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Technologies, Innovations and Research for an Ageing Society

Technologies, Innovations and Research for an Ageing Society

 

 

 

Design methodologies, service concepts, interaction paradigms and future usage cultures for an ageing society.

Quality of Life through life-based and human-driven design

VTT’s approach to technology is driven by the idea that technology should improve quality of life by adding value to everyday lives. The proper role of technology is to solve the real-life problems or challenges faced by people. This calls for a thorough understanding of the target users’ chosen form of life, and of the human and social values that people live by. Design thinking of this type approaches the design challenge holistically, from the human angle. Product and service concepts are co-designed with ageing citizens and subjected to a fit-for-life analysis. Such an analysis examines the benefits and meaningfulness that users gain from the solutions developed, and ways of improving these solutions in pursuit of better quality of life.

Ethical and responsible design

VTT examines the ethicalness of design solutions and creates a conceptual framework for responsible design. Current ethical codes of practice are not always capable of dealing with rapid and innovative technological change, and often provide a poor fit with the contexts involved in ageing. In the first instance, ethical design means conscious reflection on ethical values and choices with respect to design decisions. It also includes reflection on the design process itself and the choice of design methodologies. In addition, authentic co-construction of a normative approach to design and, finally, ethically acceptable, responsible and sustainable design outcomes – i.e. outcomes that contribute to the ‘good of man’– are involved.

Senior citizens and consumer behaviour

VTT studies the interplay between consumer and product characteristics, and analyses how this influences consumers' product perceptions and their subsequent decision making. By gaining insights into consumer characteristics and the behaviour of ageing people, as well as their values, attitudes and lifestyles, we aim to understand how ageing consumers prioritise various product features when making choices and how this information should be applied in marketing efforts. In addition to insights into product choice, our studies help to evaluate the potential of certain products among different target groups in various contexts.

Global ageing as a trend, driver and challenge

VTT’s foresight studies discuss the drivers, emerging directions and opportunities involved in a rapidly expanding global research landscape. Active ageing holds a key position in the international discourse on social policy related to ageing. This phenomenon conveys an inclusive message and draws attention to the determinants of how people and populations age and how new technologies can contribute positively to the quality of life of ageing people. VTT’s foresight studies include ageing as a driving force in our future society, societal and individual values, ageing citizens as end-users, future contexts of active technology-supported ageing, and the societal and ethical impacts of technology.

 

Meeting the needs of senior citizens

VTT creates emerging technologies, such as pervasive computing and nano and microtechnologies, which play a significant role in enhancing the quality of life of many senior citizens and young elderly people. These technologies can provide means of prolonging careers and working lives, providing additional safety and security, supporting mobility, and enabling independent living and social participation. Emerging technologies have considerable potential to meet the needs of increasing numbers of ageing people, while putting the spotlight on senior citizens as proactive participants in a modern information society.

Technologies and innovations for health and wellbeing

VTT is a powerful contributor to recent developments in eHealth, the application of ICT to healthcare delivery and personal health management. The provision of useful, user-friendly and secure digital services for citizens is predicated on interoperability between systems. VTT joins forces with health service providers in applying research and technology to real life processes. VTT‘s expertise combines social services and healthcare know-how with new approaches and operating models. The challenges facing local authorities, joint authorities and customers in the health and well-being sector are complex and require broad-ranging expertise. VTT can also transfer its expertise accumulated through extensive development collaboration within the industrial and business sectors into solutions in the well-being sector.