Friday, December 29, 2017

World’s First Innovation Lab For Healthy Aging

by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich   December 27, 2017

A novel state-of-the-art lab will re-create the living conditions of the elderly to improve their mental and physical health.
The world’s first innovation lab for healthy aging has been established in Beersheba. The lab, which will simulate the living environment of senior citizens in the future, will take on the increasingly complex challenges of today’s aging population.
According to World Bank data, the proportion of the world’s population over the age of 65 increased from 5% in 1960 to 8.5% in 2015.

The lab is a collaboration between the Center for Digital Innovation, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the National Insurance Institute, the Beersheba Municipality, the Joint Distribution Committee and the Amal & Beyond Group. CDI is located in the Advanced Technologies Park adjacent to the university, whose president, Prof. Rivka Carmi, serves as chairwoman of the nonprofit lab’s board.
 “In 10 years, Beersheba will become the center of senior citizen-focused research and innovation,” CDI founder & CEO Ziv Ofek said at the launch of the lab last week. “When I think about this lab, I think about my parents and the real challenges they face. Instead of looking for merely technological solutions, we went back to analyze the problem. We developed a 360-degree approach that looks at all aspects of a senior’s life. When we founded CDI, we chose the fields of health care, social welfare, education and smart cities to specialize in. In this lab, we are combining all of them.”

Ofek and his team realized that senior citizens’ diverse needs, ambitions and activities cannot be considered separately. Rather, they are all linked, and only an innovative approach that takes all of these elements into consideration has a chance of making a real and significant change in the lives of senior citizens.

Among the main challenges are preventing falls, alleviating loneliness, slowing the deterioration of those whose capabilities are already limited, treating pain, and developing new technologies to assist the aging in basic domestic activities like bathing and using the toilet.

Read here the full article  


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