Volume 2. No.2.

The President’s Corner

Gerontechnology Opportunities for Augmenting Healthy Behaviors in Older Adults

Gerontechnology concerns the application of technology to assist older adults to live well and to a great age. As we age our bodies change of course, but researchers contend that many of the health problems older adults experience are the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition, rather than simply growing older.  Devices that encourage exercise and proper nutrition, and those that ensure medications are taken on a regular schedule, often dubbed “Persuasive Technologies” hold great promise for maintaining and potentially improving the health of older adults.  The benefits for society include delaying expensive institutionalization, retaining independence, and potentially lengthening one’s working career performing those activities an individual enjoys. 

The Gerontechnologist brings a rich toolbox of technologies and methods for studying behavior that includes machine vision, precision real-time indoor location tracking systems, instrumented medication boxes, social robots and pressure sensitive carpeting capable of deriving walking speed and direction and many, many more. ISG offers a plethora of means to meet the larger society’s ends of a longer and more productive life; offering the accumulated wisdom of gerontologists and human factors specialists and engineers from the world’s premier technology development centers. ISG’s pedigree originated at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TUe) in the Netherlands, and to date there are 8 ISG chapters worldwide and more to come.  I encourage our ISG researchers to partner with researchers in likeminded organizations seeking to better the health and quality of life of older adults worldwide by actively translating our technologies into action in the service of others.  One way this can be accomplished is by partnering with researchers in organizations like the IAGG (International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics), the GSA (Gerontological Society of America) and the ISBNPA (International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity), which seeks to reduce the negative effects of sedentary lifestyle on health throughout the lifespan. Often these researchers in other organizations have clear societal goals, but lack the ability to reach them due to a lack of knowledge of what is technically feasible, for example what persuasive technologies exist or how to use them.

Through inter-societal collaborations we gerontechnologists learn how to make our technologies better and more comprehensive in function while our newfound colleagues gain insights as to what works with their populations of interest – a win-win outcome for all!

William (Bill) Kearns

Grandmaster Prof. dr. Neil Charness

A special Thank You by prof. em. Jim Fozard, appreciative to professor Charness for his long years of competent leadership and his acceptance as the 6th Grandmaster of the International Society for Gerontechnology.  

Prof. em. Jim Fozard celebrating prof. dr. Neil Charness, The William G. Chase Professor of Psychology Director, Institute for Successful Longevity.

Results of the Chapter President’s Roundtable


Chapter President’s Round Table – Held on May 8th at the 11th World ISG conference in St. Petersburg, Florida

The session was chaired by prof Gloria Gutman with prof Helianthe Kort as moderator. Participants were:
Austrian-German-Swiss Chapter – Harald Künemund
Brazilian Chapter – Carla da Silva Santana
Dutch-Flemish Chapter – Helianthe S.M. Kort
Francophone Chapter – Nathalie Bier, representing Luigi Corrado
Japanese Chapter – Shigekazu Ishihara
Nordic Chapter (under construction) – Espen Helge Aspnes
North-American Chapter – Gloria Gutman
Sinophone Chapter – Yeh-Liang Hsu
Overview of the recommendations

  1. Recommendations related to the students’ chapter:
    1. Every Chapter should nominate on student to be on the Council of Students.
    2. Add new professionals to act as mentors for students.
    3. Johanna Birkland -ad interim- ( will serve as the lead mentor and coordinator of this group.
    4. Chapter web pages are needed to advertise activities and for communication about student activities.
    5. Herman Bouma student scholarships need to be advertised more broadly. 
  2. Recommendations related to the visibility of ISG:
    1. All chapters should have a website.  A template should be created for chapter websites for consistency and uniformity in conveying ISG image.
    2. Chapter websites should be sent to Yeh-Liang Hsu so that he can standardize websites.  For those chapters needing a website, Yeh-Liang Hsu will create a chapter template for website.
    3. Form workgroup to develop website.
    4. Look at various forms of communication – website, e-mail list, Twitter, Facebook, etc and provide recommendations for which mediums to use.

Looking Back on ISG2018

Dear colleagues,

The Organizing Committee for ISG2018 is pleased to announce the power points of the keynote addressed by Alex Mihailidis, Jeff Kaye, Goldie Nejat, Mary Fulong, and Paul Webster as well as those of Presidential Symposium speakers Ella Femia, Nikolas Maglaveras and Andrew Sixsmith are now available for viewing at the following URLs:

ISG2018 Keynote Speeches

Alex Mihailidis – Leading the Way in Gerontechnology: New Approaches and Promising Solutions.

Jeffrey Kaye – Making Pervasive Computing Pervasive.

Goldie Nejat – Let Us Help You: The Development of Intelligent Socially Assistive Robots as the Next Generation of Healthcare Helpers. (Video).  

Mary Furlong – Your Blueprint to the Longevity Economy.

Paul Webster – From Cars to Care: Providing Context to the Internet-of-Things and how Industry 4.0 will Revolutionize Future Healthcare.
Two versions of this presentation are available – (Small PDF version without animations) (Large 40 Mbyte PowerPoint version containing animations)

ISG2018 Presidential Symposium – Building Creative Gerontechnology Research Funding to Support International Collaborations.

Elia Femia – NIH and the Process of Peer Review.

Nikolas Maglaveras – Personalized Health Systems and Active and Healthy Aging Research in the European Union: Current State-of-the-art and Medical Applications.

Andrew Sixsmith – AGE-WELL: Driving Innovation in the Technology and Aging Sector in Canada.

I hope that you will enjoy these wonderful presentations and that they will stimulate your Gerontechnology research.

