Active and healthy ageing (AHA) is one of the societal challenges we will be facing in the upcoming decades. Demographic ageing heavily impacts on society and economy. The ratio of working people versus inactive people will shift from 4:1 to 2:1 in 2050 and a shortage of up to 2 million jobs in care and health is projected to emerge already by 2020. EU-wide public spending on pensions, healthcare, long-term care, and education will increase by around 20% between now and 2060, while expenditure on long-term care is expected to double in that period. Smart innovation with ICT can help turn the ageing challenge into an opportunity, to achieve a triple win: better quality of life for older citizens and their carers, more efficient and sustainable care systems, and new market opportunities and economic growth. Ageing should drive innovation, tapping into a big and growing 'silver market'. Regions and member states have to address this challenge of ageing by coming up with solutions that really work and at the same foster regional growth.
Digital applications of AHA span across a wide range of sectors such as healthcare (tele-health, tele-care & ambient assisted living), social policy and age-friendly environments (mobility, transport & social inclusion). The services are underpinned by a wide range of hardware and software.
In FP7 and the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), around EUR 80 million were dedicated to ICT and AHA research and innovation. Structural and Investment Funds can be used to deploy large scale infrastructures and services for AHA, along the targets of the respective European Innovation Partnership (EIP). In fact, they can be the prime funding source for large scale deployment for those regions which are eligible, such as regions and Member States in South and East Europe. Given the high initial costs of many AHA projects, ESIF can help to kick-start them. It is possible to seek support in ESIF for deployment of EIP related services, under the priority lines of e-services or innovation for example. Also in countries with national OPs, regions can influence the priorities in the new funding period by talking to their national administration.
Cases of good practice
See also the good practice cases in integrated care of the members of the B3 Action group of the EIP on AHA
Users can share and search for innovative practices in the field of AHA from across Europe.
Transforming ageing into an opportunity for Europe
In an article published by Adjacent Government, Ilias Iakovidis and Bruno Alves, from DG CONNECT at the European Commission, explain how digital transformation can turn demographic change into an opportunity for Europe.
MAFEIP - Monitoring and Assessment Framework of the EIP - a web-based tool with a set of key metrics of health and quality of life outcomes and health and care system efficiency.
Technology-enabled services for older people living at home independently: Lessons for public long-term care authorities in the EU Member States