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STUDENT Research Projects


Academically Based Tool for the Creation of Assistive Technology With Input from Users, Developers and Physicians For Enhancing Successful Aging in Place

Susan Cadwallader, Ph.d., Ryan Dickey

This research examines the development of Assistive Technology (AT), outlines the interactions between providers, consumers and producers and provides an overview of the policies in place that currently provide financial aid to procure such devices.   Accelerating advances in physical and digital technology allow unprecedented customization in the development of ATs that allow developers and physicians to create devices that help ailing individuals who have issues completing activities of daily living (ADLs)in order to promote a higher level of successful aging.  With customization options for ATs increasing, this research maps out an enhanced dialogue model between users, providers and producers that demonstrates higher level connections between those different groups to ultimately create devices that are producible and have a significant positive impact on the end-user.  With increasing integration of internet and Bluetooth capabilities, handheld devices are capable of conducting analyses that were previously out of the reach of the common consumer. These devices introduce possibilities that are changing the scope of preventative care and monitoring technologies.  However, these integrations and new devices are very costly to individuals as they are first generation and created for a niche consumer. It is important to understand the policies that are currently in place to support the development of AT, and also provide financial assistance to users to procure those devices to assist them in living better lives.