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France, Innovation, 2018

The future of Silver Tech: A challenge for innovation

10th July 2019

Exploring ideas, solutions and projects that positively change the lives of aging and dependent people

On 1 June, EIT Health France Partners MADoPA and Fondation de L’Avenir teamed with Mutualité Francaise to co-organise the international seminar The Future of Silver Tech: How to adjust supply to demand? There were approximately 90 participants in this discussion on technology addressing the issue of ageing, including experts from health, business and science.

The first session focused on technology for the health and autonomy of the elderly at home. The discussion revolved on how to size new technologies in the daily life of older people, because if they don’t see the value of technology, they won’t use it. Sylvia Pelayo raised the issue of ergonomic psychology which is reducing risks and helping with prediction of use.

Alexandre Duclos from MADoPA illustrated the contribution of socio-anthropology to value creation and innovation. The topic discussed was How to define silver tech from a point of view of the elderly: without intending to be prescriptive, to do good against their will, by letting them choose and use the technologies of their choice? As a result of the exploratory study it was concluded that the elderly are much more interested in technologies that enable them to continue the activities that matter to them in their daily lives rather than in technologies that manage the risks related to their health and independence. Moreover, for these technologies, the factor of being healthy is not enough to motivate people.

Alexandre Duclos concluded his presentation with a sentence to be remembered: Evaluation is not enough, you have to co-design with the users! Design Thinking was one of the other main topics during the seminar. Florence Mathieu from d.school Paris showed us the effects of the working method. We have seen the simple version of pilots or semi-autonomous vehicles well adapted to the needs of the elderly. In Design Thinking, the most important factor is empathy and collaboration. Denis Abraham, innovation director at our associated partner Mines Telecom, explained the importane of living labs for new health technology. This is a place where three main populations come together: researchers, entrepreneurs and users, with the aim of designing and testing new services as well as new tools.

Then, Hervé Michel presented MADoPA’s activities within EIT Health. Since 2011, the two have engaged in many projects. In the majority of them, living labs had a great importance. One of the projects is HOOP. Developed in 2017, it consists of a Health platform for training and rehabilitation of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Hervé Michel emphasized on the fact that the project cannot only be a product but it has to have a purpose and to make a difference in the daily lives of the users.

Nowadays, we do not have problems with technological development. We have endless possibilities to develop it very effectively. But the question is how we will put the technology in everyday life?

Aneta Andrzejewska explained the CoActive programme and gave the example of Łódź as The City of the 4th Generation. The project deals with problems of limited opportunities for urban seniors to increase their activity to meet health requirements and needs.

Finally, Dominique Letourneau, Chairman of the Management Board of the Fondation de l’Avenir, and Alain Faye president of MADoPA explained that cooperation is elementary for the future of silver tech. We have more and more possibilities to create, and time to make innovation accessibility decrease; however, we always need to take into consideration the ethical dimension. In this sense it is necessary to standardise the the market evaluation criterias.

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