How technology will impact aging population in the future?


Indeed smart home will support, different devices can take care of what people can no longer do or perform with difficulties. It helps to be independent.
Healthcare robot to identify changes in people behaviors and expressions.
Use predictive model to understand when people could need assistance as they are at risk.
Virtual care. Contact doctor through video calls and take the advantage of technology such as face scanning.
Virtual wallet to protect from fraud.
Keep people as part of a community, no matter if virtual.

Aging Services
Paolo Beffagnotti
68 months ago

23 answers


Our current and future aging populations will benefit from the evolution of such home and like intgrated services such as Alexa and Google Home that have abilities not yet fully harnessed. Home and health monitoring, reminders for appointments and medications will become commonplace as the programmability of those systems eters a simplified stage where selection of options will solve many of the features ease of use obstacles are overcome.

Aging populations are more tech savvy, willing to learn beyond the capabilities of their phone to include features found with Alexa and others. They value connectivity including video chat, social media and voice conference calling and value systems for security, as much as their ability to easily communicate with products and services that they need.

Sandy Waters
68 months ago
Right, aging people is more tech savy now and can have access to more online medical opportunities as compared with just few years ago. E.g. Hearing enhancements. visual solutions using virtual reality for visually impaired (catarats and severe myopia). Further solutions for the monitoring of sleep and heart rate for example. - Paolo 68 months ago
You are right but with the proverbial “so what”? Extreme healthcare costs are in the last 2 years of life, all others are incremental. You confuse ageing with aged and with moribund. The cost differential is HUGE. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
Yes but now healthcare cost could be relevant even for younger as we unfortunately face several new illnesses - Paolo 67 months ago
NO - "MORAL HAZARDS" are most costly - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

The new Aps to check blood glucose levels for an elederly diabetics and blood pressure fluctuations . These Aps can be connected to the cell phones, so they monitor the day to day and even hour to hour changes of the blood sugar and blood pressure for the diabetics or hypertensive elderly.

Ehab Fawzy
68 months ago
Heart rate and ecg single lead monitoring via Bluetooth and phone communication can anticipate potentially life threatening situations. - Sandy 68 months ago
Thank you Sany, very true - Ehab 68 months ago
and it is easy to keep the record tracked and analyze the evolution of the status. You will not take any risk to miss information. - Paolo 68 months ago
There is a difference between aging [elderly] and aged [moribund]. Hep for the fomer but not so much for the latter. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago

Often it can be observed that elderly people become again like children (there is even a classic Star Trek-episode dedicated to this). An aging population is already a real scenario in Japan, so that new developments are already implemented, for example Toyota's Kirobo Mini, a “compact and cuddle-some” mini robot with the following functions:

  • More than just passively answering to the users questions, the device defines itself as casual interlocutor, including to respond to emotions.
  • The integrated AI learns the user’s preferences and can use this information for predictions.
  • With a size of only 10cm, it is transportable and due to this, not only can act as the brain on the house, but also connect to the smart car.
  • With these abilities Kirobo’s AI connects direct information from the user with smart data receiving from the house and vehicle. The robot is the face to control the complex structures.[1]

With this, Kirobo is not only a robot, but at the same time, an AI interface to the smart home.

Patrick Henz
67 months ago
Kirobo is a great example, as they say "A future where humans and artificial intelligence work together" - Paolo 67 months ago
Thanks!! - Patrick 67 months ago
Thanks to you for sharing the case! - Paolo 67 months ago
Robots are very likely going to be less likely as caregivers unless the occupant has physical challenges from the beginning. If mobile and able to follow exercise guidance only wearable cellular tech plus sensors will work for most with home automation and Alexa handling requests. - Sandy 67 months ago
Sandy: Agreed. Concepts as Kirobo are less a direct caregiver, more an emotional companion. For example, to give Siri or Alexa a more "human" appearance. - Patrick 67 months ago
True enough. the robotic concept of a companion and also as a care giver could helps the elderly not only the house hold chores, but also as a alternative companion (alleviate mental stress), provide health care, security and more. - Lawrence 67 months ago
and could provide with more activities to keep the mind busy and working. New studies and reading, medical and more general information can be easily available. This helps a lot to alleviate mental stress as mentioned by Lawrence and loneliness. - Paolo 67 months ago
What a sad state of moral affairs! - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
Without further information you cannot judge about morality here. You may argue that family members should take care of their elderly, But for several reasons this may not be possible. Also, you may argue that the elderly person does not want to be dependent on family members and prefer automation to stay relatively independent - Patrick 67 months ago
Actually, the next stage of robotics is the "singularity" which is indeed all about morality. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
Singularity, if ever will happen, is still many generations away. Today Human Stupidity is a much higher risk than Artificial Intelligence. Nevertheless I agree that now is the time to discuss ethics for AI. Luckily such a process started. - Patrick 67 months ago
Agree about stupidity; not the singularity. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
Great example where robotic might substitute the role of a human in the future. This might be a bless for many even though it may sound pathetic where robots is going to replace human but it is already happening. Look at Japan! - Chun 66 months ago
Anything else! - Dr. David E. 66 months ago
Robot aren't substituting for humans yet but now bridging the gaps left unfilled by human care. - Marcel 41 months ago

