Assisted Living

Assisted Living

The Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP) is promoting independent living and improved quality of life by making technology better, cheaper and more desirable. It aims to significantly advance the technology to meet the demand for independent living from the expected increase in the numbers of people living with long term conditions and age-related disability.

Current activities

The Innovation Platform is addressing issues such as quality of life, and health and wellbeing, to ensure that products, systems and services for independent living are relevant, acceptable, scalable and marketable. Current “live” programme activities include:


People are living longer, and this is a cause for celebration and a testimony to the advances made during the last 50 years in healthcare and technology but major changes will be needed, due to changing demographics and growth in those living with chronic conditions. Innovative approaches to financing and delivering health and social care are needed because current care models are unsustainable in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and in the promotion of quality of life.

In 2006/07, the UK government spent £109 billion on healthcare. Of this, £34 billion was spent on healthcare for older adults aged 65+, half of which was spent on those requiring care in the last year of life (see Lewin, D et. al, Assisted living technologies for older and disabled people in 2030; A final report to Ofcom. Plum Consulting, Covent Garden, London). Our aim is to accelerate business growth and we see great opportunities for promoting business innovation and developing new technology based products and services for both future markets and improved quality of life. The Technology Strategy Board is working with the Department of Health (DH), the Research Councils, the Design Council, local authorities, academia, industry and third-sector organisations to develop technologies and services that will enable individuals to live more independently in the way that they choose.

The Technology Strategy Board launched the Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP) in November 2007, with additional funding from the National Institute for Health Research, the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Ambient Assisted Living Association. We are investing jointly with these organisations and industry to address the challenge of demographic change and a renewed emphasis on a preventative approach to health and care. We are funding new projects until 2012, which will then run for up to three years, with the intention to deliver an impact for many years beyond.

The priorities

To identify ALIP's priorities, we held consultations with other organisations, published a technology roadmap and held priority-setting workshops. An industry-led steering group continues to guide us on priorities. It includes representatives from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), DH and academia. Priorities include the need to:

  • transfer and share knowledge between different industry sectors, health and care sectors, and organisations/agencies representing users and their carers
  • tailor assisted living technologies and services to the needs of each individual and/or their carer
  • design technologies and services that are desirable and affordable
  • design technologies and services that are interoperable and work anytime and anywhere.

We also recognise that scaling up will be a challenge and that lessons from the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) programme over 6,000 people involved across three sites and 238 GP practices, will need to inform future activity.

Collaborative Research and Development

Since 2007 a total of six competitions have been held, with over 120 organisations participating in 38 projects worth £47.1m. £24.7m of this was invested by us and our partners. Competitions we have run include:

  • Home Based Systems and User Centered Design
  • Ambient Assisted Living Call 1 – Chronic Conditions
  • Smart Care Distributed Environment
  • Ambient Assisted Living Call 2 – Social Interaction
  • Economic & Business Models and Social & Behavioural Studies
  • Ambient Assisted Living Call 3 – “Self-Serve Society”

More information on these competitions can be found here.

Last updated on Friday 06 January 2012 at 12:17

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