Peter Durand

Joseph Coughlin, MIT’s AgeLab

In Health on November 12, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Aging is not about “Them” it is about “Us”. Aging is a proxy for living. Because if you are alive, you are getting older. This video smacks us in the face with the fact that we are going to age-out faster than our parent did when it comes to technology.

Director, Age Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Coughlin is founder and Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab – the first multi-disciplinary research program sponsored by government and business to understand the behavior of the 45+ population as decision-makers, consumers, patients, caregivers, advisors and technology users.


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With the current elder care system in peril and millions of babyboomers on their way to old age, the pressure is on to fundamentally redesign our country’s approach to elder care.

The Business Innovation Factory’s Nursing Home of the Future (NHoF) initiative set out earlier this year to build a platform for experimentation where partners can design and test new ideas for improving elder care in a working nursing home / assisted living facility.

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  1. […] When Joseph Coughlin of the MIT AgeLab talks about “the elderly” or “aging”, he reminds the audience that he is talking about us–all of us. By being alive, we age. As we age, things change. In America, there are a lot more people aging than at anytime in our nation’s existence. […]

  2. Nice post Peter – I think the last time our paths crossed was at BIF-2!

    Astoundingly, over 75 million baby boomers will become seniors in the next 20 years and they have high expectations for a new version of old age. Coughlin rightly believes the marketplace needs to do a better job of responding.

    He says that the power and potential of technology to address the lifestyle preferences and needs of an older population, and those who care about them, must be fully and creatively exploited.

    One of the problems Coughlin faces at the AgeLab is that most people have an extremely limited concept of aged people. Many industries see older customers as a “captured market” with a firmly established set of preferences. The automobile industry, for instance, still views the aging market segment as one that responds primarily to comfort and prestige.

    Joe signed on as a research advisor to the Business Innovation Factory’s “Nursing Home of the Future” laboratory, which launched earlier this year. We’re fortunate to have him. The initiative is creating a platform for innovators and industry partners to transform current approaches to elder care. Outcomes will provide a roadmap for companies and care providers to deliver better value to the burgeoning elderly population.

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