In CREATE I &II the team at GT shepherded the emergence of technology that can be deployed in the home to enhance the health and well-being of older adults. An important next step is the ecological assessment of these technologies to translate science into practice. An ecological assessment is needed to have a complete understanding of technology acceptance, patterns of use, and to determine the benefits of technology outside of the laboratory environment. There is also a need for research to provide guidance for the design of future high-technologies such as cognitive prostheses and Collaborative Machine Assistants (CMAs). An additional goal of our research is to inform design of these technologies so that they can be successfully deployed with older adult populations. Our research program will involve two research projects and two collaborative projects and involves a three-pronged scientific approach: 1) tests within the ecology of use, systems whose design is a direct translation of CREATE's previous work;2) translational research that fosters the deployment of cognitive prostheses so they can by deployed within the time frame of CREATE III; and 3) assessment of forward technologies (CMAs) that have not been evaluated with older adult populations.
Aims of the proposed program are to: 1) facilitate linkages between older adults and family members;2) provide the scientific foundation necessary for effective cognitive protheses;and 3) provide the scientific foundation for effective human-intelligent agent interaction. Research project 1 focuses on cognitive prostheses and involves three studies. Study 1 will provide an in-depth understanding of memory failures and successes occurring in daily living environments and Studies 2 &3 will evaluate cognitive augmentation for prospective memory problems. Research project 2 will focus on CMAs and involves two studies (4 &5). Study 4 will assess perceptions of usefulness and general attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge about CMAs and Study 5 will manipulate characteristics of CMAs, such as design of feedback (cooperative vs. directive) and the "affect" of the intelligent agent, and assess interactions with the CMAs as a function of the age of the user. Collaborative projects will involve partnership with Intellihealth, a company at the forefront of providing technology for in-home use that can support older adults and their families. It will evaluate a family telecare system that supports social interaction and memory of older adults living at home. The second collaborative project will evaluate a planned expansion for this system, a medication reminder component.
Technologies hold potential benefits for enhancing the quality of life for older adults and enable them to live independently at home. Most older adults prefer to age-in-place. The results of this research program will advance the deployment of technologies in the home environment, support translation of fundamental scientific knowledge for design of deployable systems and guide the design of home technologies of the future.
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