Give "affection" to adults with "imperceptible" technology (in Spanish) Event Report

Give “affection” to adults with “imperceptible” technology (in Spanish) Event Report
Frame from the movie ‘A friend for Frank’. /  Park Pictures

World experts say in the symposium ‘Rethinking Healthcare for the Future’ that age is not a medical issue, but social 

“The magic word is affection, a cross-cutting concept that runs through governments, policies, cities, communities, organizations and families. Our elders need affection, however our society, which coexists with great technological advances, silences aging, turns its back on it. Let’s use the affection in a transversal way adding it to new technologies and design , and we will improve the well-being of our elders “, proposes Lekshmy Parameswaran, co-founder and director of Ideas and Strategies in FuelFor’s The Care Lab, an experience design consultancy specialized in healthcare, based in Barcelona and Singapore.

The Rethinking Healthcare for the Future symposium, organized last Thursday by the European headquarters of the RMIT University of Australia, specializing in Technology, Design and Business studies, and the headquarters of the renowned Digital Ethnography Research Center (DERC), brought together a dozen experts willing to transform health care through the use of design and new technologies, the incorporation of aesthetics to medical devices and the use of architecture to increase the well-being of the elderly. And all this marinated with affection, as Parameswaran proposes. The latest innovative proposal in  healthcare  has a clear objective: to  create an ecosystem around the elderly that favors their health and well-being until the last of his days, giving a different and adapted use of new technologies, and wrapping them in attractive designs.

During the symposium, examples of buildings were cited, as they already exist in Osaka or Dusseldorf, created specifically for the elderly to feel comfortable and cared for. Environments built to favor social relations and easy access to welfare services. Larissa Hjorth, professor and director of the platform of Design and Creative Practice of RMIT in Australia, highlights the need to incorporate technologies into their lives to make them more comfortable, and advises  “placing the social and emotional aspect in the center, using technologies advanced without them feeling that they invade them ” .

It talks about imperceptible technological surveillance that does not affect the privacy of the person, robots that transform the rehabilitation and entertaining devices into fun and entertaining designs, like earphones in the form of a pendant so that the ladies do not hide them under their hair. There are some examples that improve the day to day of the elderly because, according to Hjorth,  “being older is not a medical issue, it is a social issue” .

Telefónica Innovación Alpha is also committed to technology to “provoke a  positive change in the emotions  of the elderly”, explains Remko Vermeulen, Vice President of Product at Alpha Health. Created in January 2016 in Barcelona, ​​this subsidiary of Telefónica is the first factory of ‘moonshots’ in Europe, disruptive projects that aim to create technologies that make the world a better place.

“To manufacture effective and effective glucose sensors, blood tests carried out at home, prostheses that can shine because they surprise by their design, adaptability, stability and efficiency, speech analysis devices to detect Parkinson’s … All are technologies focused on older people, designed to  bring about a radical change in their mood . Because from there, we will have a profound impact on your well-being. We have to put technology at your service, “he says.

From the hospital environment, César Velasco, director of the Department of Innovation and Data of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital of Barcelona, ​​proposes to provide greater quality of life to the elderly through “open digital communication with non-hospitalized patients, the  creation of collaborative platforms that integrate mobile applications of help and the support of virtual assistants “. In short, as concludes Esther Sarquella, executive of Tunstall Healthcare, British company of digital solutions in the sanitary field, “the technology has to establish the equity in our society, and this happens to be inclusive with our elders”.

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