Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

ICT and Ageing - European Study on Users, Markets and Technologies

Article
As highlighted in the European Commission’s Action Plan on Ageing Well in the Information Society, the market of ICT for ageing well in the information society is still in its nascent phase, and does not yet fully ensure the availability and take-up of the necessary ICT-enabled solutions. The ‘ICT & Ageing’ study was launched by the Commission in the beginning of 2008. The main goal was to identify and understand the market barriers which currently hinder uptake of ICT for independent living and active ageing in Europe. For the first time, the study looks into the situation prevailing in 14 EU Member States, the USA and Japan with regard to the deployment situation of relevant ICTs and policy/market response respectively. It also identifies and analyses good practice and show how Europe can learn from the experience in individual countries.
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Better leveraging of the potential generally provided by ICT for independent living in an ageing society represents both a social necessity and an economic opportunity. More specifically, ICT holds considerable potential for more efficient management and delivery of health and social care, as well as increasing opportunities for community care, self-care and service innovation more generally. On the other hand, it has become evident that market forces alone have been insufficient to ensure the realisation of this potential. As highlighted in the European Commission’s Action Plan on Ageing Well in the Information Society, the market of ICT for ageing well in the information society is still in its nascent phase, and does not yet fully ensure the availability and take-up of the necessary ICT-enabled solutions.