strong demand, strong application scenarios, mainly refer to entertainment and leisure scenes. It is recommended to pay close attention to the consumption willingness of elderly people with smart products of entertainment and leisure. It is mainly for the elderly in the healthy, self-care and semi-self-care stages, and the demand degree of the non-elderly market is stronger than that of the elderly market. We believe that the entertainment and leisure scene is similar to scenario 1, which is easy to achieve ageing transformation at the intelligent application level, but the elderly care

The stage coverage and demand intensity are less than that of scenario 1, which may affect the enthusiasm of supply-side manufacturers for market promotion, so it is recommended to pay close attention to the consumption willingness of the elderly people of entertainment and leisure smart products.

5) Strong demand low application scenarios mainly refer to emotional companionship scenarios. We believe that there is still a long cycle from the technology landing to the product application. It is characterized by a low level of intelligent application but strong demand. Intelligent scenes under emotional companionship are mainly accompanied by robots. As a highly humanoid robot, accompanied robots need to have emotional understanding and response, intelligent interaction, autonomous learning, etc. Therefore, the current technology is immature, involves safety and ethical issues, and has a low conversion application rate. We believe that although the emotional companionship scene has a strong market demand, there is still a long period of technology landing to product application.

3. Demand Growth Classification

According to the degree of determination of the demand growth of the ageing population for various industries, we give the recommendation order of “adult incontinence products industry = elderly care robot industry = elderly care industry > health food industry = massage products industry > Smart home industry = pet consumption industry > Tourist attraction industry” to the above industries.

Among them, the growth of the top five industries, such as elderly robots, is completely or almost driven by the consumption demand of the elderly population. The latter three industries led by smart home, in addition to the growth of the industry driven by the consumption of the ageing population, also benefit from the reverse side of the coin of the ageing population narrative – the transformation of China’s family structure, the increase in the demand for companionship corresponding to the non-marital economy and the minority economy, and the acceleration of the consumption upgrading trend will also empower the development of the industry. Focusing on intelligent elderly care, the middle stream is a terminal product manufacturer, directly docking with the downstream B+C channel; the ageing process is accelerating the demand for elderly care is expected to drive the penetration rate of some smart home scenes to accelerate, so we recommend focusing on several potential intelligent elderly care scenes:

1) Security monitoring, health management, household cleaning and other strong demand, high penetration application scenarios, and related ageing products are expected to take the lead in landing; it is recommended to pay attention to smart door locks, smart cameras, clean home appliances plate, related targets are fluorite network, millet Group, stone technology, Cobos, Rongtai Health, Double light.

2) Smart bathroom, intelligent lighting, intelligent control and other scenes of the elderly segment market demand is relatively strong, but the penetration rate is low, long-term improvement space is large, it is recommended to pay attention to the smart toilet, the whole house intelligent plate, the relevant targets are Wrigley home, Reiter, millet Group, Haier Zhijia, the United States Group, Dinnike.

3) The smart bed and elderly care robot scenarios focus on the elderly care market, the current penetration rate is low, and the B-end market space is optimistic. Human-related targets are Eston, Huichuan technology, and robots.

The upstream of the industry is the software and hardware side, considering that the elderly home products have higher requirements for the operability, safety and interactivity of the products in the intelligent process, and there are more requirements for security monitoring, health monitoring, rehabilitation and nursing functions, so the upstream market software side suggests paying attention to the upgrading progress of artificial

intelligence, sensing and communication technology, and the related targets are IFlyTek, SenseTime and Hikvision. At the hardware end, it is recommended to pay attention to chips, sensors, controllers, and servo motors with large domestic replacement space, and the related targets are Hetai, Topang, and Goer.

4. AI+ Elderly care landing scene

So, for the AI+ pension model, which scenario is more suitable? Personally, we think it is an institution or a professional retirement community. Because the cost of intelligent transformation is high (referring to a set of smart home control prices ranging from ten thousand to tens of thousands), and the services and products are mostly system-based, the home environment is difficult to achieve.

At present, the smart pension products on the market can be divided into 2B and 2C modes. 2B products are mainly system solutions, and the users are mainly government, real estate, pension institutions, etc. At present, under favourable policies, many of them are 2G government projects, and the main way of profit is construction/transformation and later system operation and maintenance. In fact, most of the current smart pension products still do information work, and the degree of intelligence is low.

