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Rock Star Researchers at Selwyn-HOPE Knowledge Exchange

19 August 2014

Rock Star Researchers and Robots at Selwyn-HOPE Knowledge Exchange

The nation’s rock star researchers into Ageing and Gerontology, and a robot or two, will come together 29-30 August at the first ever HOPE-Selwyn Knowledge Exchange.

Over Friday and Saturday morning, some two dozen brief papers will be presented, including:
• Older New Zealanders and Alcohol Use (Friday 1.45pm)
• Potential for Robotics in Assisted Living (Friday 5.15pm)
• Drowning in Debt; the Financial Cost of Care for Maori Kaumatua at End of Life (Saturday 9.45am)

“This event brings together the cream of New Zealand’s scientific research into ageing, an area of intense interest to healthcare organisations, governments and Baby Boomers alike,” said Dr Rod Perkins, The Selwyn Foundation’s General Manager, Foundation Development and Charitable Activity.

Professor Ngaire Kerse, Head of the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health, and a leading researcher, will share some soon-to-be-published research findings from the use of “healthbots” at Selwyn Village.

“Healthbots can enhance healthcare, especially in elder care. It sounds simplistic, but an important recent finding is that ‘cute’ goes a long way when it comes to older people accepting robots. If they are not accepted, it doesn’t matter what they can do,” she said, explaining that iRobi will be part of her talk (photo attached). On Friday morning, she will talk about the growing Consortium for Health in Ageing, a “group of passionate researchers working to improve the lot of older people.”

The healthbot is one of several being developed through collaboration between UniServices, The University of Auckland and the Electronic and Telecommunications Research Institute of Korea (ETRI).

The Selwyn Foundation, an independent charitable trust providing residential care, independent retirement living and community services for older kiwis, is the primary funder of The HOPE Foundation for Research and Ageing – some $82,000 this year. This allows it to fund masters and doctoral student research on gerontology in a variety of disciplines, thus encouraging young scientists to develop careers in ageing research.

The results of these studies will significantly add to the body of knowledge and build greater understanding of the healthcare needs of ageing people. Two of the HOPE-Selwyn Foundation scholars (Rashika Karunasinghe and Lily Yu-Li Chang) will also be presenting at the Knowledge Exchange.

WHERE: Tamaki Innovation Campus, University of Auckland, 261 Morrin Rd, St Johns, Auckland 1071.


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