About Us

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Diane F. Mahoney, PhD, APRN, BC, FGSA, FAAN

Office Location:

B39 - 146

Phone: (617) 643-2745

Jacques Mohr Prof. Geriatric Nursing Res., Nursing

Full-Time Faculty

Dr. Diane Feeney Mahoney is the Institute's Jacque Mohr Professor of Geriatric Nursing Research, and Director of Gerontechnology Research and Development. She is also Senior Scientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Munn Center for Nursing Research.

Dr. Mahoney is a geriatric nurse practitioner, senior social science researcher, and gerontologist who has been developing and testing innovative ways to use telecommunication and wireless sensor based technologies with frail and cognitively impaired older adults and their family caregivers for the last twenty years.

As an internationally acknowledged pioneer in the field of Gerontechnology (aging and technology), she has developed:

  • Wireless sensor based technology interventions to help elders, family members and professional caregivers better manage health and safety issues faced in home/ residential settings
  • The first smart dresser to enable persons with dementia to dress independently
  • The first multi-corporate remote home monitoring of elder activities by working caregivers
  • The first field deployment of activity and safety monitoring technologies in community based home settings and independent living residences
  • The first real world wireless signal and alert reliability and validity testing
  • The first successful triage of alert reporting among residential staff, clinicians, and families
  • The first evidence based computerized screening for forgetfulness
  • Self-help consumer educational program to better differentiate serious memory loss from dementia 

Her main interest is in conducting applied research that informs elder caregiving, geriatric practice, and health policy. She conducts feasibility and usability qualitative studies for new technologies and quantitative randomized outcome studies for matured interventions. Dr. Mahoney also serves as a consultant to businesses seeking to improve geriatric product designs, appeal, and usability.

Her research program has been funded federally by NIH through NIA and NINR and the TOP program at the Dept of Commerce, and privately through Foundation grants from the Alzheimer's Association and Intel Corporation. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her research and scholarship.


BS, Nursing, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
MS, Gerontological Nursing/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
PhD, Health Policy and Aging Research, Heller School, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Research Interest:

Dr. Mahoney has been developing a "smart dresser" that senses and interacts with persons in middle stage dementia to guide them in real time according to their responsiveness through the dressing process. DRESS ultimately aims to reduce the demand on family caregivers for constant cueing and guidance and provide a respite break period. The proof of concept research was funded by the Alzheimer’s Association ETAC program (2011-13) for the original design and alpha prototype development of DRESS – (Developing a Responsive Emotive Sensing System). DRESS won the 2014 International Society of Gerontechnology Leading Edge Award for the best innovative technology.

Through funding from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Nursing Research, the system is being refined to incorporate feedback from cross cultural caregivers' focus groups to ensure adaptation to a variety of caregiving settings and users. She and her research colleagues at NYU led by Dr. Winslow Burleson, PhD and Arizona State University School of Nursing headed by Dr. David Coon, PhD are participating in this project.

Publications & Presentations:

D.F. Mahoney, W. Burleson, C. Lazano, V. Ravishankar, E. Mahoney. 2014. Development of a Responsive Emotive Sensing System (DRESS) to aid persons with dementia to dress independently. Gerontechnology 13(2):259; doi:10.4017/gt.2014.

D.F. Mahoney, S. LaRose, E. Mahoney. 2013. Family caregivers’ perspectives on dementia related dressing difficulties at home: The Preservation of Self Model. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. Available online before print, September 11, 2013, doi:10.1177/1471301213501821

D.F. Mahoney, W. Burleson, E. Mahoney. Context aware automated prompting for dressing: Concept feasibility. Gerontechnology 2012;11(2):298; doi:10.4017/gt.2012.

Nancy A. Kelly, Diane F. Mahoney, Alice Bonner, Terrence O’Malley (2012)  Use of a Transitional Minimum Data Set (TMDS) to Improve Communication Between Nursing Home and Emergency Department Providers Journal of the American Medical Directors’ Association.  JAMDA 13(2012):85.e9-85.e15. DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2011.02.007 

D. Mahoney (2011) The Aging Nurse Workforce and Technology. Gerontechnology 10(1):13-25 doi:10.4017/gt.2011.

See Curriculum Vitae for complete list. 

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