Somehow I have the hope that over the next few years I will be able to connect my body through wearable sensors to my home security and smart home technologies easily. I wear a fitness and heart monitor that measures sleep function, an electro-stimulation device to control nausea and vertigo, and would wear more if they were integrated with my oxygenation sensor, diabetic glucose monitor, temperature, abnormal motion monitor, emergency call button coordinating all of the sensors to determine if medical assistance would be needed, all interfaced through my phone and communication with Alexa like natural language system to handle requests and manage appointments and calls to a directory of friends and family members and support people. I find the future within reach and doable. After all my home automation Is proving control, safety, security, and let's me order groceries and pizza on demand, while reminding me to exercise frequently in and outside of the home.

Sandy Waters
67 months ago
Sandy, an import point! AI offers various benefits, but this is no automatic development. We need an open discussion about AI ethics, including laws and monitoring. A discussion between society, companies and governments. - Patrick 67 months ago
Sandy, this is the idea of the development, have everything connected. Right Patrick, with all these tech development, then ethics and policies must be evolved too. - Paolo 67 months ago
Paolo, this of course also to be combined with Symbiotic Autonomous Systems, which may include smart implants. - Patrick 67 months ago
Do we really need AI to remind us to eat less, go for walk and reduce moral hazards? - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
The artificial colleague will take away work-load from the human Compliance Officer. It can offer an individual treatment, with 24-hours availability and given anonymity. The last at least if the employee trusts in the company’s data privacy processes. Such an intelligent app would not only serve as source for information, but furthermore can avoid “ethical blindness”. - Patrick 67 months ago
Off-loading creates unemployment, poverty and more dependence on the remaining employed trough taxation, no? The vicious cycle continues. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
So far Industry 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 did not led to big waves of unemployment, as complete new jobs get created. Important is life-long learning and the ability to change. - Patrick 67 months ago
Right Patrick, the new industry led to new jobs that compensated the missing ones. The main challenge is to have the right skills to take the new ones. - Paolo 67 months ago
More deus ex machina than common sense.- - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
It is just the newer jobs are for other folks. Understood. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
New jobs are for higher qualified people. They leave their actual job to get this new one. To fill this job, another person will quite his/her actual job. On the lowest level, the person who got automated will take the new vacant position. - Patrick 67 months ago
No kidding. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago

From the health care point of view, improvement of technology does signify that better executed procedured based treatment techniques (ie robotic surgery with minimal invasive and precise incision therefore less complication rate), better diagnosis where advance technology aid to detect certain disease in a earlier stage so that treatment could be initiated early and hence nip the problem before it snowball into bigger issue. Advance in technology could also helps to breaks the communication barrier between doctor and patients. All this could means that human life span could increase. For example during the 80's the average life span is 60-70 year old but in 2019, the average life span is 70-80. However, better technology does not confer to better health care. For example if advance health care technology treatment price is too expensive and the elderly might not be able to pay for it, This defeat the purpose of high tech health care for the aging population.

Lawrence Loy
67 months ago
Better diagnosis thanks to the improved data analysis, better accessibility to medical treatments and doctors even for people living in remote area. - Paolo 67 months ago
So, who is going to pay for all the non-productive folks with increased lifespans. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
Longer lifespans mean a longer productive span, means we all have to work longer. - Patrick 67 months ago
But I guess that a certain point lifespan will decrease a bit again - Paolo 67 months ago
Live longer - work longer and produce more. If not, who will pay for longevity. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
When lifespan depends on technology, it will also depend on the individual;s budget. - Patrick 67 months ago
Money always talks. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
true enough. Money always talk. - Chun 66 months ago
True DAT - Dr. David E. 66 months ago


We all want to live a long healthy life: ‘long’ as in longevity and we’ve done well there, adding 25 years to the lifespan in the past century; ‘healthy’ is where we have uneven results, that is the healthspan.

