Sunday , April 2 2023

A Comprehensive Research Roadmap for ICT and Ageing

1 Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Uninova Institute, Campus de Caparica
2829-516 Monte Caparica, Portugal
2 Informatics Institute, University of Amsterdam
Postbus 94323, 1090 GH Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: Ageing societies face tough challenges namely in terms of the pressure on their healthcare and social security systems, which makes it urgent to find new models to accommodate current demographic trends. A possible answer to this challenge may come from new integrated and technology-supported services. In this direction, a European roadmapping initiative has addressed the implementation of a new vision for technological support to ageing. The main findings of this initiative are presented as a roadmap, which synthesizes the contribution of a large number of stakeholders coming from different backgrounds.

Keywords: Roadmap, ICT and Ageing, Collaborative care ecosystems.

>Full Text
Luis M. CAMARINHA-MATOS, Hamideh AFSARMANESH, Filipa FERRADA, Ana Inês OLIVEIRA, João ROSAS A Comprehensive Research Roadmap for ICT and Ageing, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 22 (3), pp. 233-254, 2013.


Industrialized countries need to cope with the challenges of a growing demographic unbalance which is due to the rapidly increasing proportion of the elderly. This situation raises important sustainability issues for the society, namely due to the pressure put on its healthcare system and social care in general. Furthermore, migratory patterns within Europe have resulted in movement from rural to urban areas and to more affluent member states. This movement has resulted in reduction of traditional extended family structures and community cohesion, and has led to a growth in the perception of isolation and loneliness, especially amongst older people. Realizing the critical issues of our ageing society, the European Commission has made a considerable investment in e-inclusion, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and ageing in its Framework Programmes. A number of related initiatives and experimental approaches have also emerged in other geographical regions, e.g., Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States. As a result, good progress has been made in various aspects of e-inclusion and particularly with regard to assistive technologies with the identification of a set of good practices and existing gaps.

Although a substantial and continued effort has been observed in the last decade on ICT and Ageing, most projects have been focused on provision of assistance to senior citizens in that phase of life when a reduction of physical and even mental capabilities is observed [1], [2], [3], [4]. Current studies, however, recognize the importance of considering a broader perspective in the ageing process. In fact, more recently there is a growing recognition that the adoption of the concept of “active ageing” [5], [6], [7], [8] instead of a restricted perspective of healthcare for elderly, provides a more appropriate understanding of the needs of later phases of life. If ICT is to achieve its full potential in enhancing the capabilities of citizens to age actively and with dignity, further research and technological development need to build on these results and be guided by a strategic roadmap which provides an extended look at the future of active ageing and ageing well as a result of the knowledge and imagination of stakeholders, including experts, visionaries and drivers of change in this field.

In this context, the BRAID project [9] was launched with the aim of developing a comprehensive RTD roadmap for active ageing by consolidating and extending existing roadmaps in close interaction with relevant stakeholders. The proposed strategic research agenda, when successfully implemented, shall take the society from the current situation, i.e. the baseline, to a desirable future, i.e. a vision of what society wishes to reach in the future. Although we started with previous partial roadmaps (e.g. AALIANCE [10], CAPSIL [11], ePAL [12], SENIOR [13]) and other recommendations that have originated in contemporary research initiatives, we further pursued a holistic understanding of the ageing process and its needs in all its phases, trying to maximize the benefits for senior citizens and society.

While focused on ICT, the roadmap needs to take into account the socio-organizational context, which is crucial for the acceptance of new technological solutions. Therefore, in addition to ICT-related research actions, the proposed roadmap is complemented with a number of policy recommendations or socio-economic research actions.

The remaining of this paper starts with an introduction of the methodological approach for roadmapping followed by a brief introduction to BRAID’s vision and gap analysis. Section 4 presents the proposed plan of actions organized according to major life settings. Roadmap validation approach and results are discussed in Section 5. The contribution of the collaborative networks discipline for the provision of integrated care services is discussed in Section 6. Implementation aspects and conclusions complement the paper.


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