Interactive report maps out useful technology for the aging

13 January 2009

The US Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) has released an interactive version of its State of Technology in Aging Services Report that lays out the categories of technologies that exist and are under development to meet the needs of aging consumers and highlights what companies are doing to serve this growing market segment.

This version, which can be found online at, builds on the March 2008 publication, The State of Technology in Aging Services, and includes links to the numerous corporations, universities and aging-services providers who are advancing technologies that can help older people stay healthy and independent longer. The types of technology include:

  • sensors which can detect and notify a caregiver if a person is
  • potentially unsafe (e.g. have fallen, did not get out of his chair or turn off the stove;
  • health technologies that monitor blood pressure, respiration and other conditions in real time while the person is at home. This reduces the need for doctor's visits and notifying caregivers immediately of  significant changes;
  •  medication dispensers that provide the appropriate medicines at the appropriate time and remind a person to take them; and
  •  computer games that provide social networking, promote brain
    stimulation and even use diagnostic games to monitor a person's
    cognitive abilities.

The report also includes interviews with expert researchers, who concluded that factors ranging from interconnectivity between different systems to usability, affordability and the availability of technical support and training will determine how widespread these technologies will become.

"Older consumers are becoming increasingly more interested in technology and small and large corporations are working to meet this demand," said Majd Alwan, PhD, director of CAST. "Our study shows that we can create a network of technology-driven services to help people stay at home and achieve better outcomes at the same time.

"Aging-services providers are partnering with technology companies to provide comprehensive service packages," Alwan continued. "Consumers should be as aware of these options as they are aware of their cell phone plans or cable television offerings."

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