AgeLab Research Scientist Chaiwoo Lee, PhD, presented to the Epoch Foundation on new technologies and open issues that technological advancements pose for the aging population. The Epoch Foundation is a private-sector consortium of twenty Taiwanese Corporations established to foster academic opportunities for the Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation is involved in multiple collaborative research and educational initiatives across MIT. The event was hosted by the MIT Industrial Liaison Program and the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Dr. Lee began her presentation by providing an overview of the aging population worldwide and the growing economic power of older adults. She went on to observe that businesses and innovators in the technological sphere have yet to cater fully to the wants, needs, and preferences of older demographics. Dr. Lee noted the explosive rise of smartphone adoption in older adults, and an early wave of products and services that address many of their needs, to show that a new era may be coming in which the global demographic aging “problem” is met by technological innovation.
To be genuine players in the longevity economy, Dr. Lee concluded, companies must address several open issues that persist in technology development and adoption for older consumers, including issues around trust, usability, and the preservation of autonomy.