What are the greatest challenges we face as we age? Will our health care and lifestyle improve?
What is clear is that advances in technology will impact how older adults interact within their environment in every way from social relations to health care delivery.
In one of the first conferences of its kind, the UCLA Center on Aging will present a one-day symposium featuring national academic and industry leaders who will discuss the interface between aging and new technology. The event will take place May 9 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
The "UCLA Technology and Aging Conference: Successful Aging in a High-Tech World," will explore cutting-edge innovations in the medical, consumer and lifestyle fields that help people live better longer.
"We hope that this conference will capture the imagination of forward-thinking consumers, clinicians and business leaders who want to better understand how advances in technology and medicine will impact us as we age," said Dr. Gary Small, UCLA's Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging and director of the UCLA Center on Aging.
Keynote speakers will include Joseph Coughlin, the founder and director of MIT's AgeLab, and high-tech industry maverick Eric Dishman, director of product research and innovation at Intel Corp. Many other speakers at the conference have been featured in the national media for their work and research on aging issues.
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, who holds appointments in the department of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and the department of physiological science, will open the conference by addressing issues related to circadian biology and how it affects the aging population.
Breakout sessions and speakers from UCLA and around the country will cover the latest technological developments in a wide range of fields, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, arthritis, nutrition, diabetes, audiology, exercise technology, brain games, joint replacement and ophthalmology.
Legendary actor and author Kirk Douglas and Dr. Bruce Dobkin, medical director of the UCLA Neurologic Rehabilitation and Research Unit, will address the effects of stroke and discuss rehabilitation options. Their candid lunchtime conversation will touch on the personal and professional impact of stroke disease and the role technology can play in recovery. Following lunch, Douglas will be available to sign his books "My Stroke of Luck" and "Let's Face It." Dr. Gerald S. Levey, vice chancellor for medical sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, will introduce the two luncheon speakers and moderate the talk.
Small, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, will present new brain-scanning technologies that can detect early and subtle signs of age-related neurodegeneration and help track the effectiveness of interventions designed to protect a healthy brain from future decline.
In another session, Small will be joined by Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, chief of the division of biological psychiatry at Duke University, to demonstrate how activities to keep the brain alert and fit have evolved from working crossword and Sudoku puzzles to playing electronic brain games that help maintain peak mental function.
Lively panel discussions throughout the day will explore larger issues at the intersection of technology and aging. They include:
Leveraging the Power of Technological Innovations
During this session, Nicole Spelhaug, chief of product development for MayoClinic.com, will share how the Internet has allowed for entirely new access to and consumption of health care information. Deborah Estrin, director of the UCLA Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, will describe opportunities for innovative health care research and intervention through the leveraging of available mobile devices. Bob Foster, adjunct professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, will moderate this discussion.
The Operating Room of the Future
This session will focus on current and future technologies to assist surgeons, including robotic surgery, imaging, remote surgery and teleconferencing. Dr. E. Carmack Holmes, executive director of the UCLA Center for Advanced Surgery and Interventional Technology (CASIT) and chairman emeritus of the UCLA Department of Surgery, will moderate the panel. Dr. Peter Schulam, UCLA chief of endourology, associate professor of urology and co-director of CASIT, and Erin Johnson, vice president of research for Zimmer Inc., will cover the latest technological efforts in medical-device research and development.
The Future of Health Care
Health care as we know it today has many unique technological interfaces, and this discussion will address future technological platforms that will be available to individuals and the medical community. Dr. Meera Kanhouwa, physician executive of Microsoft's Health Sciences Group; David Whitlinger, president and chairman of Continua Health Alliance; and Dadong Wan, senior researcher at Accenture Technology Labs, will be the featured speakers. Dr. C. Anthony Jones, founder and president of Next Lifesciences, will moderate the panel.
Connectivity and Mobility for the Older Consumer
Susan Ayers Walker, founder of Smart Silvers Alliance and a technology reporter for AARP, will moderate a panel discussion that will include Donald Jones, vice president of Qualcomm Inc.; Susan B. Riley, president and chief executive officer of Elite Care Technologies; and Fred Lupton, human factors manager at the Toyota Technical Center. Panelists will discuss the impact of technology on quality of life for the older consumer and will present their newest applications, including wireless and mobile devices that will deliver health care monitoring and coaching, and location-based services. Speakers will also discuss how technology integrates into independent living and assists caregiving and how the automotive industry is stepping up to the challenges of older drivers.
Key speakers, including Dr. Gary Small, Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy and others, will be available to sign their latest books.
The Friday, May 9, conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Continuing medical education credit is available.
For registration and more information, please call (310) 794-2620 or visit www.cme.ucla.edu/courses/event-description?event_id=401071.