Thursday, May 11, 2017
MEDCITY NEWS -- Dr. June Fisher, a physician focused on occupational health and “Chief Elder Officer” for Aging 2.0, mentors design students at San Francisco State University and University of California, Berkeley, and consults with startups on design and mobility. Speaking in a panel discussion on aging safely and happily and the future of the built environment, she voiced her frustration with young healthcare entrepreneurs out of touch with the needs of their target users in the aging population. “I was quite angry at these 20-year-olds who would tell me their technology will change our lives when they have no understanding of our experience,” Fisher said. “We are hopeful that [entrepreneurs] are learning to appreciate our life experience.” She added that some elders [she preferred that word to seniors] are learning the language of design, citing an undergraduate course at Berkeley combining design and public health that included with 15 elders or “sages.” On the other hand, Fisher opined that some designs that resonate with her and other “elders” are passed over by investors. She said many investors don’t seem to understand the needs of the aging market or they “lack imagination.” As an example, Fisher referenced CityCart — a winner of a design challenge by Stanford Center for Longevity that combines a shopping cart and a walker.