From a societal perspective, we need to better engage older individuals, providing them with opportunities to maintain a sense of purpose, social connections and increased physical activity. Technology can help with all of these.

For individuals, the decisions we make that lead to a shortened healthspan are a combination of data and emotions. Technology can help us with the data part of the equation.

Care-giving is in need of an overhaul, going from our current one-to-one model to a one-to-many model. Technology (robotics, artificial intelligence and other digital and emerging technologies) is critical. 

Dr. David E. M
67 months ago
Well said! - Chun 66 months ago
I know. Thanks - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

Technology will improve the aging population in several ways. Few areas - 

Smart Home and Home Appliances. 
We have seen how smart home devices which are controlled by assistants like Google Home and Alexa are helping people of all ages. Wireless devices with gesture and voice controls are definitely a plus.

Smart Healthcare
Though still a lot to be done in this area but compact and hussel free digital devices for basic medical facilities are definitely a boon. 

Smart Automobiles
Driverless cars are definitely helpful for aging people and the time is not so far.

Hitesh Mathpal
66 months ago
I agree with your points on smart healthcare and home, regarding smart automobiles (e.g. driverless car) we still need a long way to be there - Paolo 66 months ago
Yes. However, I think technology innovation in service sector such as Banks and Govt Offices will also benefit . - Hitesh 66 months ago
Helping who - The company. - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

Since health science is improving every day, the average human life span increases too. Hence there might be a possibility to redefine the aging population (for example aging population limit might means >65 but in the future it might be > 90) Thus, the need would be different! Hence there might be a change in the technology design for different age group as the need might be different. For example the need for a 90 year old might be different from one that is 65 year old! What do you think?

Chun Wei
66 months ago
Agreed, for this companies study the needs for elderly employees. This includes concepts, as half-time work, home-office, but also the use of technology, as ExoSkeletons. Important is that even technology is used, the human has to be in the focus. - Patrick 66 months ago
Agreed as what Patrick commented! Human has to be in the focus of the study where the needs are different! - Lawrence 66 months ago
This must be decided by society. In Asian countries elderly people have a higher level in society than in others. In extreme, this was already discussed in the 1970s in the movie "Logan's Run". - Patrick 66 months ago
Just what what Patrick Henz stated. The society and the goverment come into plays . - Lawrence 66 months ago
So, who will pay for this longevity? - Dr. David E. 66 months ago
Self fund /insurance ? - Lawrence 66 months ago
SELF FUNDED? Really - - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

I fully recognize the import of this question. However, I would be remiss not to interject there are digital healthcare solutions that should precede facial imaging predictive modeling. That to which I am referring is digital healthcare exams. Long before the body expresses pain and/or potential chronic or fatal diseases there exists today technology, which will enable medical providers to see and manage changes in bodily organs. The cost benefits are potentially remarkable. That said, predictive modeling that anticipate healthcare need has its place within healthcare

John Matthew Douglas
68 months ago
Predictive models are useful but we need to pay attention to some details. More data does not necessarily means more insights, we need to estimate this in the right way. One predictive model can't cover everything. - Paolo 68 months ago
Data - interpretaton - knowledge - wisdom - outcomes! - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
PM has been an epic fail in healthcare, more often than not. Humans are not Models. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago

I would like to think that there will be a convergence of home automation control and health monitoring to make safer the home environment for seniors. I believe a lot more bio monitoring sensors will come on line, interact with the occupant, and interact with healthcare provider systems able to initiateactikns as needed. Alexa and Google Home can remind patients of appointments, medications, family events and contacts, all the while monitoring actively a patient's heart rate and pressure, diabetes regulation, hydration, oxygenation, temperature, and mobility status whether the occupant has fallen correlated with vital signs. One integrated system capable of handling security, payment statuses, contacts with friends and family, control the multimedia in the house and messaging. That's is for starters, and I believe the quality of life will be improved and forestall the need for disruptive moving to assisted living care, instead coordinate with care providers the needs and wishes for the patient and in concert with the family desires. All is pretty much doable now, and would likely reduce the costs of elderly health and home care.

Sandy Waters
67 months ago
You do know that 49% of the US popultion is on some sort of government assistance program? - Dr. David E. 67 months ago

The actual generation of elderly people grow up with technology. This means that they are used to hard- and software and are able to use computers, smart phones, tablets, streaming services, etc. Furthermore, this contact with communication technology may avoid Alzheimer, so they may stayer longer on a high mental level.

Of course the contact with humans; family and healthcare practitioners stays imperative. But in addition to this, they accept to receive treatments by AI, including robots.

