Gerontechnology Symposium 2020 - Speaker Profiles


Gerontechnology - the Future is Now!

Confirmed Speakers

Please note that given the dynamic theme, the programme, speakers and the working titles of speaker contributions may be subject to minor changes, and might be updated up to the day of the symposium.


Dr. Matthew Barrett

Heart Failure and the Avatar!

Matthew Barrett graduated from UCD in 2009 and, after completion of his basic medical and cardiology training, took up a role as clinical lecturer in cardiology with the St. Vincent’s Hospital Group and the RCPI. Subsequent to this, he completed a fellowship in advanced cardiovascular imaging in Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago before returning to Dublin to take up a dual role as a heart failure cardiologist in SVUH and cardiac imaging radiologist in the Beacon Hospital. His current interests are development of novel imaging techniques in cardiac disease, and the use of technological solutions in heart failure management. 


Prof. Mary Donnelly

Technology and Older People: the Importance 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. Nao Kodate

Can Carebots Help? A View from Japan

Nao Kodate is Associate Professor in Social Policy at UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, and a visiting professor at Hokkaido University's Public Policy Research Centre. He is also affiliated to la Fondation France-Japon (FFJ) de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), the Geary Institute for Public Policy at UCD and the Universal Accessibility & Ageing Research Centre (UA-ARC) in Nishitokyo, Japan. He is a founding member and on the Board of Councillors for the multidisciplinary group, Future Technologies for Integrated Care Research Network (FTIC), Japan. His main research interests include comparative health policy, safety science, and cross-cultural gerontology, with a particular focus on the use of care robots. 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. Conor McGinn

From Stevie to Karaoke to Military Retirement Centres

Conor McGinn is an assistant professor at Trinity College Dublin, and and the CEO of Akara Robotics. He has been named as one of Europe’s top young innovators for his robot Stevie, which uses advanced artificial intelligence to assist with the treatment and care of older people. McGinn’s work made the cover of Time magazine in 2019, and earned him a place on the annual MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 Europe list and Silicon Republic’s list of bright sparks to watch in 2020.


Dr David Wilson

Stroke, Selfcare - Can Apps Improve how we Look After Ourselves?

David Wison is a consultant Stroke Physician and Geriatrician at the Ulster Hospital in Belfast and Chief Clinical Information Officer for the South Eastern HSC Trust.  Interests include data analytics and quality improvement using electronic health records and user centric design of digital health systems.