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Scientists call for policy changes to encourage development of age-friendly technologies

"Business, government, and nonprofits must collaborate to stimulate and speed the development of a next-generation technology-enabled aging services workforce," wrote Joseph Coughlin, PhD, in an article on the subject.
By Brooks Hays   |   March 20, 2014 at 1:42 PM   |   Comments

March 20 (UPI) -- Technology is mostly thought of as a young person's game. And many of the most popularized examples of tech innovation, like mobile phones and virtual reality games, are geared toward the interests of young people.

But new technologies are emerging in a variety of fields, from medicine to automobiles, and some scientists want to ensure those technologies are also designed toward the needs of aging populations.

"Business, government, and nonprofits must collaborate to stimulate and speed the development of a next-generation technology-enabled aging services workforce," wrote Joseph Coughlin, PhD, in an article on the subject.

"Aging and Technology: The Promise and the Paradox" is one of eight new articles -- all by scientists working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab -- published in the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR).

Automated driving technologies could help the elderly maintain the freedom and mobility of independent living for longer.

But experts say public policy needs to make sure these technologies are developed safely and that aging populations benefit equally.

A number of factors stand in the way technological benefits and aged populations, including: adoption, usability, affordability, accessibility, reliability, and trust.

"Remarkable technological advances are all around us," explained PP&AR Editor Robert B. Hudson, PhD, "and leaders in the business and scientific communities are keenly aware of 'the aging of America' and the potential for their efforts in this domain to do well while also doing good."


[Gerontological Society of America]

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