Patrick Henz
67 months ago
Agree that elderly people is now closing the technology gap. It is more and more frequent to have them familiar with laptop and smarthphone. To me, these could have a double added value. From one site, as you mentioned, these keep the mind more flexible and agile with new things to learn. Second point, there is an advantage in having easy access to healthcase solutions via these devices - Paolo 67 months ago
Yes, having the individuals monitored by sensors and AI enables the technology to identify emergencies, furthermore it may predict them even before the patient. - Patrick 67 months ago
There is a difference between aging [elderly] and aged [moribund]. Help for the former but not so much for the latter.- - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
True enough that the aging population is much more technology savvy that we expected! - Chun 66 months ago
Who is WE? - Dr. David E. 66 months ago
Due to my experience actual experience, the actual aging population is mixed, for some technology is a barrier, other are already technology savvy. - Patrick 66 months ago
Right Patrick, we already have elderly as technology savy , in particular in well developed area. Having young parents could indeed help. - Paolo 66 months ago
Silly. - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

Small smart robots are autonomously helping around the house, including vacuum-cleaning, cut grass, etc. Some of them scan the house or department, this to learn corners and where furniture is. This can go further, as an AI may suggest new furniture or sell this information to potential vendors.

Patrick Henz
67 months ago
Interesting, I never thought about this application but yes, it could work. - Paolo 67 months ago
Technology may be why the popul;atin is getting fatter! - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
Besides access to technology, missing education may be a more relevant factor. - Patrick 67 months ago
Saying that something “could” work is the same as saying it “could not” work; Binary and meaningless. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
EDUCATION - Really? Move more, and eat less. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
Based on my experience, education is more relevant than access to to technology. As a higher perceived part of children from lower educated family are overweight than from higher educated families. This based on perception, but without having data about this topic. - Patrick 67 months ago
Holistic education is more than just a message to move more and eat less. It includes the appreciation of ethics, respect (to yourself and others), a competent attitude, etc. - Patrick 67 months ago
And, that is exactly the problems for the hundreds of [educational] diet books written; yet 1/3 of kids are fat and almost 1/2 of all Americans are obese. We just seem to make far too many things, far too complicated. And now we have the internet, as folks sit behind a desk, search for diet education, and grow fatter as they do so. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
David E. Marcinko MBBS-MD DPM MBA MEd CMP®, agreed! The internet is no new tool. New technologies make it possible (it is no automatic development!) to create internet more easy again. Furthermore ethical usage of this technology can make it more adequate, so that we still stay "human", including values, attitudes, creativity and ingenuity. Automation liberates us from daily routines, times we can use for better education, - Patrick 67 months ago
as STREAM or use more time to be with friends & family and/or make sports. - Patrick 67 months ago
Automation liberates more time but at the same time use it. How often we look at people at the same table just "talking" with mobiles and not each others? We need a new education on the proper use of technology. Social media is an example of the incorrect use sometime. - Paolo 67 months ago
YEP! - Dr. David E. 67 months ago

Longer lifespans require a longer work-life. This not for cost reasons, but also that the individuals keep a self-perceived purpose. It can be reached by reduced and flexible working hours and home office, but also hardware like Exoskeletons, which help to reduce physical fatigue and analyze when the employee gets mentally tired.

Patrick Henz
66 months ago
Great point! longer life span, longer commitment ! More liability! - Chun 66 months ago
YEP-without continued productivity [taxes] longevity is costly. - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

Good news: far fewer Americans are dying of cancer

The bad news: your odds of surviving are a lot better if you’re rich.

Dr. David E. M
66 months ago
Agreed, but this is a question independent from technology. Society has to decide if they want to continue accepting this fact or not. - Patrick 66 months ago
Technology is independent on money and widespread adoption and use = NOPE. - Dr. David E. 66 months ago


There are a lot of companies trying to commercialize all kinds of new devices and services based on new sensor technology and data interpretation dependent on artificial intelligence; early adopters (consumers) are buying and using them, often without medical advice; and traditional healthcare providers are ill-prepared to incorporate this technology into their practice, or to respond to patient-generated data and clinical insights.

I think this all raises a lot of important questions. Here are just a few, according to my colleague Ira Nash MD:

  • How good is “good enough” when evaluating whether a particular device or technology should be used clinically?
  • What is the role of physicians in interpreting patient generated data or machine generated diagnoses?
  • What are the appropriate standards and enforcement mechanisms to assure data security and privacy?
  • Which of these new devices or services actually improve health?

Any thoughts?

