Geraldine Fitzpatrick is a Professor and Head of Institute of Technology Design and Assessment and HCI Group of Vienna University of Technology. Geraldine has extensive experience in collaborative research projects at the intersection of social and computer sciences to support social interaction/collaboration, with a particular interest in using mobile, tangible and sensor-based technologies to provide support for older people, and for healthcare and well-being at home. She was previously Director of the Interact Lab at the Uni of Sussex, User Experience consultant at Sapient London, Snr Researcher at the Center for Online Health/DSTC in Australia, and also has a clinical background. She is a co-editor of CSCW journal and plays key roles in CSCW/CHI related international conferences.
Designing technologies for care – re-imagining AAL and telecare agendas
Technology is widely promoted as a solution to the ‘problem’ of caring for an aging population, and governments and industry across the developed world are making significant investments in the provision of AAL and telecare-related technologies for home-based care. However, recent reports indicate mixed outcomes from these deployments, not just in cost effectiveness but more importantly in adoption and acceptance by older people. It is timely then to reflect on these experiences and re-imagine new ways of approaching AAL/telecare from a broader socio-technical design perspective. I critically consider how technologies to date come to be designed, whose agendas are included/excluded in design and evaluation, and how they implicitly conceptualise older age, the home and care. I then consider how we can re-imagine what these technologies can ‘do’ and for whom, taking notions of agency, adaptivity and social reciprocity as core principles.