Ageing and Technologies

Creating a vision of care in times of digitization

Summary and overall aim

This project investigated the use of technological innovations in the area of ageing and care across a range of European countries. It aimed to begin with the needs of older people, rather than with the technology. To achieve this, it defined a vision of what good care for older people (embracing both social and health care) would look like, before considering what digital technologies might (or might not) contribute to achieving this.

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. As a framework for analysing the relevance of the technologies, we took the rights defined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, which apply as much to those in need of care as to the rest of the population.

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.

Project details

Ageing and Technologies is a fast track project.

Project duration

March 2020 – December 2020 (finished)


  • Prof. Dr. Anne Meißner (coordinator), RN, MScN, Professor of Nursing and Care Organization, Institute of Social Work and Organisation Studies, Head of Nursing and Care Organisation Cluster, University of Hildesheim, Germany
  • Dr. Fabrice Gzil, PhD, Île de France Ethics Forum (Espace éthique Île-de-France) and National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) / Paris-Saclay University, Centre for Research into Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), Paris, France
  • Prof. Hein van Hout, Amsterdam University Medical Center, Vrije Universiteit, Dept. General Practice & Medicine for Older Persons’, the Netherlands
  • Angelika Frederking, VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH, Berlin, Germany
  • Prof. Dr. Matti Mäkelä, MD, Senior Medical Officer, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Unit for Ageing, Disability and Functioning, Helsinki, Finland
  • Dr. Franka Meiland, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Location VUmc, Gerion, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Meiland Training&Consult, Hilversum, the Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Louis Neven, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Caring Society Centre of Expertise, Active Ageing Research Group, Breda, the Netherlands
  • Katja Pulli, Master in Service Innovation and Design, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Unit for Ageing, Disability and Functioning, Helsinki, Finland
  • Prof. Cecilia Tomassini, Full Professor of Demography, Department of Economics, University of Molise, Italy
  • Prof. Dr. Johanna Ulfvarson, RN, Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet, Senior Adviser in Research and eHealth, Swedish Society of Nursing, Sweden
  • Maartje Vermeer, Bachelor in Social Work, Active Ageing Research Group (GET-Lab), Caring Society Centre of Expertise, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Breda, the Netherlands