The Welfare Technology
Welfare technology is technology that can help and assist users in their daily lives. Examples of welfare technology are intelligent aids such as cleaning robots, sensors in clothes, smart homes, etc. AmbientAssisted Living (AAL) is a European programme whose main objective is to improve the quality of life for elderly citizens through the development of age-sensitive Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions. Welfare technology is closely linked to Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) but whereas AAL focuses on “addressing the needs of the ageing population”. Welfare technology addresses not only the elderly but also other users of public services such as the handicapped, schools, day care centres, abusers, etc.
“Welfare technology will not only benefit those in need of care, health professionals and society at large, but is also a new Nordic business area”, said Jenni Nordborg from Sweden’s agency for innovation, VINNOVA. We must prove the usefulness of the new technology in our Nordic home market, which will open up great opportunities to reach new markets.
Sharing of research, projects and experience from investigations, development, test and implementations within the Nordic countries, will strengthen the innovation and form the fundament of successful trials and implementation of similar solutions in other environments nationally and in other Nordic countries. Furthermore, the long term goal is to contribute positively to the export opportunities for Nordic companies within this industry.
The NIW is for all professionals working with welfare technology and innovation, who are willing to share knowledge and experience and participate in inter-Nordic projects. These may include:
• Circles of research, education and development
• Public authorities and institutions
• Organizations for the elderly and disabled
• Administrative and political organs
The market for welfare technology is huge as Europe faces the same demographic challenges as the Nordic countries”, stressed Thomas Børner, chair of the PWT Foundation (Public Welfare Technology). The Danish government has allocated DKK 3 billion to the PWT Foundation, directed towards developing and improving public sector services through the implementation of labour-saving technologies.
“Welfare technology is a tool that may free up time for care and nursing”, stated Erland Winterberg from the Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues. The centre’s work includes building up a Nordic innovation network so that the countries can learn more from others’ experiences.
Welfare technology can improve the everyday life of the elderly citizens considerably. That’s why the wish for more welfare technology takes up space on the city’s wish list. The Department of the Elderly and Disabled applies for funding to two projects namely The Carephone and the Patient Briefcase. The Carephone gives the elderly and the disabled a chance to live at home for a longer period and receive the help they need in surroundings they know instead of in a nursing home. By pressing an alert button on the Carephone the citizen will get in immediate and direct contact with the home care staff. The PatientBriefcase makes it possible for the patient to be hospitalized in his own home. The patient can via the briefcase see and talk to a doctor or nurse, who is situated in the hospital.
E-health is the central theme of research in Health, care and welfare. With the help of information and communication technology, we seek to improve the quality of care and the availability of services and information for clients and elderly patients. The development of new technology is combined with new methods of organizing work in home care and hospitals.
Categorised as: Technology Race