17/06/2022

Tech Innovations Benefit Wellbeing Of Older People

The positive impact of innovative technology on older people's health, wellbeing and independence has been showcased at an event at the Europa Hotel.

As Loneliness Awareness Week draws to a close, the event was part of the £2.5 million 'Homes for Healthy Ageing' programme launched in 2021 in response to the UK Government's Grand Challenge to ensure people can live longer healthier lives in their own homes.

Homes for Healthy Ageing established a series of tech testbeds across the country, with the Belfast testbed based in in the city's Markets area. The Europa event shared the experiences of those who worked with Markets residents from communities and care settings, and with the companies who were gaining important experience of testing their technology in real-life settings.

Welcoming the showcase, Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Tina Black said: "Chronic loneliness affects one in 20 people here. And we have a rapidly ageing population, so there's a strong motivation across our region to improve the care of older adults and help them to live life to the full.

"Through our Smart Belfast programme, Belfast City Council is committed to working with industry and our universities to unlock the benefits of digital technologies for our residents. The Homes for Healthy Ageing programme is a great practical example of this. We're working with universities and innovation tech companies to trial new ways of reducing loneliness and enhancing social connectedness in our ageing population."
News Image
Professor Joan Condell, Ulster University and Lead Partner of the Northern Ireland consortium, added: "With the over-65 demographic set to rise to one quarter of the UK population by 2050, the Homes for Healthy Ageing programme has a vital role to play in informing and accelerating innovation that supports a healthier future for everyone.

"The strength and depth of the local consortium will be of great benefit to the active community of businesses addressing the needs of healthy ageing through their products and services. As the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, the consortium sees the Markets testbed in Belfast's Smart District as a great opportunity to position our region as a centre for innovation and research, addressing key societal challenges."

The Homes for Healthy Ageing showcase is being hosted by a consortium led by Ulster University with Age NI, Belfast City Council, Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC), the Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI), the Market Development Association (MDA), Public Health Agency (PHA) and Queen's University Belfast (QUB). They're working in partnership with Connected Places Catapult on a new programme to build a healthier future for the UK.

Over the coming months, Connected Places Catapult will work with the small businesses which have engaged with the Healthy Ageing Programme to develop and refine their experiment plans, as well as offering support to engage with end-users.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 December 2012
Changes To Be Made To Care And Support System
Northern Ireland's care and support system is coming under increasing pressure, so changes have to be made now to ensure it is sustainable in the future. That was the message given by Health Minister Edwin Poots today at a seminar on the future of adult care and support, hosted by the Law Centre NI.
19 June 2003
More opportunities for people to ‘Actively Age Well'
A new survey has revealed that around half of Northern Ireland people aged between 65 and 74 still take little or no exercise despite the fact that older people can halve their risk of hip fracture through regular physical activity.
05 August 2022
Belfast Distillery Company To Invest £22.3m In Belfast
Ministers have welcomed an investment of £22.3 million from Belfast Distillery Company at Crumlin Road Gaol. The investment includes plans to regenerate the A Wing of the Crumlin Road Gaol into the J&J McConnell's Distillery and world-class visitor experience, and to create 49 new jobs.
18 August 2011
Belfast Conference Tackles Ageing World
Older people are 'taking over the world' with news this week that ageing is indeed transforming the world. Research has confirmed that more and more people are living longer and longer - but the extra years bring a range of challenges for individuals, families and public bodies.
19 November 2020
Active Ageing Strategy Extended Until 2022
The Executive's Active Ageing Strategy has been extended to May 2022, Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced. The Strategy has a vision 'of being an age friendly region in which people as they get older, are valued and supported to live actively to their fullest potential; with their rights respected and their dignity protected'.