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prevention, health engineering, life span phases, gerontechnology

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Preserving autonomy and independence up to the highest ages calls for a major reduction in chronic conditions. By applying the Compressing Morbidity concept that concentrates the period of senescence near the end of life, the number of healthy years can be enlarged. Many chronic conditions are elicited by lifetime exposures to environmental factors, such as (indoor) air pollution (asthma, COPD, lung cancer), noise exposure (hearing disorders), or physically unbalanced work or sports (mobility disorders), to name a few. Unfortunately, in earlier life there is little interest in expected later health. Persuasive technology is useful here. Since, in the Western World, our environment is mainly man-made, improved technology has a major role in preventing noxious exposures to high-intensity light or noise, polluted air, or infested water, while respecting freedom of choice of individual persons. Ambient intelligence seems to be the best approach to realize these objectives, since it may take different exposures at various times under varying circumstances into account. Assessing costs and gains in health and longevity from an economic point of view is useful in showing societal sustainability of preventive measures to be taken at the regional level.

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Gerontechnology, v. 8, issue 2, p. 76-81