Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about the impending retirement surge caused by baby boomers finally leaving the workplace and how it will affect changes in the tech industry. The combined worth of this market segment is roughly in the $2 trillion bracket. That’s a lot of disposable income—and a lot of freed-up time for them to engage with new products, new hobbies, and new life goals. I mention the boomers because they represent a truth about customer bases: They are always in flux, and you need to constantly be thinking about how you can modify your sales approach to appeal to them. When you’re looking for ways to reach out to new customers, keep in mind that you need to think of new ways to reach existing customers as well. An existing customer base still has the potential to change so radically that it can essentially become a new customer base as their passions and needs change over the years.
I’ve been interested to see how the health-care industry responds to the evolution of its existing customer groups, and the influx of new groups of aging patients dealing with the chronic diseases associated with age and poor lifestyle choices. A number of companies have become interested in using technology to support health care by reversing the idea of a patient traveling to see a specialist at the specialist’s office. These companies are in trials around the broad concept of “remote medicine,” which allows for highly interactive virtual medical appointments. A nurse examines a patient while a specialist—perhaps in another city, state, or even country—observes and directs via video conference. The nurse and the equipment can be stationed either in a local doctor’s office, or potentially in a mobile clinic. This is a huge boon for a massive section of the American population—those people who live hundreds or thousands of miles away from specialists but require frequent appointments and checkups. Remote medicine companies have upended the traditional experience of how a patient and specialist meet and interact. By doing so they have created a system that has the potential to not only vastly reduce the associated health-care costs but also allow a whole new customer group to utilize their services.