Technology and Ageing Workshop

16/05/12 from 3 pm - 7 pm 

The Actuarial Profession, Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ (MAP)

NDA is organising a workshop in London, in partnership with International Longevity Centre UK and Actuarial Profession.


ILC-UK will present findings of new work which explores how behavioral economics can learn and how to tackle the digital divide. Leela Demodaran will represent the NDA technology projects to do an overview on how technology help us age well. Mark Hawley will discuss the lack of robust evidence for financial benefits from telecare. 

Photos of the day                                    


All Presentations








15:00 – 16:30      Debate registration and Technology Showcase

16:30 – 16:35      Welcome: Sally Greengross, ILC-UK

16:35 - 16:40       Introduction: Alan Walker

16:40 - 17:00       Mark Hawley - University of Sheffield

17:00 - 17:10       Nick Goodwin, The Kings Fund

17:10 - 17:25      Leela Damodaran - Loughborough University

17:25 - 17:35      David Sinclair - ILC-UK

17:35 - 18:25      Debate: How can we ensure technology reaches those who need it?

18:25 - 18:30      Closing Remarks: Sally Greengross

18:30 – 19:00     Drinks

19.00                   Close

 Event Booklet


NDA technology projects:

1. Mappmal: hospitalfoodie

Malnutrition in older patients: re-designing the food and nutrition service through a multidisciplinary and participative process

 Showcase items: Posters and prototype display

Around 40 per cent of older patients are malnourished with those aged over 80 at highest risk. The hospitalfoodie prototype is a nutritional management and food provision system that facilitates increased engagement of all staff in the process of providing adequate nutrition to older patients and embeds a chain of accountability for nutritional care. Hospitalfoodie comprises a nutritional management and monitoring system, food products, and a supply and delivery system. The multidisciplinary team can access and act on patient nutrition information remotely and at the bedside via touch screens to ensure all older patients have adequate food intake and nutritional care; each patient has access to a bedside touch screen to assist in their own nutritional management.

Paula Moynihan, University of Newcastle

NDA project title: Multidisciplinary Approaches to a Prototype for Prevention of Malnutrition in Older People: Products, Places, People and Procedures

2. SomnIA – Sleep in Elderly

Showcase items: Musical pillow, portable hearing aid, bedside organiser, background lighting unit

This project addresses practice and policy relevant issues arising from the nature, impact and management of the sleep-wake balance in later life. It will extend and 'join up' strategically targeted areas of sleep research relevant to understanding and improving autonomy, active ageing and quality of later life. It aims to understand the meanings and determinants of poor quality sleep, develop cost-effective approaches to sleep problems among older people with chronic disease, evaluate their acceptability to users and develop web-based information and advice for older people with sleep problems.

Roger Orpwood

 NDA project title: Optimising Quality of Sleep Among Older People

3. Design for Ageing Well

Showcase item: Clothing prototype on mannequin

The project aims to develop comfortable clothing that addresses both technical and style requirements for engaging in healthy exercise, by active members of the 60 to 75 year old who do not suffer from restrictive medical conditions. This design-led research adopts functional attributes of performance sportswear designed in an appropriate format, in terms of style, sizing and shape, for the benefit of enhancing the everyday life-style of older users, with a focus on walking. Working prototypes incorporate wearable technologies, as appropriate, to support the wellbeing and quality of life of the active ageing.

Jane McCann, Newport School of Art, Media and Design

NDA project title: Design for Ageing Well: Improving the Quality of Life for the Ageing Population Using a Technology Enabled Garment System

4. TACT3

Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory, Tools and Technology

Showcase items: The Great British toilet map, photos, smart underwear, odour detector 

30 to 60% of women over 40 suffer some symptoms of urinary incontinence while about half as many men are affected. The project aims to reduce the impact of continence difficulties for older people by investigating continence services and environmental barriers to continence and by developing assistive devices that both provide reassurance to continence pad users and make pad use less demanding.

Eleanor van den Heuvel, Brunel University

NDA project title: Tackling Ageing Continence through Theory Tools and Technology

5. Envision

envision to envisage: Using visualisations in physical rehabilitation therapy

Showcase items: A poster and visualisation videos

The envision project evaluated an innovative way of communicating the complexity of biomechanical and movement data using visualisations. Their potential for healthcare applications was validated through a series of interviews, focus groups and workshops with older people, stroke survivors and healthcare professionals. The method of visualising data enables those without specialist training, including both professional and lay people, to access and interpret the data. The showreel displays a selection of visualisations of data currently being evaluated in the MRC LLHW supported envisage project for their role in improving physical rehabilitation therapy through a series of random controlled trials.

Alastair Macdonald, Glasgow School of Arts

NDA project title: Innovation in Envisioning Dynamic Biomechanical Data to Inform Healthcare and Design Practice

6. Making the Kitchen Easier

Showcase item: Exhibition boards 

The project involved detailed research with 60 to 91 year old people living in a variety of accommodation in Bristol and Loughborough. Participants discussed how their present kitchen suited their abilities and needs, and the coping strategies they adopted to overcome problems. Ergonomic issues include design through layout and co-location of equipment which impact on reaching, bending and lighting, which is disabling when vision becomes poor.  People cope, adapt and some re-design but the recognition of ‘democratic’ kitchens, sensitive to changing needs, is central to research aiming to promote guidance for the design and use of kitchens to meet lifetime needs.

Sheila Peace, Open University

NDA project title: Transitions in Kitchen Living


Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing

 Showcase item: An interactive workstation 

 NANA is a three-year multidisciplinary research project using sensitively-designed technology to improve data collection and integrate information on nutrition, physical function, cognitive function and mental health to identify individuals at risk of under-nourishment and improve targeting of interventions. This research will not only improve measurement of nutrition, physical health, mental health and cognitive function but will also improve our understanding of the interactions between these factors. This will be useful for informing strategies to prevent physical and mental decline in ageing, and improvements in the medical treatment and social provision for older people. The toolkit has potential for commercial development primarily for use with older people but also for potential usage with other groups in the population that would benefit from comprehensive integrated assessment.

Arlene Astell, University of St Andrews

 NDA project title: Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing

8. Keeping Older People Connected

Showcase item: Pop up display banners 

This project explores and examines the relationship between the dynamics of ageing and the dynamics of digital Information Communication Technologies (ICT), in order to better understand it can support or enrich the quality of life and autonomy of older people as they age.  It aims to strengthen capacity for effective participation of older people in ICT policy, research and design, to investigate the potential of, and barriers to, sustained use of digital technologies by older people, and potential solutions to barriers and to generate outputs which will influence policy, research and design, in ICT for older people.

Leela Damodaran, Loughborough University

NDA project title: Sustaining IT use by Older People to Promote Autonomy and Independence

9. Safety on Stairs

Showcase item: a poster and leaflets

The majority of falls in the elderly occur during stair descent. Several functional parameters, including muscle strength, joint mobility and people’s sense of balance deteriorate with age. This project aims to understand the role played in stepping performance and their deterioration with ageing, to find ways of improving the ability of older people to descend stairs. Firstly it examines the design of stairs since older people may lack the strength to cope with high steps or have difficulty landing safely on narrow steps. Secondly it investigates to what extent ‘tailor-made’ exercise training can minimise the age-related deterioration of stepping ability. It is anticipated that this investigation will result in guidelines concerning the efficacy and cost effectiveness of training interventions.

Constantinos Maganaris, Manchester Metropolitan University

NDA project title: Biomechanical and Sensory Constraints of Step and Stair Negotiation in Old Age



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