£37 million to find new ways of improving health, wellbeing and quality of life for older people

£37 million to find new ways of improving health, wellbeing and quality of life for older people

23 May 2012

A new national programme to transform the lives of nearly 170,000 older people across the UK, and encourage innovative firms to make the most of a market with high growth potential was launched today with a £37million boost.

The dallas programme (delivering assisted living lifestyles at scale) will explore ways of using innovative products, systems and services to create more independent lifestyles and will help hundreds of thousands of people by summer 2015. 

dallas tasks four consortia with running this programme and testing it with communities throughout the UK. The consortia have been awarded £25 million of government money, to which they’ve added their own financial contributions. The programme has been developed by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board and joint funded by the National Institute for Health Research and the Scottish Government.

Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said:

“This new dallas scheme is an opportunity for businesses across the country to make the most of a growing market with high potential that will improve our lifestyles as we live longer and put British firms well ahead of the competition.

“Innovation has been one of the key factors in helping people to live longer. Life expectancy has been increasing for decades but now we need some of that innovation to change the way that we provide products, systems and services to older people. This new programme will help give people choice and control and helping them feel a normal part of the community.”

Earl Howe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department of Health), said: "This is a great example of how the Government can work together with industry to explore ways of using technological innovation to really improve people’s lives.
“This is an important step as we drive forward our 3million lives programme, which uses technology to improve the quality of care for millions of people by reducing the amount of time they need to spend in hospital, increasing their independence and dignity.”

The communities will demonstrate how innovative technologies and services can be used to promote well-being and provide top quality health and care, enabling people to live independently and to expect a better future.   Working with existing statutory health care provision the new schemes will encourage individuals to own the management of their health and lifestyles, but with support from the wider community, health professionals and their families.

The initiatives are:

i-Focus – a nationwide programme offering people a range of products and services to help them feel more comfortable in their homes.  The Warm Neighbourhoods scheme uses on-line and mobile technologies to enhance and organise informal care networks that help families, friends and neighbours to support others in the community in a practical way.

 Year Zero – an online application that empowers individuals to actively manage their health information from cradle to grave.  The tools include a digital version of the paper-based Red Book that is given to all new parents to record their child’s health, and Family Health Tree, to help people plot their family’s health genealogy and Rally Round, a social networking and planning tool to connect family, friends, carers and health and care professionals.

The Feelgood Factory - encourages people living in Liverpool to plan for their future in order to better manage their health and social care needs, supported by Life Enhancing Technologies (LETs).

Living It Up - focuses on developing innovative solutions that will enable people in communities across Scotland to live happy, healthy and safe lives, enabling choice and better control over their health and wellbeing. The Hidden Talents element also encourages people to identify their talents and share them with other members of the community.

 The UK’s population is shifting from a predominately younger population to an older population.  The opportunities this brings for British businesses to invest and be part of a growing global market that is responding to demand for innovative technologies and services that meet the wants of older adults are significant.  The dallas programme will encourage and help businesses take advantage of this opportunity.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: 

“The dallas programme is about redesigning and delivering a new approach, thinking beyond traditional health and social care to consider how new ideas and technology can be used to improve the way people live.  Using new ideas, and thinking creatively, dallas will allow the wider community, including professionals, to work together so that all of us can live longer and more rewarding lives.

 “dallas is our way of helping the UK to re-think the future, and support older adults living healthy, active and independent lives for longer – how they want and where they want.

“The programme that the winning consortia will embed into local communities over the next three years is the next step in making this vision a reality.”

 For further information on the Technology Strategy Board, visit www.innovateuk.org and

connect.innovateuk.org/web/dallas

View the full press release including notes to editors here

 

Last updated on Wednesday 23 May 2012 at 11:35

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