Marc Cayle – Technology Deployment to Serve Older Adults

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H. Brown
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Marc Cayle
Marc Cayle

Marc Cayle is a 15-year veteran of the age in place industry that includes leading his multi-territory Comfort Keepers franchise to award-winning status, as well as launching ONKÖL, a remote monitoring hub that allows seniors’ circle of care to be informed of health challenges and daily living activities. His latest venture, Silver Maple Solutions, combines his past experience helping seniors with his passion for identifying the best technology solutions so they can stay in their homes with the dignity and grace they deserve. Marc can be reached at 414-331-0224 and


  • How live-in-place technology has been deployed historically
  • Benefits of live-in-place tech for the circle of care
  • Trends in live-in-place tech
  • The need for infrastructure to support live-in-place tech for those who need it most (rural population, etc)
  • The need for VC/PE investment in new technology

Hanh Brown: [00:00:00] Welcome what today on the podcast we have Marc Cayle. He’s an industry leader in age, in place care technology. I’m very interested in the aging in place care. And I’m curious what he has to share with us today. Hello, Marc Cayle. How are you today?

Marc Cayle: [00:01:27] I’m great. Thank you. Thank you very much for having me. Great.

Hanh Brown: [00:01:30] I’m glad that you could be here with us to talk about age in place care and some other hot topics in the senior living space.

[00:01:36] So I know that your expertise lies in the age in place care. Can you tell us. A little bit about how live in place care has evolved over time. And where is it today?

Marc Cayle: [00:01:48] Sure. I started, I owned several in-home care agencies for a while and we noticed this huge gap in technology, in people’s homes. And it really drove me to investigate what we’re now calling thrive in place technology and the idea that.

[00:02:06] There’s 168 hours in a week and caregivers could only be there for so long. Correct. So whether that’s even in a senior community or in someone’s individual home, I think that the major drivers to change this is wonderful technology that’s coming out. And the bottom line is infrastructure is helping that as well, so that there can be connectivity for all this wonderful technology.

Hanh Brown: [00:02:33] So how has live in place technology than deployed historically.

Marc Cayle: [00:02:38] typically in the past and even still today, most of the technology is being purchased online by an adult child, and then the manufacturer ships it to the front porch of the loved one. And there’s left hanging. They’re kicked to the curb because they have no idea what to do with it when it gets there.

[00:02:58] So a lot of that technology is either returned. Even an unopened or it sits under the bed unplugged or worse. It sits on top of the counter plugged in and nobody knows how to use it. So that’s really the last mile is what we’re trying to solve right now.

Hanh Brown: [00:03:16] So do you think there’s a better model for deploying this technology and what do you think the future deployment model is ?

Marc Cayle: [00:03:23] So certainly it needs to happen so that the entire family and circle of care and the loved one knows how to use the product. It should evolve. And it is starting to where you take the. Attributes of what people are doing for in-home care, doing a full in-home assessment to determine what caregiver is the best caregiver to send.

[00:03:47] So if Mrs. Smith loves a great omelet and Annie who is a caregiver, makes a great omelet. There’s the match, right? Where with technology that is just not being done until recently, we know, obviously there’s a few companies that are trying so that they do an in-home assessment. They determine what proper.

[00:04:06] Technology is needed. And then they can help the person understand that technology, install that technology and train that person and their circle of care. So they all know what’s going on and how to use that. So that person stays safe. You can have a fallen, but I can’t get up button in the house, but if nobody knows how to use it, what good is it?

Hanh Brown: [00:04:27] So you think most seniors are good candidates for age in place care or is it suited for everybody?

Marc Cayle: [00:04:35] I think the vast majority are, and there’s several segments, right? So you have active seniors who just want something, right? Peace of mind, so that when they’re on a walk around the golf course or playing tennis, if something happens, they can get care quickly.

[00:04:50] If they need it, then you’ve got the people that are at home, but are starting to have more chronic care. Conditions that they need to be managing. And then you’ve got the people that are really ready to move into senior community is that really shouldn’t be alone. So there’s technology that matches all three of those segments of population and it just comes down to.

[00:05:15] Finding what they are, knowing how to use them and getting the proper training to use them so that they’re not there for now.

Hanh Brown: [00:05:21] Can you share with us the benefits for age in place tech for the loved ones in the aging senior, give us some example.

Marc Cayle: [00:05:28] So certainly fall detection and is a huge challenge, right?

[00:05:33] So that you have plenty of pendants that have. Fall detection. They use accelerometers and everything else, but none of them are great. So there needs to be some advantage advancements there, but for predictive, Fall detection. There’s some wonderful opportunities out there now that can understand what the gate of a person is, what their habits are.

[00:05:55] Are they going to the bathroom more often at night, which could really indicate our UTI urinary tract infection, where a lot of these falls happen on the way to the bathroom or in the bathroom. There are passive fall detection devices. Now. Passive motion sensing now. So at least let there is a room occupancy.

