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:

Why dementia demands technological solutions (Keynote presentation)

Professor June Andrews, Director, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling, UK

The landscape for SMEs developing assistive technologies for the elderly

Janette Hughes, Wellness and Health Innovation Scotland

Telehealth service developments in Europe: Challenges and opportunities

Dr Malcolm Fisk, Health Design & Technology Institute, Coventry University

User-friendly connected healthcare technologies for an older population

Melanie Turieo, Cambridge Consultants Ltd, Boston, USA

Remote sensing and the ageing population - Emerging opportunities and associated pitfalls

Professor Dermot Diamond, Director, National Centre for Sensor Research, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

Help the aged or a nano-elixir of life? Ethical reflections on technologies for ageing populations

Dr Donald Bruce, Edinethics, UK

Technology needs for an ageing population from the patient's perspective

Alastair Kent, Chair, European Platform for Patients' Organisations, Science & Industry; Director, Genetic Alliance UK

Designing technologies to suit the needs of individual elderly persons

Jackie Marshall-Cyrus, Lead Specialist, Assisted Living Platform, Technology Strategy Board

Demographic, social, ethical and economic issues

Professor Pauline Banks, Professor in Older Persons' Health, University of West of Scotland

Source: Institute of Nanotechnology