Ageing affects performance in daily activities and influences the quality of life of many individuals. However, current technological advancements have the potential to resolve many challenges that people encounter as they age. The focus on Digital inclusion and gerontechnology aims to help fulfil the needs of an ageing population through technological interventions. Research in digital inclusion and gerontechnology includes (1) the identification of people’s needs in the third age; (2) the design and innovation of products to enhance personal independence in daily activities; (3) the application of new technologies for disease prevention, health maintenance, and leisure; (4) the enhancement of individual empowerment as well as social connectedness and inclusion.

Current Research

Collaboration is key to research on digital Inclusion and gerontechnology. PolyU academics and researchers from various departments have been engaging in projects related to the application of technology for active ageing. Their work can be summarised under the following themes:

  1. Assistive Technologies
  • Telecare technologies for older and disabled people at home and in the community
  • Telehealth and telemedication systems for older adults
  • Intelligent refrigerators for people with diabetes
  1. Technologies for Functional Enhancement
  • Computerised therapeutic training devices for older adults
  • Robotic training devices
  • Computerised home assessment tools for older adults with disabilities and those with age-related degeneration
  1. Innovative Techniques and Technologies for Enhancing Quality of Life
  • Noninvasive blood glucose monitoring systems
  • Pioneer techniques in modified multifocal electroretinography for optical degradation conditions
  • Development of smart thermal functional apparel technologies
  • Development of incontinence products for children, people with disabilities, and older adults
  1. Technologies for Information Dissemination and Education
  • Web-based training for automatic teller machine use for older people
  • Ginkgo: web-based resource centre for dementia care (www.ginkgogroup.org)
  • Interactive computer games for older adults
  1. Community Support and Health Services
  • Spatial programme design strategy for recreational space
  • Accessibility and disability
  • Future development of Rehabus services
  • Informational needs of health care professionals regarding dementia care
  • Care needs assessment of older adults with cognitive impairment
  1. Information and Communication Technologies
  • Training and its evaluation on digital technology for older adults

Research Directions

The aforementioned themes form the IAA’s research areas in gerontechnology. By capitalising on the expertise of our core research members and other relevant units in PolyU, we propose a series of intelligent technological systems for enhancing the quality of life of older adults during the IAA’s initial triennium.

Research Projects

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