The global population, particularly in Europe, is ageing at an unprecedented speed and scale, while the proportion of young people is decreasing. At the same time, older people constitute an increasingly heterogeneous group with highly varying abilities and possibilities when it comes to demanding care and support. It is generally recognized that care and support systems have not yet adapted to the societal changes and need to transform.
The overall question is then how research and innovation can help to transform care to become positive, not simply to avoid ill health and disability but to ensure the highest possible quality of life in terms of autonomy and connectivity of those who are dependent on others for part of their everyday life.
Connected to this question is the issue what policies at EU level could support the Member States in achieving inclusive, fair and sustainable systems of health and social care and promote the taking up of innovation for ageing societies.
Research and innovation partnerships play a crucial role in tackling global challenges. In a changing society, new challenges demand a new research and innovation framework and strategy. A Health Systems Partnership at a European level represents an opportunity to pool funds and other resources around jointly agreed priorities maximising the impact and benefits for Member States and citizens.
This absence has motivated the three initiatives, the AAL, the EIP on AHA and the JPI MYBL, to collaborate. Together, they see the need for a future focus on ageing and care in digital transformation. They wish to encourage the European Commission to embrace ageing and care in their priorities supported for digitisation post-2020.
The three initiatives are seeking a wider, more holistic and more comprehensive interpretation of ageing and care in digital transformation. This would also involve domains such as skills development, employment, the environment, housing, and mobility. Their vision covers the technological, social and behavioural framework of care that an ageing population will need in the future.
The `Strategic Objectives of the Partnership
The Partnership seeks to deliver:
a) Research and Innovation actions to fill knowledge gaps, embed new technologies, identify and translate good practices, produce evidence and develop guidance on how to transform health systems.
b) Demonstrators, pilots, twinning projects and capacity building activities to improve the ability of health and care authorities to deploy innovative solutions at large scale.
c) A platform to connect and coordinate all relevant stakeholders at national/regional/local level to develop the ecosystems allowing for a swift uptake on innovation in health systems.
Complementarity of the three initiatives: scope and stakeholders – the ground for co-creation:
Over the past 10 years, the initiatives have built up a rich set of assets and various groups of stakeholders which can further evolve. The initiatives expect to continue on this path, by stimulating alignment in research,innovation and scaling-up. In this way, ageing and care in digital transformation can be approached by the three programmes in a complementary manner.
The three initiatives have developed concrete solutions through projects and a reference hub of experts: these consortia can be easily mobilised. In order to best meet (older) people’s needs and to benefit from the life experience and expertise that they have to offer, the initiatives advocate co-creation approaches to focus on specific challenges such as: the technological, social and behavioural aspects of ageing and care; personalisation of solutions; usability of technology; and scalability of health and care processes.
AAL, EIP on AHA and JPI MYBL commitment:
The three initiatives will demonstrate their high-level engagement by seeking to conduct potential joint and/or complementary actions in 2019-2020 and encouraging their interrelated communities to take an active part in these activities. They will also promote the creation of partnerships that can successfully respond to different programmes and facilitate wider opportunities to beneficiaries for collaboration.