From Applications to Policies: ICT-based Independent Living Services in the EU
AbstractInformation and Communication Technologies (ICT) play a critical role in fulfilling strategic objectives of ageing societies such as better quality of life for all, sustainable economic development and social inclusion. ICT-based independent living services (ILS), i.e. complex systems, that enable people to lead more independent and participatory lives, are increasingly reflected in various policy areas. ICT-based ILS consist of different levels of applications, ranging from telecare applications to assistive technology services. Although a variety of ILS is available on the market today, there is no solid evidence as to the extent that demand and supply match. Existing data indicate that ILS technologies and systems are not widely used or distributed. ILS require in-depth assessment as they are inherently complex value chains which encompass many ICT-based applications and affect different policy areas. To date, few evaluations of policies in the ILS area have been carried out. In this paper, we propose a framework for analysing and reviewing existing applications and relevant national policy areas in Europe. We also combine our research with the outcome of a high-level expert workshop.1 This work is based on the results of a research project2 commissioned by the Institute for Prospective Technologies of the Joint Research Centre (European Commission). We conclude with some observations on the challenges and the evolution of ILS.