We will soon be riding the next generation wave of wireless technology, fittingly known as 5G, as well as seeing cities become smarter and changing our travel habits with autonomous cars. With such advancements, it is now more important than ever to consider older generations; their vulnerability, resistance to change, and their ability to adapt accordingly with the technological advancements the future promises.
It’s common knowledge that the UK’s population is getting older, with growing improvements in healthcare and lifestyles this should come as no surprise; in 2016 in the UK, 18% of people were aged 65 and over. As the age dependency ratio (OADR) is also increasing, a useful measure when trying to plan for the needs of different age groups, it is important that there are services that can accommodate older, more ‘vulnerable’ consumers; ensuring that they also benefit from 5G, smart products, the IoT and AI.
The International Longevity Centre UK and Just Group highlighted this issue and have since announced its Innovation for Ageing competition shortlist, for which it received a total of 77 submissions. The companies say that the competition aims to identify solutions to address the challenges faced by consumers in later life.
While not all submissions focus on technology it was inspiring how many were linked; from using AI-enabled voice control helping families take an active role in planning and managing care; a mobile network for the elderly; to, digital health monitoring and alerting analytic software that ingests data from a number of fixed wearable smart devices to signal a decline in an individual’s wellbeing.
The 12 shortlisted entries respond to specific problems identified by experts as common cause of vulnerability and are listed below:
• Behavioural Insights Team
• Chatty Cafe Scheme
• Digital Care Planning
• Ferret Information Systems
• Fuss Free Phones
• Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)
• Walk With Path
David Sinclair, director of ILC-UK, comments on the announcement of the shortlist, “Innovating for Ageing was set up to ensure the best new ideas are applied to problems known to have the worst impact on vulnerable older people. The response has been superb, as has been the quality of submissions received.”