Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Policies for Ageing Well with ICT

Article
ICT can help older people to stay healthy, independent and active at work or in their community. The European Commission funds several research projects in the field.
Share this

One in three Europeans will be over 65 by 2060. The ratio of working people to the 'inactive' others is shifting from 4 to 1 today to 2 to 1 by 2060 (source: the 2012 Ageing Report). Already by 2020 we will face up to 2 million vacancies in health and social care.  For the EU between 2010 and 2060 total government spending on pensions, healthcare, long-term care, unemployment benefits and education will increase by almost 20 per cent (or 4.1 percentage points of GDP ), while expenditures for long-term care will double.

Care has to be more patient centred, with more focus on prevention, early diagnosis and chronic conditions. Industry for ageing well must invest and innovate, in close cooperation with users and consumers. And all of us must get smart and feel empowered to integrate ICT-products and services for ageing well in our private lives and professional practice.

Europeans over 65 already have a spending capacity of over €3,000 billion and the number of people with age-related impairments will grow from 68 million in 2005 to 84 million in 2020. Europe boasts an innovative ICT industry with large companies but also innovative SMEs, developing many new products and services.

The European Commission funds research and applied research under the Seventh Research Framework Programme and its successor, Horizon 2020. With the Member States we participate in the Active and Assisted Living Joint Programme (AAL JP). In 2011 we started the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP –AHA). They bring together government, care professionals, industry and users across borders to scale up and bridge the gap between seller and buyer, producer and user.

The EU-funded CommonWell projectand the UK's Whole System Demonstrator provide good examples of successful projects.

Last updated on 02/03/2015
Blogs

Blogs

nbakkmar's picture
Employment participation of older workers is under-researched. We discussed this topic with experts in the field at the European Summit on Innovation for Active and healthy Ageing. This will also be the subject of the first call for proposals by the Joint Programming Initiative “More Years, Better Lives”
Mary Harney's picture
Mary HARNEY
The European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing comes at a critical time for European healthcare. Making healthcare sustainable is now a priority for Europe. We need to enact positive healthcare transformations that can adapt and endure over time. Change is only possible when we work together. We must address the challenges before us, utilise innovation and seize the opportunity to find common solutions.
Thierry Zylberberg's picture
Thierry ZYLBERBERG
At the European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing, on 9-10 March, I will share Orange vision at the debate on Silver Economy, which will call attention to the increasingly urgent need to address elderly healthcare across Europe, and to initiate a policy roadmap that will enable new care pathways for Europe’s ageing population.
António Cunha's picture
António CUNHA
Coimbra is Portugal's city of reference for health. It provides healthcare services through the largest hospital in the country and it's where a lot of academic work and advanced research takes place. It's a great example of interconnection between the academic and industrial worlds.
Paul Timmers's picture
Paul TIMMERS
Nonna Lea is an outspoken lady of 94 years from Rome. She lives together with Mister Robin. Today the European Council decided to continue the Ambient Assisted Living programme for another seven years. These two facts of life seem totally unrelated, yet are very closely connected. Let me explain.
Tom Sorell's picture
Tom SORELL
What difference can robots make to the lives of elderly people living alone? Robots can help with cleaning and other tasks, thus reducing the work that elderly people might have to do in their own homes; a special category of robots can even offer a form of companionship.
More blog posts