Health-EU newsletter 187 - Focus
ADVANTAGE: New Joint Action on Frailty launched
Prof. Leocadio Rodríguez Mañas, ADVANTAGE Joint Action Coordinator, Head of Geriatrics, University Hospital of Getafe shares his views on the new EU-supported Joint Action and how it will address issues of healthy ageing and frailty.
How will European citizens benefit from the results of the joint actions?
Among the health issues that European citizens are concerned about are disabilities that are associated with ageing. This concern has motivated the European Commission and other European institutions, such as the Council of Europe, and many of the Member States to address it. The success of this JA will contribute to a more homogeneous approach to frailty, improving screening, diagnosis, prevention and treatment, as well as to the reform of health systems and the identification of priorities in training and research programmes, reorienting the focus on the prevention of disabilities.
What is its main goal?
The main objective of this JA is to establish a common European framework for addressing the problem of frailty, which is the main condition associated with the risk of developing disabilities. This objective includes the design of strategies adapted to the preconditions, interests and priorities of each Member State, within the common framework mentioned previously. This approach will enable the development of policies adapted to local conditions, but within a common homogenous framework.
Who is involved? Can interested stakeholders still participate?
22 Member States are represented in this JA through more than 40 organisations. In addition, more than 100 'stakeholders', including elderly individuals themselves, are participating in this JA in different ways. Similarly, we have made it possible for people to take part in the Joint Action in a variety of ways right from the very first meeting (Madrid 19-20 January), and opportunities to participate will remain open throughout the lifetime of the JA. Also throughout the JA, different communication channels will be used (website, press releases, meetings with stakeholders and parliamentarians) to make sure that all relevant information is widely disseminated.
How will this joint action contribute to the European Commission's key priorities?
The European Commission is deeply concerned about health issues related to ageing, as evidenced by the multitude of documents that the Commission has generated on the subject. Among the issues associated with ageing, disability stands out in particular because it is a major determinant of loss of quality of life. Dealing with its main risk factor (fragility) and designing a joint plan for addressing it from a European perspective will contribute substantially to addressing this priority.
Last year, stakeholders were invited to develop a blueprint; a living document containing a 'shared vision' on how innovation enabled by a Digital Single Market can transform health and care provision. The Blueprint was presented at the Summit in Brussels on 6 and 7 December.
The European Summit focused on how to take the Blueprint on digital transformation of health and care forward and how innovation can be used to improve the quality of life for the elderly, make health and care systems more sustainable and generate economic growth and investment.
Videos filmed during the Active and Healthy Ageing Summit in Brussels include interviews with some of the exhibitors. See what they are doing to help keep older people active and independent as long as possible.
With support from the EU, more than 100 researchers from 13 partners and 12 countries invested around 9M€ over the past 3 years to deliver a solution that could be a life-changer for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment and frailty conditions.
The aim of the Horizon 2020 FrailSafe project is ambitious: delaying frailty by developing useful measures, tools, and recommendations. FrailSafe is working on information technologies such as a personalised 'Virtual Patient Model' and a virtual supermarket game.
Health Programme Projects
Grounded in the extensive experience of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, SCIROCCO aims to provide a tool that facilitates the successful scaling-up and transfer of good practices in integrated care across European regions.
Frailtools is a comprehensive validation of tools to screen and diagnose frailty in different clinical and social settings to provide instruments for integrated care in older adults.
The network supports the development, validation and experimentation of a model to improve the detection, prevention and care of frailty and management of multimorbidity in EU countries.
FOCUS aims at reducing the burden of frailty in Europe by helping partners within the European Innovation Partnership for Active Healthy Ageing focusing on early diagnosis/screening and/or management of frailty to achieve scalability.
The project aims at creating a complete and coordinated standard of care for frail patients, where all the involved caregivers agree and follow a homogeneous care path traced by geriatric specialists.
Activities at EU level
European Commission – Health and Food Safety
European Commission and EU countries collaborative partnership
Other interesting links
This report outlines a framework for action to foster Healthy Ageing built around the new concept of functional ability.
The books 'A Good Life in Old Age? Monitoring and Improving Quality in Long-Term Care' and 'Help Wanted? Providing and Paying for Long-Term Care' are both available as free downloads from the OECD.