eCare service innovationin eCare & the Ageing Society
There is widespread consent that information and communication technology (ICT) can be beneficial to people receiving health and care as well as increase service efficiency. Yet while ICTs are making their way into daily practice and life, developing eCare services that are fit for the market and beneficial for their clients remains a challenging task. Levels of uptake often remain under the expectations of providers, service clients and policy makers let alone is there an equal distribution across European countries.
Factors that contribute to the situation being as it is include the perception of the role, place and value of services such as telecare and telehealth in overall care service provision, fragmentation between different bodies with reimbursement responsibility, technology infrastructure readiness, the challenge of transition from pilot activities to mainstream service provision and many more.
Depending on situation and perspective, these factors can either be regarded as market barriers or as characteristics of the underlying service provision systems. Regardless of what they are called, these factors have to be actively addressed in order to be able to achieve successful and sustainable deployment of eCare services and to fulfil the promises of improved quality of life for older people, people with chronic conditions and family carers, of better quality of care services, and of increased efficiency of service provision.
Working with health and care providers and the IT industry has been a core and continuous activity of empirica since more than 20 years. In the framework of numerous projects we have developed our own successful approach for the design, development and deployment of eCare services. This approach covers requirements analysis, service design and implementation support, socio-economic impact assessment and business model development. It combines scientific and methodological soundness with applicability in challenging real-life contexts.