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Committee considers technology for independent living and healthy ageing

4 February 2020

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee continues its inquiry into Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living by considering how technology can help older people to live independently and possibly more healthily.

Purpose of sessions

The inquiry has focussed up until now on the science of ageing, and how that translates into public health advice. This next part of the inquiry looks at how technology can help us as we age. The first session considers how technology can help people to live independently, by helping them to overcome barriers that are caused by ill health in old age or by removing barriers that exist in homes and communities.

The second session examines technologies that can monitor health and some that can administer treatments, all in the regular course of daily life, with the aim of improving the management of conditions and possibly even improving health. In both sessions, the Committee will be asking about what is available to help older people now, and what might become available for future generations of older people.


Tuesday 4 February in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster

At 10.20am

  • Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive, Design Council
  • Stuart Butterfield, Managing Director, Canary Care
  • Professor Praminda Caleb-Solly, Professor of Assistive Robotics and Intelligent Health Technologies, University of the West of England

At around 11.35am

  • Professor Ann Blandford, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, UCL
  • Professor Esther Rodriguez Villegas, Professor in Low Power Electronics, Imperial College London
  • Professor Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena, Professor of Medical Robotics, Imperial College London
  • Dr Ewa Truchanowicz, Managing Director, Dignio Ltd

Possible questions

  • What is the uptake by individuals, local authorities and other care providers of technologies to help older people to reside for longer in their own homes?
  • What changes might be needed to existing housing to support independent living in old age, and what criteria should government and housing developers consider when building new housing?
  • What new technologies are being developed for monitoring health and administering treatments, either devices for people's homes or devices that can be worn or implanted?
  • What are the ethical and privacy concerns with sensors for in-home monitoring or devices for monitoring health, and the data that they collect?
  • Is there a risk that availability of new technologies could simply help those who are already fairly healthy and widen existing inequalities in old age?

Further information