Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI)

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Developing a benchmark for what ‘good’ looks like in technology for housing and care

Over the past few decades, we have seen a ‘revolution’ in the way digital and online technologies, communications and media influence our daily lives. However, the same cannot be said for the role of digital and technology in care, health and housing – especially in relation to older adults and people with disabilities. Often siloed, there is now an urgent need to adopt more joined-up approaches across local services and systems, enabled by technology.

While COVID-19 has helped embed the use of technology into the lives of many, it has also exacerbated the digital divide. At the same time, it provides us with an opportunity to strive for greater ‘digital integration’ across housing, health and care, putting the real needs of older adults and disabled people at the heart.

Chaired by Professor Roy Sandbach and supported by the Dunhill Medical Trust, the TAPPI Inquiry was about listening, gaining insights and creating a set of overarching principles that can inform a new framework for all stakeholders to refer to in the context of how technology can transform the landscape of everyday living environments for older and disabled people.

Launched on 26 October 2021, the TAPPI report, Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation - Phase One can be found below.

Information about the ongoing TAPPI Phase 2: from Principles to Implementation

Further information

TAPPI Inquiry Report

Technology and digital infrastructure that support future care needs must be built into all new housing, leaders from a range of sectors have urged in this report by the TAPPI Inquiry.

The 6 month TAPPI Inquiry Panel heard from people with lived experience about the technological opportunities and barriers faced in their lives, especially during COVID. It also captured evidence and examples of innovative practice from over 30 sector leaders on tech solutions across housing, health and social care used to enable people to live independently and well at home. 

These have helped shape the Panel’s ‘Big Insights’ and the ten foundational TAPPI principles to build technology into housing in a way that improves life for our ageing population.

The Housing LIN now looks forward to progressing to Phase Two of the TAPPI project to pilot the principles.

Access the full Report

10 TAPPI principles

The TAPPI Panel Members have produced a set of overarching TAPPI principles that they believe should form a future TAPPI Framework captured in this infographic.

The TAPPI launch

Press release

For press enquiries relating to the TAPPI Inquiry, contact the Housing LIN’s Communications Team:

Inquiry Panel Membership

The TAPPI Inquiry Panel is made up of leading figures from housing, care, academia, the tech industry and design, has been convened and will be responsible for overseeing the project. They will hold a series of panel discussions with people with specific insights and expertise in this area (e.g. older people, people with disabilities, those in the construction industry, specialists in ‘smart’ technology and housing), alongside visits to sites and organisations who are current leaders in technological transformation.

The TAPPI Inquiry Panel Members are:

  • Professor Roy Sandbach OBE FRSC (Chair), former Director of the National Innovation, Centre for Ageing, University of Newcastle
  • Sarah Allport, Head of Communities and Governance, Dunhill Medical Trust (Inquiry Sponsor)
  • Julia Ashley, Chief Executive, Central & Cecil Housing Association
  • Dr Gemma Burgess, Acting Director, University of Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research
  • Ian Copeman, Business Director, Housing LIN
  • Clive Gilbert, Policy Manager (Assistive Technology), Policy Connect
  • Wilhelmina Hoffman, Managing Director, SilviaHemmet, and President, Svenskt Demenscentrum, Sweden
  • Sharon Houlden, Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Health, Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, and ADASS tech lead
  • Ian James/Hannah Gill, Digital and Leadership Development, Local Government Association
  • Susan Kay, Chief Executive, Dunhill Medical Trust (Inquiry Sponsor)
  • Sara Keetley, Operations Director, Sanctuary Housing
  • Jeremy Porteus, Chief Executive, Housing LIN
  • Alyson Scurfield, Chief Executive, TEC Services Association
  • Andy Von Bradsky, former Head of Architecture, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

The Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) is Secretary to the TAPPI Inquiry, supported by Lois Beech, the Housing LIN’s Senior Research Officer.


The TAPPI Inquiry has been generously funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust (opens new window).

Other useful links

Read the TAPPI-related blogs published by the Housing LIN:

For more information, guidance, tools and resources featuring housing, care and technology, visit the Housing LIN’s Technology enabled Care and Housing (TeCH) webpages.

Terms of Reference

The objectives of the Inquiry were:

  • To explore the needs and challenges faced by people with care and support needs, and (at an organisational level) by providers and commissioners, which could be mitigated or transformed by effective use of contemporary digital and technology solutions
  • To look forward, aiming to forecast likely future trends and possible aspirations of the next generation of older people (in their late 40s / 50s now)
  • To identify the best examples of innovation and true integration of digitally enabled technology in housing and care settings, in the UK or internationally
  • To explore the success factors in these examples, and capture lessons learnt
  • To understand the biggest barriers preventing commissioners, providers and others from moving towards true digital transformation
  • To test out a series of domains that will form the new TAPPI framework
  • To create a downloadable resource, supported by exemplary case studies and examples, setting out a potential roadmap for housing and care organisations and commissioners to adopt TAPPI as a means to support transformation in this area
  • The new resource / suite of resources would also aim to help suppliers, providers and commissioners scope out and generate a better understanding of the potential retail offer which could evolve, potentially linked to smart homes and building management systems, as well as existing non-digital aids and adaptations in the home

Using past experience to tackle an important new topic

Since 2009, the Housing LIN has published four inquiry reports by the Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI).

Using an inquiry-based approach they have focused on:

  • recommendations for the design of high-quality housing for older people
  • the housing options available to older people after retirement
  • the requirements of older people living in rural areas
  • the needs of older renters

TAPPI will draw upon the learning from previous HAPPI inquiries, employing the same methodologies to focus on the topic of digital and technological solutions in housing and care.


For enquiries relating to this Inquiry, contact: