One of the aspects of introducing ICT innovations in the elderly care is not only contributing to a better life seniors can live with ICT solutions, but also saving costs in social and healthcare systems. Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS, Joint Research Centre, European Commission) presented the preliminary findings of two case studies of ICT in long-term care from Scotland (UK) and the Limousine Region (France) at the Social Innovation Conference in Brussels last May 2014. The two cases studies are part of the ongoing project called “Long-term care strategies for independent living of elderly people (ICT-AGE)”.
Scottish Telecare Development Programme
The programme addressed the need to reduce healthcare costs of elderly people aged 65+ in 2006-2011. By installing remote emergency systems in the elderly homes with response centre the programme achieved €91 million of cost savings as well as increased the quality of life, safety and independence of life for more than 43 000 users. It helped to reduce hospital admissions and stay length, admissions to care homes, and in turn, to cut down caring tasks which reduced stress for informal carers, increasing their ability to retain paid employment.
Home Automation and Advanced Telecare
The project that was started in 2010 in Limousine region (Creuze, Corrèze and Haute Vienne Departments) in France tackling falls prevention since falls is a main public health problem costing an estimated amount of €2 billion each year. Sensors, light paths, and alarm systems connected to a Telecare centre aimed to reduce the number of falls, and had an impact in reducing hospital admissions, depression of olders and their overall need for care. Cost savings in Corrèze Department are estimated to €6.300-7.300 per person a year.
Key Success Factors
Public funding is necessary to support such business models. Nonetheless, other fundings sources (user) also contribute to the sustainability of the business model. In addition, political engagement and local stakeholders’ involvement, extensive training to all involved actors and mainstreaming strategies prove to be crucial as well. It is important to run awareness campaigns and promote such projects to drive the development, deployment and adoption of ICT-based services and to inform societies about future solutions in the elderly care.
Project website: ICT-AGE
Source: see the documents attached
D2 Report on case studies of the technology-based services for independent living for elderly people (Draft forthcoming July 2014)