Innovations That Inspire

Gerontechnology Laboratory (GT Lab)

Recognition Year(s): 2019
School: School of Business, Monash University Malaysia
Location: Malaysia

Innovation Statement

The GT Lab was established to deepen awareness and understanding of the health and well-being, active aging, and safe working and living of older adults through assistive technology-based research.

Call to Action

The GT Lab is a research laboratory that also serves as a platform for interdisciplinary research in the area of gerontechnology and aging. It was launched February 18, 2016, with associate professor Teh Pei Lee appointed as director of the lab. The lab aims to translate research into practical solutions and shape public policies to improve the health and wellbeing of older people.

The lab includes four stations equipped with assistive technologies including an age simulation suit, a TeleMedCare health monitoring device, healthcare wearable devices, touchscreen television, soft-service robot, Turtlebot 3 research robot platform, brain machine interface, assistive household apparatuses, and a smartphone home system. The lab is also used for undergraduate teaching in the schools of business, engineering, and pharmacy. The lab has attracted positive publicity in the local and international press; generated considerable research interest from healthcare providers, property developers, and government; and enabled collaborations with researchers from other universities.

The GT Lab has three priority research areas: (1) healthcare (e.g., telemedicine, fall detection, and exergame); (2) soft robotics; (3) assistive technology/domotics (e.g., “internet of things,” exoskeleton). Examples of innovations deveoped in house include NFC set-top-box home system, smartphone home system, soft-service robot, bladder management, LED-based visible light positioning system, and the smart bottle.The lab has recruited over 30 regular subjects (older adult volunteers) as part of the Monash Gerontechnology Lab Volunteer Community to participate in Monash's aging-related projects. 

Innovation Description

The GT Lab is the first ever in Malaysia and aims to translate research into new products, change existing business models and services, and shape public policies to improve the health and wellbeing of older people. The lab is accessible to all staff and students of Monash University Malaysia as well as the external community. Researchers apply scientific approaches to understand the challenges and opportunities of longevity and provide in-depth and comprehensive insights into the real needs of the aging population, design age-friendly products and services, and promote an active and independent lifestyle.

The design of the lab is based on the core of gerontechnology, which focuses on the impact of assistive technologies across five domains of human activity: health and self-esteem, housing and daily living, mobility and transport, communication and governance, and work and leisure.

Services provided by the GT Lab include the following:

  • Seminars, public talks, and workshops, such as previously organized events including a workshop on smartphone usage for seniors, a gerontechnology exhibition presentation on “Seniors Connected: Making Technology Relevant for the Older Persons,” an inagural gerontechnology symposium in 2017: “Intergenerational Healthy Aging through Services, Design and Technologies,” the first gerontechnology challenge in 2018, and a second gerontechnology symposium in 2018
  • Assessment and advice on the physical function, habits, and home environment of older adults
  • Consultation services on home safety, home facilities, and the living environment
  • Research with universities and industry partners on how technology can enhance independence and the wellbeing of older adults

Innovation Impact

Publications that used the GT Lab (including Refereed conference/Refereed journals/ISI-indexed/Scopus-indexed/ABDC-indexed): 8 publications in 2016, 8 publications in 2017, 2 publications in 2018 (to date).

Internal research grants that used the lab:

  • “Understanding Gerontechnology Learning in Older Adults: An Examination of Human and Cartoon Instruction Videos,” RM10,000.
  • “Gerontechnology Lab,” RM214,289.
  • ‘Sustainable Intelligent Transportation Ecosystem’, RM250,000.
  • “Aging and Urban Mobility in Bandar Sunway: A Holistic Approach’” RM250,000.
  • “Soft-gripper-based Mobile Robot Manipulator for Elderly Care Assistance,” RM24,000.

External research grants that used the lab:

  • Design and Development of “Gerontological Interface” for the Home Environment, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Government of Malaysia, RM157,600.
  • “Improving Young People Empathetic Attitudes toward Older Adults through Age Simulation Suit,” FMR Construction Sdn Bhd, RM39,750.
  • “Assistive Technology for Housing, Health and Wellbeing of Older Adults,” Invention Magic Box (M) Sdn Bhd, RM10,000.
  • 2018 IEEE Malaysia Section Educational Activities Support Fund, IEEE Malaysia Section, IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society (TEMS), RM3600.
  • Gerontechnology Challenge and Gerontechnology Symposium, Petrosains, RM50,000.
  • Gerontechnology Laboratory, Khind Starfish Foundation, RM50,000.

PhD students who used the lab:

  • Joopin Loh
  • Loong Yi Lee
  • Ang Boon Hong
  • Kua Chong Han
  • Joshua Nah

Recruited 30 adults age 55 years and above to be Monash Gerontechnology Lab Volunteer Community.

Reference Links

Innovation Partners

  • Institution Partners: City University of Hong Kong; Multimedia University, Malaysia; University Malaya, Malaysia; University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia; Fudan University, China; Tsinghua University, China; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China; University of Nottingham, China; Yuan Ze University, Taiwan; Kyushu University, Japan; International Society for Gerontechnology
  • Industrial Partners: Department of Social Welfare, Malaysia; Khind Starfish Foundation; Petrosains; Alzheimer's Disease Foundation Malaysia; Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society-Young Pharmacist Chapter (MPS-YPC); Malaysia Parkinson's Disease Association; Malaysian Society of Geriatric Medicine; SeniorsAloud; The Senior Care; Noble Care; Third Age Media Association; Kuala Lumpur Centre for Sustainable Innovation; iMagic Box; IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society