2C products are mainly single-point products, such as smart bracelets, and those who pay for such products are often the children of the elderly. 2C products are currently exploring less than 2B, and wearable devices such as smart bracelets are intelligent elderly products with relatively high maturity. The business model is also limited to buying equipment. A deep impression is to see that there is a smart bracelet itself free of money, mainly through the watch as the entrance to order a variety of services to profit. This business model is still very interesting and worth thinking deeply about.

From the perspective of demand, the disabled, elderly care and health needs in the institutional/community pension scenario of the 2B model may be a breakthrough point for AI+ pension. However, the paradox is that the current level of artificial intelligence does not 100% address needs such as care, and it is easy to have a situation where input and output are not proportional. In addition, for a long time, the elderly care scene is mainly home-based, and the disabled elderly are also a minority group of elderly care users. Therefore, there is a mismatch between AI+ pension, demand, technology and market.

In order to develop smart elderly care, the biggest problem facing is how to unify the three and make them match each other. More people accept institutions or community pensions in the education market, just like we accept and get used to takeout and taxi apps. Waiting for technological innovation: With the development of artificial intelligence, one day, the level of intelligent hardware and software can more perfectly meet the needs of various elderly care. Explore new needs: At present, more consideration is the lack of needs, but the emotional needs of the elderly self-realization needs also have a huge lack; explore the need for pain points and achieve with existing technical means to create a single point of products rather than systematic solutions.

5. Baidu as one of the market leaders

From a health bracelet to an anti-loss device for the elderly, from a medicine reminder device to a service robot… With the blessing of AI, smart pension products and solutions integrating intelligent technologies such as the Internet of Things and big data continue to emerge, adding new vitality to the development of smart pensions. “The Five Blessings have helped me with a lot of things. You can call the smart screen for psychological counselling, health management, physical exercise, singing and entertainment; it is especially good!” Uncle Yang, who lives alone in the Dashilan area of Beijing, just finished his 80th birthday; referring to the Wufu Wisdom platform for helping the elderly, he said with emotion, “Not only that, after completing online ordering through this platform, you can directly go to the community station for dinner.”

When I solve the problem of eating every day, I have more time to participate in various interest classes.” During the two sessions in 2021, Baidu Chairman Li Yanhong’s proposal to “Accelerate the promotion of smart elderly care into the community and use technology to make the life of the elderly simpler and happier” attracted attention from all parties. “

Since July 2020, the” Wufu AI to help the elderly “project has taken the lead in landing in three pilot communities in Beijing, and the project takes small smart screen devices as information access ports equipped with the Wufu smart platform to help the elderly, including multiple modules such as leisure and entertainment, daily health, and health management. The project integrates multiple resources and external partners to integrate health knowledge, fitness courses, psychological adjustment programs, chronic disease management, online medical and health services, and community life services suitable for the elderly, effectively benefiting the majority of elderly families. The project has been implemented in 7 cities, including Beijing, Anshan and Ganzhou, covering 35 communities and two nursing homes.” Baidu public welfare director Jun Du introduced.

Artificial intelligence has also played a considerable role in addressing the health problems prevalent among the elderly. According to foreign media reports, the life monitoring system launched by LifeWatch health Services company in the United States combines artificial intelligence, big data, non-invasive life sensing, communication and positioning, Internet of Things, cloud computing, smart wear and other technologies, which can automatically detect, evaluate and record users’ vital signs, behavioural habits and other medical indicators in real-time to their life safety and physical health management services. For elderly people living alone and those with mobility difficulties, the French innovative company KRG has developed an AI+ intelligent monitoring system to provide a new generation of remote assistance solutions based on Sigfox Internet of Things technology, which can observe falls, discomfort and abnormal behaviours that may occur in dangerous environments for elderly people.

