Our Research Guidelines
Independent, Objective, Deep
We want to produce work that provides actionable insights to older adults and their families. We want it to be clearly independent from any manufacturer or sales channel for the products themselves, and we want the work to be done with some depth, objectivity, and analytical rigor.
To accomplish that we have laid out these guidelines for the research portion of our work.
- We try and be completely transparent about how our work is funded. See below.
- For each research project, we assemble a team with the right credentials to create work that goes well beyond what you can find elsewhere. Where appropriate, we like to include an "expert advisory panel of clinicians, experts in aging services, and scientists" to help us focus on the right questions, and keep the analysis rigorous and objective.
- Our community of Longevity Explorers, many of whom are themselves older adults who either use the products we study or are considering using them, often participate in an active hands-on manner in our research. So our work is not only the result of some in-depth analysis of the products by "experts", but also includes impressions and user feedback from actual users of the systems — people like you.
How we fund our research
Until now our research has been funded solely by our small group of founders and advisors. We have not yet raised any funds from outside sources.
Our company is a Public Benefit Corporation, which means we are able to combine a mission with a for-profit structure. You can learn more about that and why we like this approach here. Going forward, we do plan to generate a revenue stream from our work to fund more research projects. We have not yet decided exactly which way is best but our principles are that we will be totally up front and transparent about how we fund our work, and that whatever we do we want to make sure it does not conflict with our goal of doing independent, objective research.
We believe our research has value and so in some cases we will charge for access to it. For example, we charge a modest fee to read our eBook on home sensor systems. We are still exploring how to charge for our work on medical alert systems. We may charge a small fee in the future to access the work.
We also may use affiliate links in some places on the site. For example, when we have links to specific products on Amazon or other sites at which you can buy the products, we sometimes use affiliate links. This means that if you click on those links and go to say Amazon, and then end up buying a product, Amazon will give us a small share of the revenue they make from the sale.
Affiliate fees and conflict of interest and bias
We have thought long and hard about how to charge for our content. We have decided that affiliate fees are a middle ground that sometimes makes sense.
We think it is true that using affiliate links creates some conflict of interest and bias. It creates a bias to write about products that have affiliate programs, and include lots of links to those products. However we think it’s less of a conflict of interest than traditional advertising, or sponsored content of various sorts. So we are dipping our toes into the water of this approach.
At the end of the day, we think the health and future of Tech-enhanced Life will depend on maintaining our independence and objectivity. And creating useful content that our readers find of value. So we plan to be very judicious about how we use affiliate links.
If you see work on our site that you think deviates from these guidelines, please let us know (contact us).