Editor’s note: As part of the 40th anniversary of McKnight’s, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living are recognizing 40 notable newsmakers. Each week, the brands will highlight a high-profile leader from the past four decades. Published installments of the series can be found here.

Senior living once was considered more high-touch than high-tech. No person has done more to change that perception than Majd Alwan, Ph.D.

A noted researcher and authority on aging-services technologies, Alwan is LeadingAge’s senior vice president of technology and executive director of the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies, or CAST. In this capacity, he continues to work tirelessly to accelerate the development and use of tech tools that can help older adults — those with disabilities and the people who serve them — not only in senior living communities but across the entire aging services continuum.

To see the fruits of his labors, those who work in senior living communities and skilled nursing facilities need do little more than look around. Telehealth, wearables, wireless networks, internet connectivity and more now are considered de rigueur parts of the business. Before Alwan’s arrival, that was hardly the case.

He says it’s just a matter of time until we see self-driving cars at many campuses, assistive robotics helping residents and caregivers and connected living environments, to name but a few pending innovations. Such developments, he adds, are inevitable as technology becomes better, faster, cheaper and more widely accepted.

Alwan continues his efforts to develop interactive tools that help executives in aging services conduct strategic planning and strategic IT planning as well as plan for select and implement technology solutions.

He repeatedly has shown that although technology may not have all the answers, it certainly can be a game-changer.