Policy, Research, Grants & International

Assistive Technology SIG (TECHSIG)

AAG Assistive Technology Special Interest Group (TECHSIG) was developed in response the increasing number of requests from our collaborators, including the Australian Government, for AAG experts on assistive technology. Call-outs to AAG members and potential AAG members to gauge their interest in joining the TECHSIG were sent in November 2019. The response was very positive, and key stakeholders commended AAG on the proposed development of the TECHSIG. The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) TECHSIG was approved by the AAG Board on 26 February 2020.

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology is a term used to describe the products and services which enable individuals’ functioning and participation and is the term used by the National Disability Insurance Scheme and ANZ/ISO classification system (see National Aged Care Alliance 2018 Position Paper: Assistive Technology for Older Australians). They can be used in community either for an individual or in group care setting.

For the purpose of the TECHSIG, the most inclusive definition of Assistive Technology is adopted, which includes:
• Manual technologies, aids and equipment (e.g. walking frames, grips, rails, adaptors, holders, chair-beds designed for individual needs, orthotic devices, hearing and visual aids)
• Electronic aids and equipment (e.g. hoists, mobile apps, watches, talking alarms, automated pill boxes, home monitoring devices, GPS location/tracking devices)
• Robotics (e.g. assistive robots such as lifting or medicine delivery robots, enabling robots such as exoskeletons to enable walking or social robots which help create conversation between persons, replacement robots such as social companion robots, and service robots which assist in health monitoring, surveillance and security, and fall and gait detection)
• Digital health technologies applied at the organisational and/or individual level (e.g. smart home technologies, telehealth, monitoring systems, blockchain-enabled electronic health records, and other communication aids/virtual assistants)
• Any service that directly assists an individual in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive solution

Purpose

The purpose of the AAG TECHSIG is:

1. To provide advice to inform AAG’s advocacy and policy positions in relation to the diverse assistive technology needs and opportunities to improve the ageing experience

2. To engage with key stakeholders and alliances to advance the development, implementation, uptake and ongoing support of assistive technology to improve the ageing experience

3. To facilitate opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration between researchers, developers/designers, practitioners, peak bodies, consumer advocates and service providers with respect to assistive technology and how it can be used to assist in and improve the ageing experience

4. To identify future assistive technology research directions to improve the ageing experience, through the intersection of researchers, developers/designers, practitioners, peak bodies, consumer advocates and service providers

Terms of Reference

Click here to read the TECHSIG Terms of Reference (you must be logged in as an AAG member to view this file).

Convenor

Reena Tewari

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