[00:06:13] So if someone hasn’t gotten to the kitchen yet, or they haven’t been in the kitchen in 12 hours and alert can go out to the adult children. There’s wonderful technology now that are wrapped around apps for the adult. Children’s to be informed of what’s going on. Air quality, temperature, motion, fall detection.

[00:06:31] As well as the ability to understand that someone took medication, medication compliance, and generally the activities of daily living in general are so important to understanding the holistic understanding of what’s happening with that person. And technology can play a huge role in that.

Hanh Brown: [00:06:50] I guess, up to speed on the current trends in live in place technology.

[00:06:55] And where is the industry heading?

Marc Cayle: [00:06:58] So the industry has just shifted from 3g to 4g connectivity. So there’s a huge race to make sure that everybody has the latest technology in their hands because they’re sunsetting the old technology. This goes through back to the infrastructure, right? The next phase is going to be moving everyone to 5g.

[00:07:21] It’s going to take awhile because that whole industry has to catch up. But for now, The, I think the focus needs to be, can we improve the infrastructural in rural areas where they need it the most so that they can have wifi and cellular connectivity for these wonderful technologies that they can put in their homes.

[00:07:39] And so the trends are certainly to improve the infrastructure and then match the technology with that infrastructure. So ease of use, it really has to come down to that so that it’s plug and play. It can be configured before it shipped. And it, the person helping that person understand the technology can easily plug in the device or charging or whatever it needs to be connected to wifi or cellular connectivity ahead of time.

[00:08:10] Because when you look at this industry, the agent plays seniors or the thrive in place, seniors, so to speak. Are there have enough going on that they don’t want to sit with someone for a half hour or 45 minutes while they’re setting up their device. And it should just be so much easier to do this and it can be the technology is there.

Hanh Brown: [00:08:29] User-friendly and I think we need to take into consideration for let’s say their audible visual. Abilities, because depending on the acuity of the sr, there could be some challenge.

Marc Cayle: [00:08:43] Absolutely. And when you look at off the shelf products that are not currently connected, but that are voice activated, there’s wonderful products out there that use existing suites of products that already exist, that people know and love with the skills for home automation and all these other things that are happening.

[00:09:01] But they’re also connected to a call center for emergency purposes or. Watches that can be worn that look great, but also have the ability to call for help. People want really cool looking nice products that don’t scream. I’m frail. I’m going to die any minute. So that’s really important. So there’s lots of trends there and I think that’s improving.

[00:09:24] It’s improving slowly, but it’s improving.

Hanh Brown: [00:09:26] Great. So for you, what’s been the most exciting trend in the industry and how do you think it will benefit our seniors?

Marc Cayle: [00:09:35] I think wearables are the best trend that I’ve seen and the improvements for those wearables. Again, there’s cellular. So you can bring them anywhere.

[00:09:43] There’s two way voice so that the emergency call center can have a conversation with the person. If they’re able they’re easy, right? When you look at. General products on the market today. They’re so difficult. There’s so many apps and touch screens and all this other stuff that people are just not willing to work with.

[00:10:00] Some are a small percentage of the older population is, but if you can make something simple, it’s a watch. It tracks steps. It tracks pulse. And there is an emergency, um, button that you can press, and those are the things and they look good. Those are the things that are going to be important as we move forward and wearables are going to be a very important part of what the future holds because people want, they don’t want to wear the ugly pendant that their grandmother wore.

[00:10:29] They want something cool. That’s good looking that has the functionality, but that’s not complicated. Absolutely.

Hanh Brown: [00:10:35] Okay. So can you tell us about the need for infrastructure to support living place tech for those who need it the most? So I’m thinking about the population like rural seniors who may not live close to healthcare providers.

Marc Cayle: [00:10:50] Sure. And the other challenge for rural seniors is that their kids leave and they move elsewhere. So not only are they rural, but they’re alone. And so when we’re trying to deploy. This technology in a rural area with very core cellular connectivity or very poor internet connectivity, we’re going to have problems.

[00:11:12] There’s some people that just can’t get this done. And it’s those people that needed the most. If we can get the 4g and even 5g connectivity into rural areas, and there’s some internet service providers that are trying to do this and it can be done. We just have to make it the norm rather than the exception.

[00:11:32] So that’s going to change everything for people.

Hanh Brown: [00:11:36] So what is the role of venture capital and private equity in creating new living place? Tech? What’s your thought on that?

Marc Cayle: [00:11:44] Historically, that’s a short history, but historically VC has been attracted to the flash in the pan great ideas that are not even proven yet.

