The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM Foundation announced at CES 2016 an initiative in collaboration with IBM that will research how cognitive computing can provide better information to help transform the lives of the world’s growing aging population and persons with disabilities.
This research project will explore how cognitive computing can redefine the relationship among humans, technology and the environment around us, allowing family members, doctors and caregivers to proactively monitor the health and well-being of the aging population with the onset of physical and cognitive disabilities.
The goal is to provide the entire ecosystem – from device manufacturers and software developers to healthcare and social services providers – with a broader perspective on how cognitive-powered systems can help transform the way information is delivered and create an optimal balance among accessibility, privacy and security.
The project will examine how “in home” technology such as mobile, smart home appliances, robotics, and wearable devices could enable easier daily routines, such as proactive alerts about medications, reminders about exercise, and dietary recommendations. It will study the potential of using predictive analysis based on room temperature, home electricity, and heat and water consumption patterns to provide improved home monitoring, as well as understand how current weather conditions or traffic patterns can impact an individual’s social activities.
In the United States there are more than 47 million people age 65 or older, and 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 15 years. According to the United Nations, these numbers will continue to grow and by 2050 nearly 22 percent of the global population will be aged 60 or older (compared to 12 percent today). This change in demographics will create societal and economic challenges as nations struggle with increasing costs of healthcare and decreasing numbers of caregivers.
“We are excited to work with IBM as we identify how new and emerging technologies will fundamentally change the way we age or manage disabilities in the years to come,” said Larry Richenstein, chair of the CTA Foundation. “By raising visibility about how technology can empower seniors and people with disabilities, we can help reduce social isolation, promote wellness and enhance independent living.”
Frances West, IBM’s Chief Accessibility Officer, said “Cognitive computing provides incredible potential to help the aging population improve their lives by making more personalized and nuanced decisions about their health and well-being. The CTA Foundation is ideal to engage on this project with their history of focusing on aging and disability issues, and their strong relationships and experience working with their technology industry members. Together, we can help broaden awareness of the ways cognitive computing will improve the interaction between humans and computers.”