Two older Asian women using a smart speaker and electronic tablet while seated at a table at home.

Technologies to Support Aging-in-Place

Technologies to Support Aging-in-Place

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies to Support Aging-in-Place for People with Long-Term Disabilities (RERC TechSAge) is a collaborative grant center based at Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Georgia State University. Founded in 2013, TechSAge features multidisciplinary research, development, and training projects that are dedicated to understanding the needs of, and developing supportive technologies for, people aging with long-term vision, hearing, and mobility disabilities.

TechSAge team members in front of symposium screen at the 2022 Gerontological Society of America conference

Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting 2022

Several members of the TechSAge team recently gathered in Indianapolis for the 2022 Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Conference. For many, this event was the first in-person scientific conference since the pandemic began. The TechSAge Symposium on “Re-Imagining Aging with Disability through Technology” highlighted four of our projects and featured advisory board member Margaret Campbell as a discussant. There were also 3 other conference presentations by TechSAge students and staff at the event.

An older woman using a laptop and smart speaker while seated at a table beside an electronic tablet and notebooks.

Featured Article

Potential of Digital Home Assistant Devices for Older Adults

Voice-activated digital home assistants (DHA) like the Amazon Echo hold great potential to support the everyday home activities of older adults— and especially those with disabilities. However, there is a need to understand more about how these devices are perceived by this population. A new TechSAge article in Gerontechnology provides insights on the initial perceptions and use of DHA devices by older adults with disabilities. The research team introduced two different Amazon Echo form-factors to a group of older adults with and without disabilities, observed their initial use of the devices, and interviewed participants on their experiences. Older adults with no prior use of DHAs demonstrated positive initial attitudes toward the devices and were able to successfully use them following brief instruction. The authors identified potential usability issues and discussed how findings can drive the future design of DHAs to better meet the home-based needs of an aging population. Read the full article by Travis Kadylak, Kenneth Blocker, Christopher Kovac, and Wendy Rogers.  

Latest Publications

Fall Prevention

Mobile Technology for Falls Prevention in Older Adults

Home Environment Design

Understanding Home Activities Challenges of Older Adults Aging with Mobility Disabilities

Research-Driven Guidelines

Delivering Group Exercise Programs via Videoconferencing to Older Adults
Katherine Hsieh

Staff Spotlight: Katherine Hsieh

Katherine Hsieh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Georgia State University. She completed her Ph.D. in 2020 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she was actively involved in the TechSAge Steady Wheels project, developing a customized falls risk application for wheeled device users. Katherine helped validate the smartphone accelerometry in measuring seated postural control and conducted usability of the app. Her research focuses on leveraging technology (i.e., wearable sensors, mobile health, virtual reality) to measure mobility in aging and chronic disease populations and to deliver interventions to prevent falls and improve functional independence. We are excited to have her on the TechSAge team once again! Fun fact: Katherine enjoys rock climbing and will be competing in an event next year where she will climb for 24 hours.

Woman in a wheelchair filling out a form with a woman standing next to her

Become a Research Participant!

We maintain a registry of names of people who are interested in being contacted about research studies. Opportunities include: surveys, focus groups, interviews, and technology evaluations. Depending on the study, you may be able to participate on the phone, online, on campus, at your home, or in other locations.

Interested in joining? We need to ask a you a few questions about yourself to see which studies you might be eligible for and match your interests with our researchers. Complete the brief survey (5-10 minutes) online here:

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TechSAge research is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number #90REGE0006-01-00 ). 

NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).