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Age in Place GeroTechnology

Hoca

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A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.


The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything.

~ Sean Gerety



Aging in Place

Definition: What is Gerontechnology?

Gerontechnology is an interdisciplinary field of scientific research in which technology is directed towards the aspirations and opportunities for the older persons. Gerontechnology aims at good health, full social participation and independent living up to a high age, be it research, development or design of products and services to increase the quality of life. Gerontechnology lives at the crossroads of advancing technology and advancing age. Good health is of great importance to all older persons and increasingly so with progressing age. The International Society for Gerontechnology encourages the development of gerontechnology (found 3/20/21 at http://gerontechnologie.nl/what-is-gerontechnology/).



Aging in Place / Gerotech Trends

The EXPLODING field of Gero-technology is driven by necessity, the demographic transition is creating the demand. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2050, the number of adults over the age of 65 globally will double, reaching a staggering 1.6 billion, with the largest growth in the developing world. This growth will be one of the greatest social, economic, and political transformations of our time, that will impact existing healthcare, government, and social systems, that today are largely not inclusive of the ageing population or built to the scale needed to support it. But we can begin to make investments in our support systems (enabled and scaled by technology) that encompass a coordinated response from governments, society, academia, and the private sector (https://europeansting.com/2021/03/18/ageing-looming-crisis-or-booming-opportunity/).

The same article from the European Sting online reports on Technology trends and predictions:

Technology has the potential to enhance individual lives, facilitate caregiving, and improve the delivery of services. Contrary to popular belief,more seniorshave embraced digital technologies than ever before, with perceived benefits and usability driving adoption. Specific areas of technology that are being explored to meet the needs of older adults include:

  • Telemedicine
  • Tablets for communication and entertainment
  • “Smart” platforms that integrate electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records with AI and analytics
  • Wearables
  • Voice, touch, motion, and other assistive technologies
  • Connected IoT devices and sensors
  • Technologies for safety (monitoring and alert devices)
  • Sensory aids (e.g., hearing devices)
  • Gig economy services (e.g., meal delivery)
  • Self-driving cars
  • Robots

(Found 3/20/21 at https://europeansting.com/2021/03/18/ageing-looming-crisis-or-booming-opportunity/)

Along with the list of “usual suspects” above, it is worth mentioning here that there are rapidly emerging technologies employed by researchers called “Biohackers” who do consider aging a disease process that may potentially be staved off for decades–if not cured entirely. One such bio-gerontologist is Andrew Steele who has authored the book Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old. “The dream of anti-ageing medicine,” Steele writes, “is treatments that would identify the root causes of dysfunction as we get older, then slow their progression or reverse them entirely.” This has been the dream of anti-aging medicine. According to Steele, aging is a problem to be fixed and the root causes of aging are called hallmarks.

Treat these and you slow aging:

  1. Genomic instability as we age, we accumulate genetic damage. Simply, over time, our DNA gets mangled. It is thought that if scientists can find a way to repair that damage, they will then be able to impact the ageing process.
  2. Cellular senescence the longer we live, the more chance we have of experiencing a build-up of senescent (old) cells, which tend to hang around in the body and can contribute to the onset of age-related diseases.
  3. Mitochondrial dysfunction Mitochondria are ‘organelles’ that generate the energy our cells need to power necessary biochemical reactions. It has been found that mitochondrial dysfunction can accelerate ageing.

If scientists can address those hallmarks, we can come up with treatments that slow down the whole aging process, deferring diseases into the future.

~Andrew Steele

The anti-aging medicine researchers are hoping to achieve lengthening health-spans along with the lifespans–a worthy goal. With the emerging technologies/science of precision medicine/nutrition as well as the assistance of artificial intelligence and big data, compressing morbidity is certainly possible. Steele thinks there is a bias towards the status quo of aging as inevitable and not preventable. He suggests that if suddenly two-thirds of the population began physically and mentally declining and succumbing to devastating diseases the scientific community would set out to cure it. I cannot argue with his logic, but for now, postponing aging does not mean curing aging, it will continue. But so too, will the evolution of gerotechnologies to make the experience of aging a better one.



List of anti-aging technologies

Stem Cell Technology: Reprogramming Aging Cells

Targeting Mutant mtDNA: Repairing Aging Cells

Activating Splicing Factors: Crafting Reversalogues to Encourage Cell Division

Rejuvenate Bio: Reversing the Process of Aging in Dogs

Synthetic Peptides: Intervening in the Aging Process

Smoothing Cells: Using Viruses to Smoothen Cell Wrinkles

Young Blood: Pumping Youth Back Into Veins

Anti-Aging Pills: Treating Age With Medication

Reverse Aging With Cannabis: Improving Brain Function With THC

Anti-Aging Bacteria: Using Bacteria to Create Anti-Aging Pills

Gene Deletion: Deleting Selective Genes to Increase Lifespan

(found 3/20/21 at https://interestingengineering.com/12-innovations-that-could-make-reverse-aging-a-reality)



See

The Course: Intro to AgeTECH

Geotechnology Explained: Video

Immortality Inc. by Chip Walter



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