Experts Discuss Digital Technology in Practice (TIPS 2017)

This panel discussion was part of the 2017 Technology in Psychiatry Summit, sponsored by the McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry on November 6-7, 2017, at the JB Martin Conference Center, Harvard Medical School. Part of panel on Digital Technology in Practice: Applications in Geriatric Health.

The implications of a rapidly growing population of older adults on health care costs, housing, and public policy are well-recognized. The world of aging is at the forefront of innovation in the use of technologies to support independent living, maximized functioning, and improvements in cost, efficiency, and personalization of clinical care. This session focuses on exploring how the worlds of aging, technology, and mental health can intersect and what might be the most fruitful spaces to explore within this domain to lead us to a better understanding of mental health, the brain, and behavior.


Jason Hassenstab, PhD, is the Cognition Core director for the Dominantly-Inherited Alzheimer Network-Trials Unit (DIAN-TU) and the DIAN observational study. He is currently an assistant professor of neurology and of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and is the director of neuropsychology for the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. His research is focused on assessment approaches for detection of cognitive changes in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their relationship to fluid biomarkers and neuroimaging indicators of Alzheimer’s disease pathology. He is also developing remote cognitive assessment paradigms using ecological momentary assessment and measurement burst designs for use in cohort studies and clinical trials. He joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 2010.

Sarah Lenz Lock, JD, is AARP’s senior vice president for policy, working on the major issues facing older Americans. She also serves as the executive director of the Global Council on Brain Health, an independent collaborative of experts working on brain health related to human cognition. Ms. Lock came to AARP to conduct health care impact litigation on behalf of older persons and has represented the interest of older Americans in appellate courts nationwide. Previously, she served as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ipsit Vahia, MD, is the medical director of the McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry, a geriatric psychiatrist, and a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Geriatric Psychiatry, and has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Dilip V. Jeste, MD, is a geriatric neuropsychiatrist who specializes in successful aging, neurobiology of wisdom, as well as schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in older adults. He is the senior associate dean for healthy aging and senior care at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He is the director of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging and the Hartford Center for Excellence in Geriatric Psychiatry, as well as the newly launched UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging, a unique, multi-professional center breaking the traditional silos of academic disciplines by bringing together best scientists from varied professional backgrounds such as engineering, technology, pharmacy, gerontology, social science, arts, and humanities to work collaboratively on different aspects of aging.


Brent P. Forester, MD, MSc, is the chief of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and medical director for Behavioral Health in the Center for Population Health Management at Mass General Brigham (formerly Partners HealthCare). Dr. Forester is an expert in geriatric psychiatry, specializing in the treatment of older adults with depression, bipolar disorder, and behavioral complications of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. He is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has previously served on boards of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts/New Hampshire.

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