Technology and ageing

Plymouth University has a strong cross-disciplinary track record supporting research in technology and ageing. Many of the other strands in VOYAGE use or study the impact of eHealth and robotics on older people or the ageing process, and research may be found both as 'specialist' eHealth or robotics, or embedded in, for example, behaviour change, integrated care etc.

These include the development and testing of apps and websites, for example, in early diagnosis of dementia, in psychological support in LTC, in behaviour change, as well as studies of how best to involve patients and medical charities in the app development process. Engaging older people in Internet use is not always simple and we have worked with the third sector and studied ways of helping older people to start using the internet.

The roles of technology in older age particularly amongst people with dementia is a central theme in our public health concerns about inequalities and developing dementia friendly societies.

Physical and psychological measurement is a major strand of technology and ageing including rehabilitation and patient safety.

The technology and ageing strand is not just about the internet but also about devices and robotics. Plymouth University researchers are working on social robotics through a number of large European grants including the disciplines of artificial intelligence, cognition, and evolutionary computation as well as telehealthcare, sensors and wearable devices.

New collaborations within the University are exploring social robotics with older people including various forms of telepresence in care homes and community hospitals.

Finally, in this cross disciplinary strand we use a wide interpretation of the wellbeing of older people considering leisure, pastimes, and the environment, and older people contribution to the cultural aspects of society. This includes research on how older people may interact with creative digital technologies, architectural and environmental multisensory installations. Further collaborations may assess the impact on mental and physical health.