Creating a vision of care in times of digitization
Over the last months a group of experts from Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden have been working on a common vision of ‘what constitutes good care and on the question ‘what contribution can (or cannot) technology make to that good care for older people?’
We are happy to announce that the final report, written by Anne Meißner based on all national reports and feedback from societal stakeholders operating in the field of care and technologies, has been published. The report investigates technological innovations in the area of ageing and care across the participating countries, beginning with the needs of older people rather than with the technology.
The overall vision is of good care as the range of services which enable older people and their carers to maintain good later life as they understand it, recognising the great diversity of older people. The project established clearly that a common international approach to this topic is possible, but that relevant policies are often not coordinated at national level, and there is no way for older people and their carers to find impartial advice on what technologies are available and useful for particular needs and circumstances.
Policy should begin with what older people and their carers (both formal and informal) believe is good care, taking into account international human rights standards. The following policy pointers are designed to lead to this:
- Policy needs to focus more on what role technology can play in securing good care, and less on ways of applying the technology to people.
- Strategies for the introduction and implementation of technology in health and social care need to be integrated with other relevant national frameworks (including frameworks and polices for care, health, digitisation, and other issues).
- Policy development in this field should engage with a wider range of societal actors.
- Digital literacy should be systematically integrated into the basic training and further education of caregivers, both formal and informal.
- A national or European strategy is needed to provide independent and impartial evaluation of technologies available, their costs and benefits, to assist those in need of care, their carers and the managers of care systems and institutions.
- There is a need for strategies to improve the interaction between older people in need of care, informal and formal caregivers, service providers, technology companies.