[00:11:53] And so that’s a little bit frustrating when. The platforms or the products that VCs invest in are not proven and double-edged sword, right? Because venture capital, they want to invest in early yeah. Stage companies and take a swing at it. And they’re, it’s risky because if you can’t get to market because you’re run out of money, you might have a great product that doesn’t help everybody, anybody.

[00:12:16] So what I see the need for venture capital, first of all, They’re on the coast and there’s so many wonderful companies in the Midwest that could use great VC money and backing that are being ignored right now. That is really frustrating. I’ve been through this personally, I’ve been through this, I’ve seen other companies go through it as well.

[00:12:37] And so the ability for there to be a focus and you had a guest in the past, Abby that’s, I think very focused on this industry that. So seed startup money, a rounds with companies that can really make a difference that are strategic. So there’s plenty of risky money flying around. That’s, it’s just money and it’s all about the profitability of that company.

[00:13:03] And if it’s not, and they don’t meet their milestones, they circle the drain. So a VC that has a focus on early stage money with strategic focus that can help that company. Succeed, I think are going to go the farthest in this sector.

Hanh Brown: [00:13:20] Absolutely. Especially when you got 10,000 folks turning 65 plus every day in the next three decades.

[00:13:27] So I know that one reason while you’re passionate about aging place care is because it helps senior stay in their homes with dignity and grace. So when working in this industry, do you envision yourself in the shoes of the seniors you’re helping, do you think you yourself. We’ll rely on aging place care someday.

Marc Cayle: [00:13:47] And this is a passion of mine. I’ve lost both parents, too young. And both of them would have definitely been, had a benefit from the technology that’s available today. And as we all age, we need to have an understanding of this and how it’s going to help us. When I had my in-home care agency, as part of our training was literally taking a pair of glasses, putting Vaseline on them, wrapping rubber bands around our caregivers, knuckles and putting.

[00:14:17] It’s the little stones in their shoes, just so they can be more empathetic and sympathetic to our clients. And I think as we put ourselves in the shoes of people that we’re trying to help our solutions will improve dramatically because if you don’t, it’s never going to work. I feel like a lot of the existing technology was designed by a kid in a cube with parents and grandparents that weren’t even old enough to benefit from this stuff.

[00:14:43] And so I think that. The we can really benefit from using our seniors to help us identify what products would make sense moving forward, what do they need? What do they want ask them, right. They should be the ones designing this stuff. And I think that the more we do that, the better off the industry will be.

Hanh Brown: [00:15:03] Absolutely speak directly to the consumers as opposed to about them. I always believe in the principle of forward feedback, whomever that your product is going to serve, make sure that you’ve identified. That is the problem with a pain point in their mind.

Marc Cayle: [00:15:17] So that’s great.

Hanh Brown: [00:15:19] So on a personal level, what do you think is your biggest strength that enables you to have a unique, impactful effect on older adults?

[00:15:28] Maybe something that isn’t known about you perhaps you might want to share.

Marc Cayle: [00:15:32] I alluded to the fact that I lost my dad, who was 61 years old. And when caregivers were coming into our home on a regular basis, it lifted the world off our shoulders for a few hours. And then I went through the same exact thing with my mom.

[00:15:46] A few years ago, she had the exact same disease as my dad did. And so it was very impactful to our, our family. And during that time is when I owned my in-home carried and see, and we had 250 caregivers. Doing 4,000 hours a week of care at the time. And we saw a lot of situations that could have benefited from technology.

[00:16:09] And so both personally and professionally, I’ve just, I’ve got it’s in my blood to help these people. And. It’s something that people launch businesses because of personal situations. And that’s exactly what drove me to do it. And we exited our in-home care agencies in 2014 to develop a remote patient monitoring product.

[00:16:33] And then now I’m deploying multiple vendors products because I saw competitively all these wonderful products that. Instead of beat them, join them. So we now bring all of these products to market and we just do it in a more compassionate, meaningful way than it’s been done in the past. That’s that’s personally how I’m involved with this.

Hanh Brown: [00:16:57] and thank you for doing that.

[00:16:58] It is much needed. Thank you. Do you have any other thoughts that you would like to share?

Marc Cayle: [00:17:04] I want to make sure that everyone understands that the silver tsunami, this is the biggest. Demographic shift in history is full of people that can impact our lives in such meaningful ways. And they’re being ignored.

[00:17:21] There’s age-ism that’s rampant, and we should be taking advantage of folks that are wise and have all this experience instead of pushing them to the wayside. And if we do the world will be a much better place.

Hanh Brown: [00:17:36] Absolutely. I want to add to that because I think it’s very important to be mindful of how we care for the aging population project, that 85 plus when we are there, hopefully that’s how our children will be caring for us.

[00:17:52] We’re all elderly in the making and be very mindful of our choices because that we set the stage for that future. Thank you so much.

Marc Cayle: [00:18:00] I will. I appreciate that. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Marc’s Links:

Silver Maple Solutions:

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