13 December 2005

Improving the aging experience

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The Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) is leading the United States’ charge to develop and deploy emerging technologies that can improve the aging experience in America.

Established in 2003, CAST has become a national coalition of more than 400 technology companies, aging services organizations, research universities, and government representatives.

According to a Mercury News article, the initiative originated from Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, [who] is using his golden years to become an evangelist for technology to help senior citizens, leading his company to a prominent role in a small but growing field tackling the needs of an aging nation.

Intel’s involvement in the field came as an outgrowth of social science research it did in the United States, South America and Europe beginning in 1999. Although it was designed to look at how people might use entertainment technology, those older than 45 in the project told researchers that their biggest needs were dealing with health care for themselves or older relatives, said Dishman, one of the researchers.

Unlike today’s elderly, many of those aging Americans are familiar with computers and cell phones, which can be embedded with sensors and other technologies to help with health care needs, Dishman said.

Some other articles today on the same topic:
High-tech improves life for seniors [CNN]
It’s gee-whiz for the golden years [Washington Post]

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