Easy Life, Intelligent Systems, and Life 2.0: European Research on ICT for Aging Adults

Carrie B. Peterson and Neeli R. Prasad


Quality of Life, Aging, Digital Inclusion, Gerontechnology


Lack of access and accessibility have been two of the largest impediments for older adults and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use, resulting in reduced computer skills, lack of motivation, and aversion to new technologies. By looking at these influential barriers, we can see that this is partially due to technologies being designed and marketed towards the younger generations and do not allow for inclusive design. Aging is usually not considered when designing mainstream products and there can be a distinct lack of industry awareness about the cohort’s capabilities. Additionally, even when Assistive Technologies (AT) are developed specifically to help marginalized groups, a lack of interoperability can hamper uptake. Since the 1990’s, the European Union has contributed to the development of eHealth and this has helped to place Europe as one of the leading world investors in the field. As a result, the EU is utilizing industrial, scientific, and social resources to accelerate product and service synchronization. Innovation and development in these areas not only benefits European citizens and residents, but also strengthens the European industry market. ICT sectors are experiencing a growth in the needs and marketability of tools and services designed specifically for older adults. If a service is offering opportunities to emphasize resources and capabilities already available, research must incorporate design and functionality requirements and preferences of aging adults. This can help to improve or maintain QoL, allow for aging in place and independent living, increase socialization through connection services, and reduce cost of care burdens expected with the increase in aged proportions of global populations.

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