At the fifth White House Conference on Aging, held this week and occurring only once a decade, technology took center stage for the first time.
Not only was the incorporation of technology into seniors lives among six guiding principles for the conference, but Intel Corporation chairman Craig Barrett provided a keynote speech for the event.
In his speech, Barrett urged U.S. government leaders to seize the opportunity to apply technology to help solve the economic and social challenges faced by the country due to skyrocketing healthcare costs and a growing wave of aging citizens.
With nearly 35 million senior citizens in the United States, the country already spends 16 percent of its GDP (gross domestic product) on healthcare.
Forecasters estimate that 25 percent of the nations GDP will go toward healthcare as the number of senior citizens doubles during the next 20 to 30 years.
Barrett said the countrys economy cannot keep pace with the soaring costs of caring for an aging society. “We can make the healthcare system more cost-efficient while simultaneously improving the quality of care and life for our nations aging population,” said Barrett.
“No company, no industry, no country can afford to ignore the economic and social impact this wave of aging people will create.”