Dr. David E. M
66 months ago
Gadgets collect information and can create a first diagnosis, if included into the budget, it is up to the physician to interpret data and first diagnosis to confirm or come up with a different conclusion. The question what is "good enough" is answered by the society's risk appetite. More social societies will have a lower risk appetite. Data security has to include technical solutions, - Patrick 66 months ago
but also include behavioral science (humans are manipulable). Gadgets alone to not improve, they have to be included in an efficient system, aligned with humans. - Patrick 66 months ago
Behavior rules - not gadgets. - Dr. David E. 66 months ago
Deus ex machina is a Fallacy. - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

As discussed in here, access to information does not lead to change of behavior, especially not related to personal health:

Patrick Henz
66 months ago
The US has probably the most entertaining sports league of the world and big sport companies but the results are not good. However who practice at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week, or any combination of the two.? I don't think really many persons - Paolo 66 months ago
Well, there is a big difference between watching sports and practicing sports. ;) - Patrick 66 months ago
YIKES - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

FIRST: GOOGLE aggregated the entire corpus of the published human kind knowledge-base; so don’t’ blame ills today on lack of education; maybe access in the under developed world - but not on the domestic fat topic, or other moral hazards. PLEASE!

Dr. David E. M
67 months ago
NEXT: Do, or believe anything you like; just don’t ask, or make me, pay for it! - Dr. David E. 67 months ago
I guess it is the same as before with TV, it made smart people more smart, and stupid people more stupid. Google, WikiPedia and Project Gutenberg offer free access to information. But unfortunately a big part of users prefer to see cute cat videos. If the there is no culture that appreciates science, the offered information cannot processes to wisdom. Information does not get requested - Patrick 67 months ago
and even if read not processed into action. To counter this developments, for example Neil deGrasse Tyson started the initiative #MakeAmericaSmartAgain - Patrick 67 months ago
And Nancy Reagan said; Just say NO! It didnt work. - Dr. David E. 67 months ago

All the previously mentioned tech is not useful for daily medical care; at all. They have been used in telemetry units for decades. And, just because patients can now obtain [almost] same because of reduced size and cost, legal, competitive and political fiat precludes use as the discourse circles aimlessly and meanders.

PS: To the bloke who said it was too difficult to walk, eat less and reduce moral hazards; he/she may indeed get the health deserved; despite all the gadgets that will never replace common sense.  

Dr. David E. M
67 months ago
Now - Repeat the above - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

Gadgets can support to overcome limitations. Depending the case, implements can correct colorblindness. New ExoSkeletons may replace classic wheel-chairs, and so offer the individual a higher quality of life.

Patrick Henz
66 months ago
Sure - OT and PT has been around forever. - Dr. David E. 66 months ago
Great point! - Lawrence 66 months ago
I know. - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

Chuck Nyren
66 months ago
Thanks - Dr. David E. 66 months ago

Technology will enable people to receive earlier and better diagnoses, get faster (and more) second opinions, get more targeted, less harmful treatments at the beginning of their illness, rather than through trial and error, allow people to better care for themselves and monitor their own health. It will enable people to stay in their homes longer and live independently rather than move to nursing homes, which will reduce their health care costs.

Ultimately, all the data collected--if properly harnessed--can tell us a lot about illness and health, and help us live better, longer.

Karen Bluestein
62 months ago

Technology will definitely impact in a positive way. New AI home environments, virtual and augmented reality and physical and product design for an aging population will increase mental and physical health, familiar and friends relationships. I visualize a great future in terms of technology, product and services development as designer, In places like Brazil is a movement getting stronger everyday, not like North America, however, there is some startups and products for senior users in the market, Very few yet, but it will grow.

I highly recommend my design research portal with the Universal Design page where you can find more resources and expertise:

Marcio Dupont
44 months ago

Today, we see Artificial intelligence in hospitals helping clinicians identify medical risks; predict when to provide targeted, life-saving interventions; form treatment plans for patients with rare diseases; and deliver precision medicine. Voice activated personal assistants could also be created to aid the elderly ones. Voice-activated personal assistants could help old people with the safety, security and social connections needed for healthy living. People with limited mobility or impaired vision could also rely on voice-activated personal assistants to control lighting, read audiobooks or provide medication reminders. AI technologies could also help older adults with early stage dementia by answering questions or playing familiar music, which can help cognitive and emotional well-being. Current and future AI technologies hold the promise to support older adults and improve aging, but to be fully effective they need to be easy to use, safe and affordable. Artificial intelligence could help older adults by supporting wellness and social engagement to help them age optimally. 

Egwuenu precious
44 months ago

Have some input?