Introduction to Gerontechnology

Introduction to Gerontechnology


Gerontechnology, a combination of the words gerontology and technology, is an interdisciplinary academic and professional research field dedicated to helping ageing adults fulfill their life goals. Gerontechnology is concerned with providing technology to better support the health, housing, mobility, communication, leisure and work needs of older people.

Ageing adults are expected to meet the demands of new technologies which offer potential to support independence and social participation. To facilitate this developers and designers need to better design technology around the opportunities, capacities and learning strategies of older adults. The Gerontechnology Matrix, which is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, provides a framework to guide researchers, designers and engineers in their effort to seek solutions which support older adults to age graciously. The Gerontechnology Matrix comprises the following live domains: Housing & Daily activities, Communication & Governance, Health& Self-esteem, Mobility & Transportation and Work & Leisure. All live domains will be at some point provide challenges to for the everyday life of ageing adults. Technology interventions, to reach the goals set in these live domains, might be designed for enhancement and satisfaction, prevention and engagement, compensation and assistance or for care and organization. In the Summer Course session students will receive an introduction in how to apply the Gerontechnology matrix. This in order to have a better insight and focus in how to design or develop products or services aligned with older people needs and desires either on an individual level or on community level.


Full name: Helianthe-Kort
Filiation: Eindhoven University.


Helianthe Kort is a Full Professor and Chair of Building Healthy Environments for Future Users at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Her areas of expertise include Technology in medicine and health care, sanitary engineering Gerontechnology, home-automation and smart technology. She specializes in research on the impact of the built environment on health, prevention of building related symptoms and diseases and support for daily activities and participation. Her research has a focus on searching for evidence of the build environment to realize quality of life and positive health for building users. The application domains cover the full healing environment health continuum from prevention at home and work to long-term care and care in hospitals.

Helianthe Kort obtained her PhD in the Built Environment from TU/e and also holds an MSc in medical biology from Utrecht University. In addition to her work at TU/e, Helianthe is also a Full Professor and Chair of Demand Driven Care at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and has been Visiting Professor, Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, Coventry University and has undertaken several research visits to India and the USA. Helianthe is also on the committee for Innovative Medical Devices Initiative (IMDI) of ZonMw, the Dutch organization for healthcare research and innovation, Board Member of the Herman Bouma Foundation for Gerontechnology, Board member of the program Healthcare Innovation Transfer (HIT), member of the Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI) platform and Track coordinator Smart Environments (SRA Health) at TU/e. In addition, Helianthe is President of the Dutch Flemish Discipline of the International Society for Gerontechnology (NV/ISG), Executive Committee Member International Society for Gerontechnology (ISG). She is also an associate editor of the Journal Gerontechnology.