TechSAge

Dr. Singleton using sign language to communicate over FaceTime on the computer

Finding solutions to help people with disability age successfully

Bringing together transdisciplinary teams for successful solutions towards aging and disability

TechSAge is a nationally funded center of excellence that brings together experts in the fields of aging, disability, and technology to work on a suite of projects designed to help those with disability age successfully.

Description:

More than 56 million people in the United States currently live with a physical or sensory disability. While advances in healthcare and technology have resulted in longer and healthier lives, still little is known about strategies that might aid and facilitate successful aging for individuals living with a disability. The TechSAge (Technologies to Support Successful Aging with Disability) project at Georgia Tech is a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) with the mission of investigating and advancing technologies that minimize, prevent, or reverse age-related declines and effects on health and independence in disabled populations.

TechSAge encompasses thirteen total projects including the SmartBathroom, Innovation Garden, and accessible cognitive games. While previous endeavors have focused on just one discipline, TechSAge takes an integrative approach by bringing in experts from the aging field to work together with leaders in the fields of disability and technology. IMTC plays a significant role in TechSAge projects by acting as a central pivot point to build interdisciplinary teams between Georgia Tech and other institutions. Additionally, IMTC’s ability to prototype systems rapidly and test them in real-world environments has been critical to move quickly towards the most promising areas of research. One such example is IMTC’s ability to use its resources at the AwareHome as a test bed for smart bathroom ideas; enabling engineers and scientists to try new solutions as quickly as possible. IMTC is leading the technical aspects of this research, designing an instrumented bathroom lab for capturing/analyzing/predicting performance of people, who are living with lower body functional limitations, during transfers from assistive technology devices to toilet, bathtub, and shower.

This project is a five-year federal grant, with possibilities to renew in the future. As a federally funded center of excellence, TechSAge has a high profile on the national stage and its research results have the potential to influence future public policy on matters of disability. The wide range of talent at IMTC, coupled with its agility in rapidly testing ideas, has made it the perfect partner to tackle the challenges of helping those with disability age successfully.

TechSAge hoto features a woman using a portable braille display device.

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