Smart technology for healthy longevity

With the demographic ageing of Australia's population, a suite of emerging innovative technologies offers the prospect of enhanced security, safety, diagnosis, treatment and physical assistance to improve the quality of life for elderly people, to help them remain at home, and to provide financial savings in aged care and medical treatment.

The key finding of this report by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering is that a national thrust on the development and application of smart technology for healthy longevity is vital to ensure a healthy, safe, secure and fulfilling future for the increasing aged population in Australia and the maintenance of a healthy, harmonious and prosperous society.

Because the elderly are more frequent users of health services and because medical researchers are developing new drugs and procedures linked to age, the Australian Government's 2010 Intergenerational Report suggests that health spending on those aged over 65 is likely to increase sevenfold. There will be a need for new models of health care and training to deal with this situation. Technology can offer possible solutions to issues of safety and security, diagnosis and treatment, while assistive technologies offer the potential to reduce costs.

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