Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living

Cover_Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living

This House of Lords - Science and Technology Select Committee report found that the Government needs to urgently address the key issues of reducing health inequalities, implementing health system reforms and promoting lifestyle changes for an ageing population.

Drawing on robust evidence, it states that concerted action is required in order to increase the number of years spent in good health in old age. Health services should be coordinated to better treat people with multiple age-related illnesses, and technology and services should be deployed more widely to support independent living in old age, including housing and the built environment.

With regard to recommendations concerning technology in the home and housing, the report specifically states:

  • More widespread use of telecare services - particularly modern digital systems with monitoring capabilities - may enable more people to live independently in their homes for longer in old age. The upcoming digital telephone switchover provides impetus for this change and is an opportunity for local authorities to introduce more comprehensive services to facilitate safe and independent living.
  • the Government should make targeted and strategic investments in research for the design, evaluation and uptake of data-driven services, assistive robot technologies and AI for older people, in order to develop national expertise and critical mass in this important area.
  • the Government use planning rules to ensure that homes and communities are accessible for people with limited mobility and adaptable as their needs change with age, and
  • the Government should ensure that sufficient funds are available, for example through the Disabled Facilities Grant, to facilitate improvements to existing homes with poor housing and infrastructure, in order to reduce health inequalities.