Smart ageing prize

AAL (previously known as Ambient Assisted Living) has launched its Smart Ageing Prize – a €50,000 Challenge Prize to find the best innovation in internet connected devices and technologies (Internet of Things) that will empower older adults to achieve the quality of life they aspire to socially and independently.

The Prize aims to find innovations that improve connectivity between older adults, devices and technologies related to any aspect of their life (e.g. home, social, work, study, transport or services). The idea should present a business opportunity which has the potential to be commercially viable. Applications must involve older adults in the development and testing of the technology.

AAL will help the most innovative ideas turn into real products that can be financially sustainable. Fifteen of the most promising applications will be chosen as Finalists and will be invited to a social innovation mentoring academy in Brussels in July to progress their ideas. Each of the Finalists will be awarded a €500 grant to develop a prototype to demonstrate at the Academy.

The winner will be awarded a prize of €50,000 at the AAL Forum in Switzerland in late September (www.aalforu.eu).
The Prize is open to individuals, groups and organisations in the 28 member countries of the European Union, as well as Israel, Canada, Norway and Switzerland. The deadline for applications is Friday 13 May 2016 at Midday (12pm) Central European Time.

For more information about the Smart Ageing Prize, on the aal-europe.eu website.

Global survey of assistive technology

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a global survey to gather views on the most necessary and useful assistive technologies such as hearing aids, wheel chairs and personal alarms.

The survey will feed into the first ever WHO mandated list of essential assistive technologies to provide a tool for governments. Governments can use the list to plan and focus efforts to help populations acquire the 50 priority products, thereby improving the everyday lives of the elderly and people with disabilities.

These practical tools – some low, some higher technologies – are becoming increasingly necessary to the many people in high- and middle-income countries who are living longer due to better healthcare. Similar devices are used by people with disabilities, allowing them to live more autonomously and participate in their communities.

However, such tools are not readily available everywhere. WHO estimates that only 1 out of 10 people who need these vital supports are accessing them today, due to lack of availability and awareness, and high costs. The aim is to increase access to assistive technologies for 1 billion people who need them today, and to reach 1.5 billion by 2030.

To read more about the survey and, if you wish, take part on the who.int website