Future Life, Health & Care

The research group focuses on the scientific examination of technologies in order to address and continuously improve the future quality of life in view of upcoming and existing challenges such as demographic change, digitalization and globalization. Our lives will change permanently due to structural and external influences. This results in the need for responsible and forward-looking use of new technologies such as robotics, digital assistance systems and artificial intelligence to shape the life of the future.

Almost all personal and social areas can benefit from such shaping. Structural changes and changing lifestyles, for example due to the trend toward both parents working, hold potential for the use of intelligent technologies in the private sphere. For example, smart homes, robotics and automation in the home are increasingly in demand, but they are also increasingly addressing the aspects of security, data protection and acceptance. On the other hand, public life can be significantly shaped by new technologies. The Covid-19-pandemic, for example, describes a social upheaval in which a greater distance to fellow human beings is learned. Intelligent technologies can be used to bridge this distance in accordance with the rules and to restore everyday life in educational institutions, supermarkets and open-plan offices, for example. The focus of the digitized and networked future should always be on people with their needs and individual living conditions.

The healthcare and nursing sector in Germany and around the world is especially facing major and challenging tasks. A shortage of nursing staff coupled with rising numbers of people in need of care determine the outlook for the future. Against the background of personnel, financial and time constraints [7], technical innovations offer great potential for use in nursing, personalized prevention, diagnostics and general health care. This can be either assistive participation in non-direct care activities, as well as support of care recipients themselves or informal caregivers at home. The assistance systems help to provide caregivers with more time for person-centered patient care [9] or to enable people in need of care to remain healthy, independent and autonomous in their own homes for longer. The focus here is on supporting people while taking relevant value chains into account.

The research group focuses on the following aspects:

  • Which new technologies add value – context- and user-centered – for individuals and society?
  • How can participatory and user-centered methods be integrated into the structures and models of our healthcare system to enable people-centered care processes and create sustainable value chains?
  • Which aspects of life, health and care should be digitized in order to be able to design processes and products optimally, e.g. using AI?
  • What acceptance barriers exist in the area of assistive technologies and how can these be reduced?

The aim of the research activities, in addition to answering the above questions, is to sensitize the research community as well as society with regard to the aforementioned aspects and to bring the different groups into conversation with each other. The aim is to create possibilities and solutions so that every individual can live a life worth living, with dignity and self-determination. The focus is on the implementation and evaluation of future technologies in the private and public sector.

Research Focus: human-centered development of technology within the sectors of care, health and  everyday technologies

Research Partner: TUM MSRM Geriatronics (https://geriatronics.msrm.tum.de/)