67th IGS Annual & Scientific Meeting 2019 - Gerontechnology Symposium

Developments in Technology and Ageing

Message from Diarmuid O'Shea, President, Irish Gerontological Society

As Ireland's ageing population continues to increase rapidly, so too are age-related technologies rapidly developing apace.  Advances and innovations in gerontology pose new challenges and opportunities.   In this dynamic context our diverse disciplines strive to support, protect and safeguard older people. For the first time, at this year's Annual & Scientific Meeting, we will hold a symposium dedicated to this topic.

Following the Scientific Meeting, the IGS intends to further explore the area of “gerontechnology” in Ireland. If engagement from our stakeholders and members is as strong as we anticipate, we intend to work towards and publish a position paper on this important, contentious and topical area. Please feel free to get in touch with me at any stage to discuss your experiences and ideas.  

We also intend to put together an “IGS Gerontechnology” working group.  

We would be very grateful if those of you interested in this area and becoming part of our working group in the months ahead got in touch.   So in the meantime, we, at the IGS, would like to hear from you if you are interested in participating with us.  The small working group would bring together a group of experts (from our IGS members)  with an interest in this area.  If you are interested in participating in the working group and contributing to the position paper we would be interested to hear from you.  Please contact Miriam at miriam.ahern@irishgerontology.com
We look forward to seeing you all in Cork.
Kind regards

Diarmuid O'Shea, President, IGS

Innovation Partner

This year, we are happy to announce Daiichi Sankyo as our innovation partner for the 67th Annual and Scientific Meeting.  Daiichih Sankyo are committed to fostering intellectual curiosity, strategic insight, providing the highest quality medical information while at the same time demonstrating professionalism, respect for others and teamwork.  These principles align with ours in the IGS - to create value by providing leadership in advancing the science and study of ageing.   We also share the common goals of fostering innovations and improvements in the care and wellbeing of older people.  We are all working towards a sustainable society for everyone which is age-attuned and where older people are not left behind.  This year, as our innovation partner, Daiichi Sankyo have sponsored our conference Age & Ageing abstracts e-journal,and this gerontechnology symposium, by means of an unrestricted educational grant.

The IGS is delighed to bring together a group of experts to explore some current gerontechnology developments and issues. This symposium will be chaired by Dr. Suzanne Timmons, Geriatrician, Mercy University Hospital. Clinical Lead for Dementia (ROI)


Sophie Ainscough 

Technology: Enhancing Care and Support to Older People

Sophie Ainscough is the Manager of BConnect, an ALONE service providing technology and community supports to create connections between older people and the support organisations they need. ALONE has a vision that every older person can age happily and securely in their own home for as long as possible. We work with older people, their families and the organisations that support them to achieve this. The BConnect Platform was awarded the THINKTECH Award in 2016 and the Freedom Tech award in 2017. Sophie has worked in ALONE for over 4 years and has held a number of different roles. With a background in Equality and Sociology and an interest in technology, Sophie is passionate about using technology to enhance people’s lives. Sophie believes that Technology enabled care will be key to revolutionise how we age at home in Ireland.

Dr. Colman Casey

Innovation and Care of Older People

Colman Casey is Director Health Innovation Hub Ireland (http://www.hih.ie).  Formerly, he held the position of Administrative Director for Research and Industrial Liaison, College of Medicine and Health, University College Cork (2007-2016).  Colman is a former President and founder member of PDA Ireland.  In the past, he spent seven years as General Manager of an FDA/EMEA regulated Multinational Biotech. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company with over 900 employees - and ten years of line management in a Pharmaceutical manufacturing environment. Colman has served on the boards of Avecia, ISPE, American Chamber of Commerce, National Food Biotechnology Centre and Cork University Foundation. In 2003 he was granted a Distinguished Alumnus Award by University College Cork.


Prof. Mary Donnelly

Technology and Older People: the Scope of Privacy Rights

Mary Donnelly is a Professor and Vice Dean of the School of Law at University College Cork. She researches in the fields of mental capacity/mental health/health law. Her books include Healthcare Decision-Making and the Law: Autonomy, Capacity and the Limits of Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) and she is co-author of End-of-Life Care: Ethics and Law (Cork University Press, 2011) and co-editor of Ethical and Legal Debates in Irish Healthcare: Confronting Complexities (Manchester University Press, 2016). She was a member of the Expert Group to review the Mental Health Act 2001 (2013-2015) and is a member of the Mental Health Commission Legislation Committee.  She was Chair of the Technical Expert Group to develop Codes of Practice under the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 and is the joint chair of the Health Service Executive National Consent Advisory Group/Assisted Decision Making Steering Group and the Chair the Ministerial Working Group on Advance Healthcare Directives.

Dr. Naonori Kodate

Measuring the Impact of Carebots in Nursing Homes in Japan: Beyond the Dichotomy of Technology and the Human Touch

Dr. Nao Kodate joined UCD as Assistant Professor in Social Policy in 2012. He holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Nao is also a visiting professor at the Hokkaido University's Public Policy Research Centre, a senior researcher at the Todai Policy Alternatives Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, and affiliated to the Geary Institute for Public Policy at UCD and the Universal Accessibility & Ageing Research Centre (UA-ARC) in Japan. He was previously Research Associate at King's College London (NIHR King's Patient Safety and Service Quality Research Centre). His main research interests include cross-cultural gerontology, patient safety and comparative health policy with a particular focus on safety science and gerontechnology. Nao is the Project Leader of the Toyota Foundation-sponsored "Harmonisation towards the establishment of Person-centred, Robotics-aided Care System (HARP: RoCS)" (2019-21), involving teams in Ireland, Japan, France and Hong Kong.

Dr. Suzanne Timmons. Geriatrician Mercy University Hospital. Clinical Lead for Dementia (ROI)

Symposium Chair

Suzanne Timmons is a geriatrician and Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Gerontology and Rehabilitation, UCC. She has a special interest in health service evaluation and quality improvement, especially in dementia, delirium and Parkinson’s disease. Her research programmes include delirium, palliative care in neurodegenerative disease, antipsychotic prescribing in dementia, and exercise interventions in hospitals and the community. She is site investigator for SENDOC, an EU-funded study of wearable sensors in older people, and co-investigator in the JPI-funded MANUEL project (malnutrition in the elderly) and JPND-funded FCDS study (family decision support in advanced dementia). She is Programme Director for the interdisciplinary MSc in Older Person Rehabilitation and the MSc in Dementia programmes in UCC. 
As Clinical Lead for the National Dementia Office, Dr. Timmons leads on dementia risk reduction, acute hospital delirium/dementia care, and enhanced diagnostic processes; as well as a forthcoming National Clinical Guideline for psychotropic prescribing for people with dementia. 

Geriatrician, Mercy University Hospital. Clinical Lead for Dementia (ROI)