The 2017 edition of the AAL Forum (2-4 October) focused on the challenge of translating the potential of rapidly evolving technologies into becoming reality in the daily life of ageing citizens or health and care professionals.
The AAL Joint Programme is in this context a good example of successful cooperation between European countries and the European Commission in order to speed up the process, with a clear win-win outcome.
SMEs and end-users
The AAL Programme is characterised by a high involvement of SMEs and end-users. Its programme is continuously adapted to increase the agility and mechanisms for support, such as prizes and hackathons, in addition to collaborative projects.
The recently published mid-term review confirmed the relevance of the AAL programme and progress achieved. But it also highlighted areas for future development, such as even closer links with market (including scalable business models) and further engagement of end-users to ensure the relevance and acceptance of new solutions.
These are important considerations which are now being addressed for the future of the Programme.
Digital innovation increasingly important
The good news for AAL is that the area of digital innovation for health and ageing well continues to rise in political and economic importance, driven by the onset of demographic shifts and the ever increasing pressures on financial and human resources in health and care systems.
Therefore there is an urgent need to overcome barriers by working together across regional, national and EU level to ensure that the potential of innovation can be realised across Europe.