World Startup Factory and the City of The Hague will organize a Health Challenge on June 22, during the ICT&health World Conference. Startups and healthcare and welfare organizations are challenged to work together on innovative healthcare solutions that can help elderly people to live independently at home for longer.
Why is the City of the Hague organising the challenge?
Ramon Luijten, Program manager Gezond Lang Thuis, City of The Hague replies:
“The Municipality of the Hague wants to stimulate, facilitate and accelerate the innovation and development of digital care technologies which enable senior citizens to live a happy, healthy and independent life at home. Despite the almost 325.000 eHealth solutions currently on the Dutch market, user adoption and actual implementation rates are still very limited. One explanation is the lack of end-user involvement in the design and development of these solutions. By organizing the Health Challenge we aim to find solutions to pressing issues faced by healthcare organizations and senior citizens, which in their opinion are currently insufficiently addressed. By actively involving them in the innovation process and joining forces with innovative startups we hope to develop innovations that truly make a difference in the lives of our elderly citizens”
According to one of the challenge supporters Health Valley, (Marc Kalf, Manager innovation): “The big challenges we face in the healthcare sector can only be solved with the help of new technologies and fresh ideas, as the old models prove to be no longer viable. Instead, the solutions offered by startups are of vital importance to keep our citizens healthy and able to live independently for longer.”
The need for innovation in the healthcare through the involvement of startups is also emphasized by Nicole Menke, Project manager Gezond Lang Thuis, City of The Hague: “Start-ups are often young and dynamic in spirit and are characterized by their innovative thinking power. We need that when developing accessible, affordable and scalable applications to strengthen the healthcare at home.”
Lastly, what are the actual challenges where startups can contribute?
Together with healthcare organizations and the elderly, the City of The Hague has already made an initial inventory. “We see many challenges to do with the management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, effectively involving caregivers, dealing with forgetfulness, improving social interaction for people with a limited social network and the usage of serious gaming to improve fulfillment, inspiration and satisfaction of life. Moreover, it is very important to take into account the capacities and acceptance of older people when using technology.”(Nicole Menke, Project manager Gezond Lang Thuis/Zorginnovatie).
However, this list is not exhaustive, hence one of the tasks of the Health Challenge team is to collect more information on the needs of elderly involving healthcare and welfare professionals.
Then the challenges will be matched with the suitable innovative solutions from startups at the ICT&health World Conference in The Hague on June 22.
To find out more about the project, please visit the Health Challenge page.
From left to right: Ramon Luijten, Program manager Gezond Lang Thuis, City of The Hague; Marc Kalf, Manager innovation, Health Valley; Nicole Menke, Project manager Gezond Lang Thuis, City of The Hague. More information about the partners and challenge supporters:
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