The AgeingFit conference programme discussed all the aspects of the healthy ageing sector. It was organised in three tracks: “From needs to ideas”, “From ideas to innovation” and “From innovation to market”.
Tailored to fit our multi-faceted audience, the AgeingFit 2018 conference programme featured topics related to retirement homes internal innovation processes, collaborative and open innovation, prevention, and gave a focus on market access, financing and regulations.
With the proportion of seniors continuing to increase, digital health and integrated care and communication systems look extremely promising. The emergence of clearer market trends could encourage the actors of a very heterogeneous sector to gather around common goals. What are the trends that will encourage entrepreneurs to join the Silver market in the next decade? How are digital health initiatives likely to evolve? How crucial will it be for Silver market businesses to create a shared culture? How can the Silver market emerge as a clearly defined sector?
Understanding the needs of the ageing population can prove challenging, as older people are not usually the focus of marketing studies. However, the development of Big Data analysis, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence could provide researchers and innovators with meaningful information about the needs of seniors and their use of healthy ageing products. How can we promote ICT to the ageing population? How can healthcare actors optimise the reporting and use of the resulting information?
Answering the challenges linked to the increasing proportion of seniors in the population is not the responsibility of a sole sector. This can lead to sometimes surprising collaborations, such as digital health providers working with automobile manufacturers. How can we encourage these relationships in the healthy ageing sector? How are they necessary to the innovation process? To which needs are they trying to bring an answer?
How does the absence of a structured European market impact the decisions of venture capitalists in the Silver economy? Are specialised venture emerging in healthy ageing?
What are the sources of non-dilutive funding for companies active in the Silver economy? At which step of the innovation process are they the most impactful? How are they evolving? How are the European Union and its member states active issuing them?
ICT have an ever-increasing presence in our environment, and can prove extremely beneficial to seniors and carers alike. How can we integrate them to the caring institutions of tomorrow? How will those institutions be connected to smart cities? How can we promote them and ensure the widest possible access to these solutions?
Seniors are more susceptible to chronic conditions, which necessitate long-term treatments and numerous check-ups. The negative impact this has on patients’ quality of life can be alleviated by collaborations between caring institutions, ICT companies and researchers. How can we encourage and fast-track these collaborations? What are the key elements to ensure their funding and success? What is the best-fitting business model?
The increasing number of seniors will stress public spending in numerous ways: Pensions will increase, more specialised infrastructures need to be built and healthcare reimbursement will skyrocket. Significant public investment will need to follow in order to address the resulting additional expenditure. Potential cost-effective solutions included an integrated care system, which would ease the pressure on healthcare procurement. Meanwhile, initiatives such as smart cities and adapted public policies could help seniors stay more active. How can we encourage and optimise public procurement in these areas?
While innovative solutions are efficient, they are often expensive. AAL represents a great opportunity to help ageing people continue to live at home and robotic assistance can help caretakers focus on their patients’ well-being. Unfortunately, these new technologies are costly and institutions with limited resources struggle to afford them. How can banking and insurance companies work together to secure a wider access to these technologies? How can we increase public sector access and adoption of novel solutions?
The legislation on intellectual property is fragmented across the European Union, which means costly patents. Ethical legislation also varies from state to state. How can we adopt unified European legislation on healthy ageing products? How can European countries unite around common standards? In addition, public investment, mostly in the form of reimbursement, is a strong incentive for investors, but it is also arbitrary and therefore unpredictable. With a limited budget, public actors are often hesitant about investing in novel concepts. Can a common European Social Security policy be created?
Senior malnourishment, at home or in care facilities, is widespread, even in richer and more developed countries. This situation is rooted in a combination of factors, including a decline in social activity, loss of appetite and changes in the digestive system. Technical solutions are available but marketing them efficiently is proving problematic. How can we better understand the consumer behaviours of the ageing population and market to them appropriately and efficiently? What best practices from other sectors could be used to improve Silver nutrition marketing?