Report to Congress: Aging Services Technology Study


Older adults, people with disabilities, and those who provide services and supports to these individuals utilize a variety of aging services technologies (ASTs) to achieve and maintain maximum physical function, to live as independently as possible, to study and learn, and to participate in and contribute to society. The potential benefits offered by these technologies are of great interest because of the aging of the U.S. population and the accompanying increase in caregiving responsibilities among family and friends, and because of the stresses being placed on the health-care system as a result of the increase in the number and complexity of chronically ill and disabled adults. This report presents findings from the Aging Services Technology Study, which was mandated in Section 13113(c) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Public Law 111-5) as “a study of matters relating to the potential use of new aging services technology to assist seniors, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers throughout the aging process.” It provides a detailed discussion of ASTs related to eight care issues; a discussion of the interplay of ASTs with health information technology; and an exploration of barriers to the development and adoption of ASTs, including a discussion of potential strategies that can be implemented to address these barriers. The report provides a systematic framework for considering the existing evidence supporting the effectiveness of a diverse array of ASTs, information pertaining to ASTs that are under development, and those that are available outside of the U.S., thereby fulfilling the legislative mandates stipulated in ARRA.

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