STS: Assistive technologies for older adults: a multidimensional perspective

In the years to come, population aging will result in an increased number of older adults living with disability. This is due to the fact that susceptibility to non-communicable diseases (e.g., cognitive impairment, urinary incontinence, depression, and falls or immobility), which are major causes of disability, increases with age. Severe disability is strongly linked to the demand for long-term care and to expenditure on it. Consequently, early detection, prevention, and treatment of disability in older adults are a high societal priority.

Assistive technologies (AT) have the potential to support independent living, increase older adults’ quality of life, reduce care costs, and compensate the shortage of care personnel. AT solutions can serve different purposes: providing assistance in performing daily tasks; reminding medication taking; health monitoring; compensating for sensory, physical and cognitive impairment; supporting communication and social interaction and networking; stimulation and entertainment. AT solutions include telehealth applications, social and assistive robotics, virtual reality, and sensors, as well as hearing, vision, or mobility aids. AT solutions can be beneficial by providing services that meet the needs of older adults allowing permanent support that combines care and psychosocial monitoring. AT could allow older adults to continue to perform daily tasks that would no longer be possible without assistance from a caregiver. AT solutions could also reduce medical costs through better compliance with pharmacological treatment and remote monitoring (telemedicine) which could contribute to reduce hospitalizations and delay institutionalization of older adults. These technologies are promising but raise different questions such as usability, acceptability, usefulness, ethics, and equity to access…

For this Special Thematic Session on “Assistive technologies for older adults: a multidimensional perspective” we welcome presentations, from different disciplines, exploring the field of assistive technologies for older adults taking into account aspects such as: “Health and current use of the technology”, “Characteristics of the technology”, “Safety issues related to the use of AS”, “Clinical effectiveness”, “Costs and economic evaluation”, “Ethical analysis”, “Organizational aspects”, “Social aspects” and “Legal aspects”.

Topics include, but are not limited to the following questions:

  • How to take into consideration older adults needs when developing an assistive technology?
  • What is the real usefulness of these AT in the person’s daily life at home or in institutions in the medium and long term?
  • How to test the usability and acceptability of these AT solutions by older adults?
  • Are there ethical issues linked to the use of these AT solutions?
  • Which health-economic models can be used for decision-making related to AT?
  • How to implement these technologies in older adults ‘daily life, for instance, how to prepare the setting for the introduction of the AT? how to train older adults and caregivers to the use of the AT and carry out the follow-up?


  • Maribel Pino, Université Paris Cité and Hôpital Broca, France 
  • Anne-Sophie Rigaud, Université Paris Cité and Hôpital Broca, France

Information: sts16 at aaate2023 dot eu