Background: Quality or healthy aging refers to well-being in an older age. In the light ofrecent changes in the discourse on approaches on positive aging, we aimed to study the way “quality aging” is understood, expressed, and dealt with as a part of contemporarytechnology assessment (TA), since the nexus between demographic and technologicalchanges has remained a staple topic in TA for at least three decades.Methods: A bottom-up qualitative content analysis was performed to identify the concepts of quality aging in the final reports of a sample of five recent national and international(predominantly participatory) TA projects (pTA). Despite being highly variable in contexts,methods, topics, and funding schemes, these projects display a common core ofinvestigating desirable frameworks and futures for an aging society from the perspective of a citizen, stakeholder, and expert. We identified overarching patterns across different reports through clustering of codified texts and meta-analysis.Results: As a recurring pattern, we identified seven primary topical sectors, known as thebuilding blocks of what may be attributed a TA perspective on quality aging: ethics,OBM resources, activity, interaction, education, health, and policy. These are described byreferring to a network of more than 40 topical sub-themes.Conclusions: The findings from the present study emphasize the need for a changed view on aging for individuals, their peers and society; a discussion of resources required to choose, understand, purchase, install, and properly maintain supportive technologies; and more integrated policy measures creating trust in communal services and infrastructure; and avoiding marginalizing and stigmatizing aging as a problem and as an ever-lasting economic challenge.
Bechtold, Ulrike; Sotoudeh, Mahshid (2013) Assistive technologies: Their development from a technology assessment perspective. Gerontechnology, Bd. 11 (4), S. 521-533.
This paper highlights some major challenges involved in the research and technology development process for assistive technologies. Referring to a research project conducted by the authors, the outcomes include an analysis of goals and concepts of assistive technologies as well as the context of their application. Trade-offs that include the risk of substituting human assistance by technology, a threat to privacy or unintended side effects regarding their use should be considered at the outset of the research and technological development process. As far as funding schemes are concerned, programmes need to include an evaluation of the impact of assistive technologies in a broader socio-economic, cultural and socio-political context. Hence the underlying normative assumptions need to be scrutinised before the process begins.
Bechtold, U.; Sotoudeh, M. (2008) Participative Approaches for “Technology and Autonomous Living”. In: Miesenberger, K. (Hrsg.), ICCHP 2008, Lecture Notes in Computer Science LNCS 5105; Berlin: Springer-Verlag, S. 78-81.
Sotoudeh, M.; Bechtold, U. (2008) Informationstechnologie für autonomes Altern. Ein nachhaltigkeitsrelevantes Thema. In: Schreier, G. (Hrsg.), eHealth 2008 - Medical Informatics meets eHealth (eHealth 2008); Wien, S. 201-204.
The study aims to identify important actor groups and the relevant topics according to their perceptions. Thereby a focus was put on the identification of topics which define the social and organisational context of innovative technical solutions for autonomous living of older adults. In the context of the study also potential pitfalls that should be prevented in the course of the programme were identified.
Bechtold, U.; Sotoudeh, M. (07.07.2009) Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) as a promoter of the good life. Vortrag bei: SPT 2009: "Converging Technologies, Changing Societies" (Universität Twente), Twente/NETHERLANDS.
Bechtold, U. (17.06.2009) Chancen und Probleme assistierender Technologien in der Pflege älterer Menschen. Vortrag bei: 18. Österr. Gesundheits- und Krankenpflegekongress, Villach/AUSTRIA.
Bechtold, U.; Sotoudeh, M. (07.05.2009) Assistierende Technologien - einfache Hilfen für komplexe Probleme?. Vortrag bei: "Alter Mensch - Neue Technologien" (Gemeins. Dt.-Österr. Geriatrie-Kongress), Wien/AUSTRIA.
Bechtold, U. (30.03.2009) Technology and autonomous living - a technology assessment perspective. Vortrag bei: Symposion "Aspects of Care in Ageing Societies", Tokyo/JAPAN.
Bechtold, U.; Sotoudeh, M. (22.09.2008) Engineering for people with special needs - AAL for the aging society. Vortrag bei: EESD 2008, Graz/AUSTRIA.
Bechtold, U. (22.09.2008) Technology and Autonomous Living at Home: the ethical and policy context. Vortrag bei: Senior Expert meeting on Ubiquitous Communication, Brussels/BELGIUM.
Bechtold, U.; Sotoudeh, M. (09.07.2008) Participative Approaches for "Technology and Autonomous Living". Vortrag bei: ICCHP 2008, Linz/AUSTRIA.
Sotoudeh, M.; Bechtold, U. (29.05.2008) Informationstechnologie für Autonomes Altern. Vortrag bei: eHealth2008 & eHealth Benchmarking 2008, Vösendorf/AUSTRIA.
Bechtold, U. (15.06.2009) Alter Mensch - neue Technologien. ITA-Newsletter (Juni 2009), S. 13 f.