2020 Vision For The Elderly?
The Institute of Nanotechnology previously explored the topic of technologies for an ageing population at the European Commission-sponsored EuroNanoForum 2005 that it organized in Edinburgh on 5-9 September 2005. The theme for that major conference was “Nanotechnology and the Health of the EU Citizen 2020” and the event included a session entitled “Impacting Society – Needs of the Ageing Population” covering topics such as nanoparticulate systems for the treatment of chronic diseases, deep-brain stimulation for movement disorders and pain, and intelligent scaffolds for the tissue engineering of bone, skin and cartilage.
Much has happened in the intervening 5½ years and there have been enormous strides in applying knowledge at the nanoscale to a huge range of medical challenges. So how much closer are we now to meeting the bold statement in the overview of that session that “(Nano)technology could finally mean that growing old does not necessarily mean loss of faculties and a rapid reduction in the quality of life”? Is there a chance that, by 2020, EU citizens will start to reap the rewards of the massive investment in novel medical technologies? Can we overcome new challenges that have arisen such as the providing improved care and hope in an economic climate that is seeing cuts in all sectors?
In its forthcoming Conference Advanced Technologies for an Ageing Population to be held in Glasgow on 23-24 March 2011, the Institute of Nanotechnology will again explore how the power of technology can be harnessed to addressed the needs of the elderly (between 2010 and 2030, the number of Europeans aged over 65 is expected to rise by nearly 40%). Over two days, internationally-acknowledged experts will describe some of the latest developments in treating the diseases of ageing, examine how telecare and smart assistive technologies can improve the quality of care and life of senior citizens and discuss the ethical and economic challenges to be overcome.
Conference speakers at Advanced Technologies for an Ageing Population include:
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