‘Bringing care home’ as the main theme of EIT Innovation Days is understood here on a wide scale. The ideas generated by the 3-4-person teams may indicate telemedicine solutions or in the form of mobile applications, but also medical devices that allow patients to effective treatment at home.
European citizens are now living longer than ever before. The trend towards increasing longevity is likely to continue and along with the decline in the birth rate, it is expected to create a situation by 2020 in which one quarter of Europeans will be over 60 years of age. At the same time, a majority of Europeans at retirement age are affected by more than one chronic disease which underlines the importance of addressing the challenge of co-morbidities. The EU has an eHealth Action Plan (2012–2020) in place to specifically look at innovations in healthcare to respond to the challenges of an ageing population, rising expectations of citizens, and mobility of patients and health professionals. Solutions are needed that can promote a shift towards outcome-based delivery of integrated (health and social) care, which can be realised in a realistic operational, organisational and financial setting.
Shifting healthcare delivery from the hospital to home / primary care settings is the solution that delivers cost savings and releases pressure on increasingly stretched hospital services. In addition, it has the potential to deliver higher quality and more personalised care to individuals – and it is the model of care generally preferred by patients and their families, thus delivering outcome based delivery of integrated (health and social) care.