Scientists create suit that simulates old age

scientists create suit that simulates old age ageexplorer

Getting old is no fun. Most people hit their peak between 25 and 30, and after that our bodies slowly start to fall apart. Knees creak, your back aches, you can’t see things quite as well as you used to; all of these are common, well-known symptoms of age, yet its very difficult for the young to understand exactly how the elderly feel.

Hoping to change that, a group of German scientists at the Evangelical Geriatrics Centre in Berlin have created the Age Man Suit. The Guardian has details:

Consisting of ear-protectors that stifle hearing, a yellow visor that blurs eyesight and makes it hard to distinguish colours, knee and elbow pads which stiffen the joints, a Kevlar-jacket-style vest which presses uncomfortably against my chest, and padded gloves, the Age Man Suit, which weighs around 10kg, has been custom-made to simulate the physical consequences of old age.

As a result, the suit makes it more difficult to see, move, and perform intricate tasks. Walking up stairs is physically draining and attempting to open a medicine container is described as “a fumbling disaster.”

While there is an inherent humor in effectively crippling medical students, the goal of the suit is to instill empathy in the next generation of German doctors. The country (and most of the world) is facing a future in which a vast section of its population is over the age of 60, and the scientists hope that by forcing prospective medical workers to experience what the elderly are going through first hand they can instill greater understanding in how to best deal with these physical maladies.

“My aim is to turn young energetic people into slow, creaking beings, temporarily at least,” said senior physician Rahel Eckardt. “Rather than a PowerPoint presentation, this is the best way of giving them a real idea of what it’s like to be old — that is, 75 and upwards — and only once we have their empathy can we really begin to win students round to becoming interested in old people as patients.” Geriatric medicine, Eckardt claims, has always had trouble attracting doctors more interested in traditionally lucrative fields like neurology.

“Geriatrics is a relatively new field, which doesn’t have the status of other areas of medicine like surgery,” said 22-year-old medical student Elisabeth Steinhagen. “But it involves a great variety of illnesses, not just arthritis and dementia, and so is a fascinating field.”

“But if we’re going to take it seriously, doctors need to develop social skills, like learning to speak louder and clearer, or to appreciate that things that are easy for us, like getting out of bed, are more difficult for older people. They might sound like basic things but it’s amazing how many doctors don’t think about them,” Steinhagen added. 

Health & Fitness

My niece lost her hearing. This is a story about how technology brought it back

For people with profound hearing loss, cochlear implants can restore sound. We explore what the procedure entails, how the system works, and take a look at the latest developments from Australian company Cochlear.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (February 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

After a record-setting 15 years, NASA ends Opportunity rover’s tour of Mars

NASA has officially called it quits on its record-setting Mars rover Opportunity, eight months after last hearing from the lander. The Rover landed on the Red Planet in early 2004.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Product Review

Yuneec’s Mantis Q will make you wish you bought a DJI drone

Yuneec’s high-end drones are arguably the ones to beat in terms of flight control, design, and their photographic capabilities. But the company has struggled to make a low-end drone that’s worth buying, and the Mantis Q is proof of that…
Emerging Tech

NASA’s ‘Refabricator’ lets astronauts recycle 3D-printed tools to make new ones

The International Space Station just received a fancy new gadget in the form of a Refabricator, a machine capable of 3D printing using recycled plastic materials. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Words are so 2018. The Peeqo robot speaks exclusively in GIFs and video clips

Move over, Amazon Echo! Peeqo is a cute robot that will answer your spoken word questions by displaying a specially selected short video or GIF. Because, you know, it’s the year 2019.
Emerging Tech

Airbus will stop making the world’s biggest passenger plane

Airbus announced this week that it will stop building the world's biggest passenger plane in 2021. The maker of the double-decker A380 said a changing market and lack of orders gave it little choice but to end production.
Emerging Tech

Exploding vape pen battery starts fire on SkyWest flight

A vape pen battery caused a fire in an overhead bin on a SkyWest Airlines flight on Wednesday. It's the latest in a string of incidents where faulty or poorly made lithium-ion batteries have caused gadgets to catch fire.
Emerging Tech

Photosynthesizing artificial leaf may be the air-cleaning tool we’ve dreamed of

Engineers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have invented an artificial leaf which could both clean up our air and provide a cost-effective type of fuel. Here's how it works.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.