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Innovative tech solutions sought to help ageing consumers

A newly launched initiative is seeking innovative technological products and services to address some of the challenges presented by ageing.

The Innovation for Ageing project will bring together different groups to support older people as they become more vulnerable with age, through conditions such as sight loss, hearing loss and dementia.

The year-long programme is being led by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) and is supported by financial services group Just. The aim is to uncover “technological and policy innovations and solutions,” as well as reworking existing products and services, according to a press release.

Innovation for Ageing was officially launched earlier this month in London. Speaking at the event, David Sinclair, Director of ILC-UK, revealed more about how the project will work. One focus will be on identifying different sets of problems associated with ageing, to ensure that a range of detailed solutions are found by teams of experts.

He emphasised the need for a range of ideas through the project, rather than relying solely on advanced technology: “There are smart meters with the potential to identify when someone falls over, there are initiatives that use Uber to deliver flu vaccinations – but I want to emphasis that Innovation for Ageing isn’t just about hi-tech. Some of the solutions might tackle questions like: how do we get a bath rail into someone’s home before they have a fall? And how do we ensure someone has access to information and advice, so that they can choose the right sort of care options?”

Speaking to e-Access Bulletin about how technology could be utilised in the initiative, Sinclair again stressed the need for diverse thinking. He said: “New technology offers significant potential for helping vulnerable older people manage in an increasingly complex world. Through Innovation for Ageing we will seek out innovative technologies and services that might help tackle the challenges faced by vulnerable older consumers. But the solutions are unlikely to lie just in designing new bits of kit. We must ensure that existing technologies that older people rely on are as usable and accessible as possible.”

Find out more about Innovation for Ageing, including how to contribute ideas, at the ILC-UK website.

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