In addition, the breakthrough point of the development of smart elderly care technology is the elderly companion robot. They can talk to the elderly, dance, and play games with them. The robot Pepper, for example, can read and recognize emotions. AI assistants like Amazon Alex and Google Home have features like reminders to take medicine. The “Tmall Genie Fire Eye” also has the ability to identify medicine boxes – as long as the “fire eye” sweeps the medicine box, it can broadcast information such as the name, efficacy and expiration date of the medicine, and it can identify more than 40,000 medicine boxes; The Zora robot, developed by a robotics company in Belgium, not only helps users with gymnastics classes but also walks, talks, sings and dances. “Smart elderly care services are an emerging business, and many development models are still being explored. The possibilities brought by AI technology for the smart elderly care industry are unlimited, and I hope that more innovative enterprises will develop deeply in the field of smart elderly care and improve the quality and efficiency of elderly care services.” Cui Wei said.

6. UBTech Robotics as another market leader

Use AI to enable industrial integration and further promote smart health and ecology construction.

Since the National Office for Aging first proposed the concept of “intelligent elderly care” in 2012, the exploration and practice of “intelligent elderly care” has been 11 years. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s total population will decrease by 850,000 in 2022, officially entering the era of negative population growth. The ageing problem is increasingly aggravated; the development of “smart pension” has entered the “fast lane” in the past two years, and digital intelligent equipment is rapidly applied and promoted in the industry.

Around the pension model of 9073, Youbichoose has launched a “hardware + software + service + content” intelligent health and wellness solution, from ageing to intelligent ageing, to meet the needs of seven application scenarios in intelligent elderly care operation management, security, health management, life care, medical rehabilitation, spiritual culture, nutrition and diet. Through the interconnection and innovative integration of digital systems and intelligent equipment, Youbi Technology expects to build a new science and technology content system for elderly care services to optimize the service experience and improve operational efficiency.

image: intelligent wheelchair

One of the core elements of smart elderly care is to accurately connect products and scenes to achieve intensive, standardized, and precise management of service resources. At the technical level, through the deep integration of human-computer interaction, visual perception, cognitive decision-making and other technologies, the human-computer interaction in the old-age scenario is more intelligent and age-appropriate, the operation is more safe and smooth, and the understanding of the environment and decision-making are more human-like. On the basis of multi-channel data acquisition such as health care robots, intelligent IOT devices, and intelligent interactive terminals, the artificial intelligence model of elderly care operation management is built through big data analysis and management so as to improve the cognitive decision-making ability of the elderly care operation platform and provide more matching personalized elderly care services for the elderly.

Since the release of the global strategy of smart health care last year, Youbi Technology has successively reached cooperation with more than 20 well-known enterprises and institutions such as Merchants Guan Yi, Japan Meisi, Le Cheng Pension, Sinophospice Health Care, Anhui Jing ‘a Health Industry Group, Shandong Taishan Hospital, China Aging Industry Association, and Communications Science and Technology Academy, using AI to empower industrial integration and create a new ecology of smart health care.

In addition, at the site of the old Shanghai Expo, Youbi Technology and Ankang Tong officially signed a strategic cooperation agreement. The two sides will cooperate in health care robots, artificial intelligence training systems, remote health monitoring, health care information, and other directions to explore a new model of intelligent health care services jointly with services. Founded in Shanghai in 1998, Ankang has constructed and operated more than 200 key government projects and built more than 600 community service centres, covering more than 20 million domestic elderly users.

8. Industry threats/opportunities

  • Governmental Design Barriers
  • The government lacks data and feedback concerning the design of elderly care policies.
  •  Uneven distribution of old people’s homes, lengthy monitor chains, and insufficient endowment resources are all centred at the top.
  • Organizational Management Stress
  • The informatization ability of elderly care institutions is weak.
  • Lacks systematic scientific support for
  • Household Elderly Not Protected
  • Lack of emotional support
  • Emergency protection is not covered. More monitor systems are needed
  • Resource attainment difficulties due to the digital divide



https://pdf.dfcfw.com/pdf/H3_AP202305051586300077_1.pdf?1683313966000.pdf https://cloud.baidu.com/solution/ai/elderly-service-platform.html


https://www.primetimepartners.com/portfolio – Alan Patricof, founder of Apax & Greycroft Ventures (both are first-tier VC/PE), founded a VC focused exclusively on investing in companies focused on improving the quality of life for the elderly in anticipation of America’s “Silver Tsunami”.


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