AARP International
Europe
Case Study

Integrating ICT-based solutions into care and services: InLife program across Europe


Subjects
Aging In Place
Long-Term Care

The InLife project, co-ordinated through the Polytechnic University of Madrid, facilitated independent living for older adults with mild to severe cognitive impairment through interoperable, open and personalized information and communications technology (ICT).

The focus: Independent living for older adults with cognitive impairment can be challenging, but technological solutions can promote independence and provide support.

How it works: Running from 2015 to 2017, InLife used ICT solutions including supporting health activities, fostering socialization and communication, and undertaking home activities. Building on human-centered design principles, the InLife program connects researchers and technology companies across Europe through pilot sites to develop and provide combinations of health-related technologies to integrate ICT-based solutions into care and services for older adults. This program aimed to determine the most effective combinations of technologies for older populations by piloting groupings of technology such as health monitoring and wellbeing support functions, mental training, fall detection, travel support and communication, among others. 

Enabling environment: InLife brought together a variety of experts from multiple sectors to design and launch the program at the various sites. Different stakeholders had different roles (ie, the application developers were keen to ensure that the app had high-quality technological function, while psychologists were interested in verifying that older adults enjoyed using the app and found it useful). The private sector, primarily technology firms, were crucial in developing the technology that was used in the pilots. Inclusivity was also a key feature in design and implementation. The project involved a variety of older adults in all aspects of the design and operation of the program, including those with dementia, those living alone, those without a permanent home residence and so forth, as well as formal and informal caregivers. Funding from the EU and partner research sites across Europe ensured the longevity of the program.

Impact: The results are currently being analyzed, but early evidence from the pilots demonstrates improved physical and mental states of older adults and reduced burden on informal caregivers. More of this type of research is needed to ultimately determine how and why certain technologies prove more beneficial than others. Currently a private tech company in Europe is working on rolling out ICT solutions from the pilot.


Sources Include

Sources include:

INdependent LIving support Functions for the Elderly [Internet]. European Commission. Available from: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/643442.

Smith SK and Black B. Participating in the European InLife project – perspectives from a university and social care institution [Internet]. Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in 

Europe. Available from: 
https://aaate.net/2018/06/29/participating-in-the-european-inlife-project-perspectives-from-a-university-and-social-care-institution/.

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