Asia University and MIT AgeLab discuss collaboration to develop social robots for the elderly---
Asia University and MIT's AgeLab discuss collaboration with the aim of developing ″social care robots for the elderly.″
President Jeffrey J.P. Tsai of Asia University (right) engages in a bilateral exchange with Professor Joseph F. Coughlin (left), the founder and director of MIT AgeLab.
Asia University's President Jeffrey J.P. Tsai and Professor Kuan-Tsae Huang from the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering visited MIT's AgeLab on August 14th. They held discussions with the lab's founder and director, Joseph F. Coughlin, regarding research on home care models for kidney disease patients and elderly care. In the future, both parties intend to engage in more in-depth exchanges concerning real-world societal impact. The goal is to utilize a big data platform for collecting behavioral data and develop "social care robots for the elderly," aiming to enhance the quality of elderly home care.
The home care for kidney disease patients will build upon the ongoing 4-year project "The Strong Kidney Initiative " funded by the National Science and Technology Council. Recognizing that Taiwan's end-stage kidney disease incidence and prevalence rank among the highest globally, with annual healthcare costs exceeding billions of Taiwanese dollars, the project aims to establish a reciprocal data ecosystem using big data, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence. This platform is the world's first blockchain-based hemodialysis care platform. With the government's recent push for home-based dialysis, technology can simplify patient procedures, reduce physical burden, and lower treatment costs, enhancing the quality of life for patients. Asia University will leverage AI, medical big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop patient-centered home care models for kidney disease patients, enabling doctors to quickly assess dialysis conditions and improve patient quality of life, while also providing family members with real-time updates on the health of their elderly relatives. The collaboration with MIT AgeLab will extend the project's application to home care for kidney disease patients, further deepening and broadening its scope.
MIT AgeLab's founder and director, Professor Joseph F. Coughlin (left), introduces the environment to President Jeffrey J.P. Tsai of Asia University (right) and presents him with a copy of his book, "The Longevity Economy."
Furthermore, given global aging populations and low birth rates, research on elderly care and the development of social care robots have become key trends. Prior to this visit, Asia University internally coordinated discussions among various departments including social work, nursing, psychology, physical therapy, and interior design, to prepare for interdisciplinary and intercollegiate collaboration. The goal of the collaboration with MIT AgeLab is to collect behavioral data through a big data platform and develop social care robots that provide interactive companionship, cognitive stimulation, physical and mental health care support, health consultation, physical therapy, and smart home environment design services. These services aim to offer the elderly a higher quality of life and smarter home care.
Professor Joseph F. Coughlin introduced the lab's collaborations with businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations to enhance the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers. The lab employs consumer-centric systems thinking to understand the challenges and opportunities brought by longevity and the lifestyle of emerging generations, driving innovation in the business market. Through collaborations, MIT AgeLab is committed to fostering innovation in the business sector to address the diverse challenges faced by the aging population. The lab's research not only focuses on technological and design innovations but also emphasizes the creation of a comprehensive ecosystem that supports older adults and caregivers, making a positive contribution to society's ongoing development.
President Tsai mentioned that the successful collaboration discussions during the visit to MIT AgeLab will lead to deeper research and practical societal impacts in the future. The two institutions will fully leverage their research and practical strengths to jointly enhance their academic capabilities and societal contributions.
A photo of President Jeffrey J.P. Tsai of Asia University (3rd from the right), Professor Kuan-Tsae Huang (2nd from the right), along with the founder and director of MIT AgeLab, Professor Joseph F. Coughlin (3rd from the left), and the AgeLab team.