Reprinted from the Positive Technology Journal by Andrea Gaggioli, Ph.D

Commentary by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert
Elsewhere on our website, I mentioned the coming boom in elderly boomers. With the oldest boomers now turning 60, the over-60 set should soon be increasing dramatically in numbers. To address this, forward-thinking tech companies like Intel are increasingly targeting their research time and money to issues related to the elderly. The web posting reprinted below is from the always-stimulating Positive Technology Journal, and touches on Intel’s desire to be one of the first big firms to get a foothold in the “elderly boomer boom” coming over the horizon.

Note how the Intel project’s Phase One, described below, focuses on ways to help seniors “age in place from wherever they and their families choose”. Yet it is important to note that there are existing technologies that also foster this goal; for example, the medical alarm made by Life Alert enables elderly subscribers to feel safe living alone in their homes, since they can summon help 24/7 at the push of a button, should an emergency arise. This two-way voice communication system and monitoring service is a popular technology that exists now, allowing seniors to live where they and their families prefer them to live: in their own homes.  While Intel and other companies are leveraging current technologies, they are also exploring future methods for addressing issues faced by seniors, such as ways to anticipate and react to problems before they even happen.

Since the trend towards all things older should be a strong one, Intel’s investment seems likely to pay off.  Of course, everyone, regardless of age, may eventually benefit as well, because technology is rarely utilized solely by the group or groups it was intended for.    --Dr. Don Rose


Can proactive systems that anticipate a patient's needs improve the quality of life for both the patients and their caregivers? Intel's Proactive Health Research group looks at how ubiquitous computing can be used in the health care industry and specifically how current technologies can be applied to help take care of the quickly growing population of senior citizens.

The project, launched in April 2002, consists of three phases:

  • Phase One: Focus on physical and cognitive decline, especially on technologies that will help tomorrow's elderly population to age in place from wherever they and their families choose.
  • Phase Two: Address the needs of those with common chronic conditions like cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • Phase Three: Focus on wellness, including nutrition, physical fitness, and mental health.

This article is based on a posting titled “Intel Proactive Health Research”, which appears on the Positive Technology Journal website by Andrea Gaggioli, Ph.D.  The article on this page, and the writing it is based on, are covered by a Creative Commons License (version 2.0). SUMMARY OF THE CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION LICENSE for this work: Attribution 2.0: You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work; to make derivative works; to make commercial use of the work.  Under the following conditions: (1) Attribution -- You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.  Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.  Please go to the Creative Commons License site to view more information about the Creative Commons license that applies to this work.

Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles about computers, the Internet, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

For more information about Life Alert and its many services and benefits for seniors nationwide, please visit the following websites:

More to explore: see Intel's Proactive Health Research Initiative website.