The Oregon Roybal Center for Aging and Technology (ORCATECH) is dedicated to: 1) Supporting a unique infrastructure that facilitates the process of developing and translating basic social, behavioral and biological knowledge about aging independently using state of the art technology and engineering;2) Advancing the use-inspired ORCATECH Living Laboratory model for technology-based health monitoring and support of independent aging, utilizing individual residences and communities with advances in ubiquitous computing and including new constituencies focusing on underserved populations;3) Accelerating the process of development, translation and dissemination of knowledge gained in the living laboratory through innovative public-private partnerships, cross-disciplinary collaborations and recruitment of new talent into the field. The Center will foster and stimulate translational innovation though a number of mechanisms including its multidisciplinary, multi-institutional Council composed of academic, community and industry leaders, building new national and international research collaborations, establishing a network of retired industry based engineers and health providers for participatory design development (pilot 6-2, ETHICS project) and an internship program for academic trainees to be resident in industry research groups. The Center advances a Living Laboratory model consisting of a network of residences including rural residents, residents living in Section 8, low-income housing (pilot 7-2), and a unique senior community prospectively designed for unobtrusive monitoring of activity with leading-edge technology (pilot 6-1;7-1). A pilot grant program provides a further mechanism for generating needed new knowledge, recruiting new investigators into the field and enabling future, more definitive studies to be conducted. Initial pilots will address a breadth of key topics including identifying a retired engineer's cohort to assess health-related technology use attitudes from the unique perspective of technically sophisticated seniors, using in-home technologies to detect dynamic changes in social interactions and engagement during changes of senior's residences and understanding and enabling an underserved population's use of home-based technology for independent living.
ORCATECH is dedicated to developing technologies that optimize health and quality of life for our aging population, particularly those that address two key reasons for loss of independence: loss of mobility and decline in cognitive function. Such technologies hold tremendous promise as public health systems strive to identify innovative and effective ways to better care for our rapidly aging of the population.
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