Wearable Technology Opens Doors to Healthier and More Active Aging

Global Coalition on Aging and Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease Lead Discussion on Uses of Wearable Technology to Keep Aging Population More Active and Healthier

NEW YORK (May 22, 2014) – Wearable technology can be much more than a fun gadget or fashion statement, according to more than 50 business, academia, government, and non-profit leaders gathered at Google’s Glass Basecamp in New York City last evening. The event was hosted by the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), a business-led coalition focused on understanding and meeting the needs of the global aging population, which will reach 1 billion by 2020, and the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi), a public-private partnership focused on stopping Alzheimer’s by 2025 when roughly 70 million are projected to have the disease.

The group discussed the application of wearable technologies to enable the growing aging population to remain healthier and more active, even as health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, vision loss, and diabetes increase with age. The event provided the opportunity for technology developers and entrepreneurs seeking the most innovative ways to use wearable technologies to learn about the challenges brought on by aging and devise solutions using technologies like Google Glass.

“The aging shift will have a major impact on people of all ages and nearly every aspect of society,” said Michael Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging. “New innovations from medicine to financial tools to technology can help improve how we live as we age, which applies as much to today’s 22-year-olds as well as 82-year-olds.”

Longer lifespans coupled with a nearly universal decline in birth rates create a shift in which there are more old than young and therefore higher incidences of age-related health concerns and caregiving responsibilities. Roughly 10 percent of the global population is currently over 65, and will more than double to 22 percent by 2050. Over this same period, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s will more than triple and will affect millions more friends and family members who will act as caregivers.

“As the quest for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease continues, we must search for innovative ways to better care for the individuals and families who struggle on a daily basis with this vicious disease,” said George Vradenburg, convener of the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease and Founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s. “CEOi commends the Google Glass team for leading the discussion on the applications of this technology to improve the lives of so many.”

Sensors in shoes to prevent falls in the elderly to Google Glass as a tool to help Alzheimer’s patients identify friends and family were just two of the many ideas explored by the prominent group of thought leaders. The session included presentations and demonstrations by Google’s Glass Explorer community, and Explorers were challenged to find new ways to use the product to improve health and activity for the aging population.

Latest Developments

We keep our members and partners in touch with the most recent updates and opinions in the worldwide dialogue on population longevity and related issues.

Building the Caregiving Workforce an Aging World Needs

We will learn many lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, but one of the most urgent and obvious is the vulnerability of older populations to serious public health risks. Across OECD countries, nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths happened in care facilities and nursing homes—yet less than 1% of the population lives in those facilities. COVID-19 demonstrated that the best place for all citizens to stay safe and healthy, especially aging adults, is in the home. And the vast majority of the older population—80% according to AARP—prefer it. When—or if—they have that option.

The 21st-Century Employer Must Be a Steward of Public Health

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, forward-looking business leaders and employers were focused on the global mega-trend of aging as an essential factor in their talent strategy. Now, the pandemic has only underscored the critical importance of aging for every business.

GCOA Report Examines the Role of Inflammation in the Aging Process, as an Indicator of Other Health Challenges, and as a Needed Focus of Integrated Care

29 June 2021 – The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) today released a report, A Proactive Approach to Healthy Aging: The Role of Inflammation Control & Integrated Care, which examines how targeting chronic inflammation and chronic inflammatory diseases (CIDs) can contribute to healthy aging around the world. The report’s findings were highlighted at Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit 2021 today during a panel titled “WPL Policy Toolkit – Women’s health through their life-course.”

New Report Calls for Employers to Have an Internal Public Health Strategy to Navigate the Aging Post-Pandemic World

25 June 2021 – The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) today released a new report, Employers’ Role in the COVID-19 Environment: Winning in the Vastly Changed World of Work. It highlights the unique convergence between the megatrend of aging and the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace and offers insights to inform employers’ public health and workforce strategies at this intersection.  Chief among the report’s key findings is the guidance to all employers “to elevate public health as a central feature of their culture and embed it into management.”

New Index Ranking 11 Countries’ Ability to Tackle Rising Threat of Resistance to Antimicrobials Shows Need for Urgent Action

New York, NEW YORK and Washington, DC (June 23, 2021) – Today the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) launched the first-ever global AMR Preparedness Index, a first-of-its-kind evaluation of how the governments of the 11 largest global economies are living up to their commitments to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Global Alliance on Heart Failure & Healthy Aging Unveils New Report Projecting Sharp Rise in Heart Failure Mortality Linked to Population Aging and Missed or Late Diagnosis

New York, NY – June 10, 2021 – Today, the Global Alliance on Heart Failure and Healthy Aging unveiled a new report, Undiagnosed Heart Failure: A Growing Public Health Risk and Looming Financial Iceberg for Aging Societies. The report examines the link between aging and heart failure, recognizing that a significant portion of heart failure deaths occurs in the older population.

Ageism: how age discrimination can be fought in society and the workplace – but older people have to stop believing the stereotypes first

Ageism is something that’s likely to affect everybody as they grow older and it should be treated as seriously as other “isms”, such as racism and sexism. That was the main takeaway from a recent “Solutions to Combat Ageism” webinar, organised in New York by the Global Coalition on Ageing, which aims to educate and drive change to improve older people’s health, productivity and social engagement.