BIF Elder Experience Lab:
Enabling Elders to Age in Place
A Multi-partner Collaboration to Develop
Market-Making Solutions for Elder Care
Wanted: Collaborators to Develop Market
Making Solutions for Elders Aging in Place.
• Premise: Elders want to age at home with dignity.
• Opportunity: Design a system to enable aging in place.
• Collaboration: Value is in the gray areas between silos and sectors.
• Engagement: Access to a real world collaborative lab platform.
• Leadership: Develop market making solutions.
Multi-Partner Collaboration in the BIF Elder
Experience Lab to Re-envision Aging in Place
The Business Innovation Factory (BIF) launched its Elder
Experience Lab in 2008 to mobilize system change by creating a
platform where partners gather deep insights into the experience of
older adults and leverage those insights to design, test and develop
new products, services, and business models in a real-world
This proposal outlines a multi-partner collaboration within the Elder
Experience Lab that enables participants to gain deep insight in to
the experience of elders aging in place and uncover opportunities
for developing transformative solutions that better meet the needs
of aging-in-place elders.
As a Collaboration Partner You Will Access:
1. A connected consortium of partners from across industry sectors
working together to understand and develop new market opportunities
created through the national shift to in-home elder care environments.
2. Deep insight via a multi-media map of the current “aging in place”
experience across a variety of demographic personas.
3. Prioritized list of opportunities for redesigning the aging in place
experience, including solutions within and across industry boundaries.
4. Cost-effective platform for designing and testing new models for
delivering value to baby boomers seeking to age in place and a platform
for shaping dialogue about the future of elder care.
Business Innovation Factory Enables Market
Making Ideas Worth Scaling
Unique non-profit, focused on enabling systems-level innovation in
areas of high social impact including; health care, education and
Emphasis on improving user experience through real-world
BIF embraces design thinking and process, open innovation, and
storytelling as key enablers for developing market making solutions.
BIF Experience Labs:
From the Whiteboard into the Real World
Labs enable partners to gather deep insights into user experience
and design/test new models with direct customer engagement.
Platform optimized for collaborative work where insights are shared
to produce transformative models for delivering value.
BIF has established the Elder Experience Lab and the Student
Experience Lab to-date. Plans for Code Green Lab in the energy
space in 2010.
The Elder Care Challenge
BIF launched the Elder Experience Lab because incremental fixes are not
enough to create system-wide transformation:
• There are more nursing homes in America than McDonalds.
• Cost model unsustainable, nursing home care costs expected to
increase from $125 billion (‘06) to $300 billion in 2015 and $700 billion
• Current system unprepared to serve the baby boomers: By 2030,
85 million people will be over age 65 (compare to 35 million today).
• Options for aging in place are limited by poor integration of
services/products into home environments, lack of supporting
The Elder Experience Opportunity
Appetite for transformative, system-level change strengthened by
current economic crisis and un-sustainability of current cost model.
• Significant opportunity exists to design new systems that deliver
health and wellness services to aging in place elders.
• Big winners will be those to launch new networked models of
product/service delivery that reach elders where and when they
• “Time is Now” attitude has created new demand for alternatives;
baby boomers are planning for their futures.
The Elder Experience Lab uses observational and ethnographic methods to
document the elder experience. The Lab works directly with elders, participating
in social events, meeting with families, interviewing caregivers and documenting all
efforts with audio, video and still photography.
BIF Elder Experience Lab:
Putting the Elder at the Center
Early work in the lab created detailed depictions of the current
experience of elders living in assisted living and skilled nursing
environments to illuminate day-to-day dynamics of elder life and reveal
areas most in need of redesign.
Team synthesized work into a series of maps, illustrations and
multimedia vignettes that reveal deep insights into how elders interact
with caregivers, utilize spaces, care for body and mind, make use of
equipment and furnishings, and engage in recreational activities.
“Opportunity Map” created that shows, in graphic form, components of
the current elder experience that are most ripe for re-design.
Primary Drivers of the Elder Experience
Work identified a number of experience areas that are primary drivers
of quality of life. The Lab has established modules of activity in each
• Personal Care
• Medication Management
• Food and Nutrition
• Entertainment and Communications
• Personal Finance
BIF’s unique focus on storytelling helps us translate activity into lab into
visual materials that make information easy to understand and absorb.
Deep elder engagement is central to activity in the Elder Experience Lab. In
workshops and design studios, elders participate directly in design and development
work. This approach has enabled BIF to create an engaged group of lab participants.
