The objective of this paper is to identify trends and new technological developments that appear due to an ageing society and to relate them to current research in the field of medical informatics. A survey of the current literature reveals that recent technological advances have been made in the fields of “telecare and home-monitoring”, “smart homes and robotics” and “health information systems and knowledge management”. Innovative technologies such as wearable devices, bio- and environmental sensors and mobile, humanoid robots do already exist and ambient assistant living environments are being created for an ageing society. However, those technologies have to be adapted to older people's self-care processes and coping strategies, and to support new ways of healthcare delivery. Medical informatics can support this process by providing the necessary information infrastructure, contribute to standardisation, interoperability and security issues and provide modelling and simulation techniques for educational purposes. Research fields of increasing importance with regard to an ageing society are, moreover, the fields of knowledge management, ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction.
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