William Kearns, PhD
President, International Society for Gerontechnology

The Brass Ring Quintet with ISG grandmaster prof. Jim Fozard as Music Director at the opening of ISG2018

Prof. Kearns and Prof. Boot summarizing scientific contributions at ISG2018

CREATE students presenting their posters on perceptions of and adherence to brain games.

Casper the robot helping eldery getting to the kitchen. Professor Goldie Nejat of the University of Toronto.

Masterclass ISG2018

Please find an updated history of ISG conferences that includes geographic distribution of attendees:

Working towards the visibility of ISG

William Kearns delivered an invited keynote address to an audience of over 300 entitled “Meeting the Challenges of an International Aging Population: The Promise of Gerontechnology” and was an invited panelist with anti-aging pioneer Dr. Aubrey de Grey on “The Future of Aging” at the 17th annual meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, which was held from June 3 – 6 in Hong Kong.
The ISBNPA focuses on the challenges associated with maintaining proper nutrition and physical fitness throughout the lifespan and has a longstanding interest in the use of advanced technologies to meet this end.

The website for the ISBN organization, which has approximately 1,000 members worldwide is
ISG members who are interested in possible collaborations with members of the ISBN on issues regarding reducing sedentary behavior and improving nutrition in older adults are encouraged to contact President Kearns at

Current Executive Committee

Prof. dr. William Kearns
President, International Society for Gerontechnology
Term: 2008 – present
Senior Adviser Espen H. Aspnes
Vice President, International Society for Gerontechnology
Term: 2010 – present
Dr. Anthony Sterns
Secretary General, International Society for Gerontechnology
Term: 2016 – present
Dr. Sebastiaan Peek
Treasurer, International Society for Gerontechnology
Term: 2018 – present
Prof. dr. Helianthe Kort
Communications Director, International Society for Gerontechnology
Term: 2008 – present
Prof. dr. Gloria M. Gutman
Marketing and Events Director
Term: 2010 – present
Prof. dr. Yeh-Liang Hsu
Editor-in-Chief and IT Director, International Society for Gerontechnology
Term: 2012 – present

The 12th ISG World Conference – 2020

for the 
12tISG World Conference * 18 – 20 May
Clarion Hotel, Trondheim, Norway

Address: Brattørkaia 1, Trondheim, Norway

The local committee informed us that the International
Master Classes are scheduled on 21st and 22nd, May, 2020.
Participating students can apply for a Travel Grant at the Herman Bouma
Foundation for Gerontechnology,
Theme: “Measures to Achieve Better Quality of Life and
Active Healthy Ageing”

Hosted by SINTEF and supported by the ISG members of the Nordic Countries.
For more information visit:
About the call
The call for abstracts will be available September 2019. 
Mark your calendar!

 Grant Application Opportunity

The Herman Bouma fund for Gerontechnology Foundation offers support to “young”, promising researchers in the area of Gerontechnology with yearly grants for travelling or research scholarships. Interested? For more information:


Recent publications by ISG-members:

Nathalie Bier, Juliette Sablier, Catherine Briand, Stéphanie Pinard, Vincent Rialle, Sylvain Giroux, Hélène Pigot, Lisa Quillion Dupré, Jeremy Bauchet, Emmanuel Monfort, Esther Bosshardt & Laetitia Courbet (2018):
Special issue on technology and neuropsychological rehabilitation: Overview and reflections on ways to conduct future studies and support clinical practice. In Neuropychological Rehabilitation. Volume 28, 2018. Issue 5: Technology and Rahabilitation. Pages 864-877.

van Hoof, J., Verboor, J., Oude Weernink, C.E., Sponselee, A.A.G., Sturm, J.A., Kazak, J.K., Govers, G.M.J., van Zaalen, Y. (2018) Real-time location systems for asset management in nursing homes: an explorative study of ethical aspects. 
Information 9(4):80 doi:10.3390/info9040080

van Hoof, J. Kazak, J.K. (2018) Urban Ageing. 
Indoor and Built Environment 27(5):583-586 doi:10.1177/1420326X18768160

Barbara Klein & Inga Schlömer (2018): A robotic shower system. Acceptance and ethical issues. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 51 (1): :25-31, 
DOI 10.1007/s00391-017-1345-

Merkel, S.; Kucharski, A. (2018): Participatory design in gerontechnology: A systematic literature review. The Gerontologist, special issue, May 19, 2018, p. 1-10. doi

del Carmen Requena, M., Swift, H.J., Naegele, L., Zwamborn, M., Metz, S., Bosems, W.P.H., van Hoof, J. (2018) Chapter 23. Educational methods using intergenerational interaction to fight ageism. In: Ayalon, L., Tesch-Roemer, C. (Eds.). Contemporary perspectives on ageism. International perspectives on aging. Volume 19. Springer International Publishing. pp. 383-402. 
doi:10.1007/978-3-319-73820-8 eBook ISBN 978-3-319-73820-8 Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-73819-2

Schmidt, L. I. & Wahl, H.-W. (2018): Predictors of performance in everyday technology tasks in older adults with and without mild cognitive impairment. 
The Gerontologist. doi: 10.1093/geront/gny062

Not yet an ISG member?

If you are not yet a member of the International Society for Gerontechnology and would like to join a dynamic community of professionals dedicated to creating advanced technologies to support living well to a great age, then click here. By becoming an ISG member you automatically get full access to the latest research published in our international journal, Gerontechnology, and you will realize significant savings when you register to attend our ISG World Conferences held around the globe.

Copyright © 2018 ISG, All rights reserved.
ISG Newsletter – Volume 2. No.2. 2018

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Gerontechnology (ISSN/EISSN 1569-1101 1569-111X) is the official journal of the International Society for Gerontechnology

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