BIF Elder Experience Lab:
An Activated Platform for Discovery
Lab currently includes five major user groups: elders aging in skilled
nursing care, elders aging in assisted living environments, elders aging in
place, elder caregivers, and baby boomers living independently.
In summer of 2009, Lab expanded to include a virtual component that
allows participants to engage remotely, with special focus on baby
Platform ideally suited to test new systems for delivering at-home care
and new, collaborative business models for health and wellness services
that enable boomers to stay in their homes or in community-based care
The Elder Experience Lab in Action:
Lab conducted client work in Personal Care for global company seeking
to expand products and services targeted at baby boomer market, deep
dive elder experience mapping in showering, toileting, and dressing.
Documented elder personal care
experience and developed
prioritized list of new revenue
Opportunities included new
products, services and business
models for integrated home
solutions that address elders
personal care needs.
The Elder Experience Lab in Action:
Lab completed deep dive experience mapping in medication
management with cohort of two dozen elders.
Worked with elders and caregivers to
create detailed depiction of how
elders store, take, order and manage
Used experience mapping work to
identify opportunities for new
medication management solutions, e.g.,
highly user-centric solutions that ease
medication regimes for elders and
Going Forward: The Aging in Place Experience
What will it take to enable more elders to live well within non-
• New networked models and integrated health and wellness
• Significant innovation in how services are delivered
• Intentional focus on what the individual (not the institutions)
needs to age well
• Bold new business models for meeting elders unmet needs
• A neutral platform for experimenting that moves ideas from the
whiteboard into the real world to accelerate the design and
implementation of market making solutions.
Collaborative Partnership Opportunity in the BIF
Elder Experience Lab
The Elder Experience Lab is ideally positioned for a multi-partner
collaboration that enables participants to deeply understand the aging
in place experience and identify opportunities for solutions that better
meet the needs of baby boomers who want to age in place.
BIF’s non-profit status creates unique platform for this work and focus
on transformative innovation—not incremental fixes—makes the lab
complimentary to most organization’s current innovation and R&D
Collaboration between partners enables flow of information and
insights critical to developing networked business models that link
capabilities across traditional boundaries.
Collaboration Work Starts by Mapping the ‘Aging in
BIF Elder Experience Lab is a sustainable platform creating “living
experience maps” using visualization and storytelling tools to bring the
aging in place elder experience to life.
Experience maps are enabled by an ethnographic and observational
design approach across a cohort of ~200 elders to observe and capture
behaviors, attitudes and other human factors that define and drive the
aging in place experience.
BIF’s non-profit platform and embedded storytelling capability will
provide partners with digital assets and connections to advance
innovation branding and network alignment both in and out of the
Collaborative Work Continues Building the ‘Aging in
Place’ Opportunity Map
Outputs from elder experience mapping will be organized in highly
accessible and transferrable formats and in easily digital packaging.
Storytelling techniques bring the aging in place experience to life in a
manner that makes opportunities for innovation more visible.
From deep insights into the aging in place experience, the Lab will
produce an “Opportunity Map” that presents a clear and prioritized list
of developable opportunities that are strategically aligned to the
capabilities and innovation agendas of the collaborators.
Collaborators will have ongoing direct access to the Lab team to ensure
that deliverables align with internal strategic objectives.
Partners Leverage BIF’s Actionable Platform for
Market Making Solutions
BIF will enable collaborators to connect around aging in place
opportunities where joint development may add value.
Partners are invited to pursue design opportunities (outside of the
scope and budget of this proposal) in the lab in both open and closed
environments, including proprietary design and development studios.
BIF will leverage its communications capability and national innovation
network to communicate about laboratory activities consistent with our
partner’s communication objectives.
Lab Funding and Partner Deliverables
Collaboration partners each contribute $100,000 annually and make a three-
year commitment to ensure continuity of the work. Tailored annual objectives
will be co-developed with each partner. Deliverables:
1. Priority access to qualitative research on the aging in place experience and
full access to the Lab design team.
2. Customized interim reports that reveal ongoing insights and outcomes from
3. Customized annual report that includes portfolio of primary research
findings, organized as video vignettes, animations, photos, and narratives
that illuminate the aging in place experience.
4. Prioritized map of development opportunities aligned to Partner’s R&D
strategies and objectives.
5. Opportunity to conduct proprietary design studios in the Elder Experience
Saul Kaplan, Founder and Chief Catalyst, Business InnovaCon Factory
Melissa Withers, ExecuCve Director, Business InnovaCon Factory
Business InnovaCon Factory
60 Valley Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02909