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Posted: Dec 14, 2010
Advanced technologies for an ageing population
(Nanowerk News) In 2010, the Scottish Government launched an important initiative Reshaping Care for Older People1 which included an online questionnaire and engagement events across Scotland. In the information booklet accompanying the initiative, the Government stressed the need to move from a hospital-centred, reactive and low-tech "old care model" geared towards acute conditions, towards a "new care model" that is geared towards treating long-term conditions, embedded within the community, preventative in nature and high-technology based.
Even more recently, the European Commission has announced an online consultation2, open until the 28 January 2011, on its pilot European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Active and Healthy Ageing. The EIP, due to be launched in 2011, will seek to improve the health and quality of life of older people, enabling them to live active and independent lives, to contribute to the sustainability and efficiency of health and social care systems; and to foster competitiveness and growth of businesses.
It is estimated that the Scottish population aged 65 and over will increase by 21% between 2006 and 2016, with a 62% increase by 2031. For those aged 85 and over, it is estimated the population will rise by 38% by 2016 and 144% by 2031. Similar demographic changes are estimated elsewhere in the UK and Europe. In times of severe economic constraint and a falling proportion of the population in work, how then will be able to afford a shift to this community-based, high-technology care for the elderly?
The Institute of Nanotechnology, a Scottish-based professional body with international membership, will address these important and urgent challenges in its forthcoming major Conference Advanced Technologies for an Ageing Population to be held in Glasgow on 23-24 March 2011.
The first day of the Conference will focus on new technologies for the early diagnosis and treatment diseases of the elderly. Presentations that address key elements of the Scottish and EU initiatives will include:
The development of innovative medical technologies for the ageing (Keynote presentation)
Professor Rutledge Ellis-Behnke, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA and the University of Hong Kong
Caring for the oldest old: Assistive technologies and 21st century care
Professor Louise Robinson, Institute for Ageing & Health, Newcastle University, UK
Restoring hearing and balance in the elderly - A challenge for nanotechnology
Professor Ilmari Pyykko, Dept. of Ear, Nose & Throat Diseases, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
Decubitus prevention and accelerated wound healing
Dr Herman Lenting, Dept. of Innovative Materials, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)
Protein aggregation and degenerative diseases of the elderly
Dr Cait MacPhee, Department of Physics, University of Edinburgh, UK
The early detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease
Professor David Allsop, School of Medicine and Health, Lancaster University, UK
Periocular and intraocular drug delivery for ophthalmic diseases of the elderly
Dr Eileen McBride, Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde
Nanotechnologies for the early diagnosis of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
Dr Margarethe Hofmann, Scientific Coordinator NanoDiaRA Project, Switzerland
The second day of the Conference will focus on the development of assistive technologies for the ageing and on the economic, ethical and demographic challenges and presentations will include: