There is a lot going on in the health sector in Eindhoven and in the Netherlands in general. Various changes in the healthcare system are mainly carried out due to and caused by economic reasons. The challenge: How to organize the healthcare system in a cheaper way with a population that is ageing rapidly?
In the “Smart Care” project, these economic drivers count, but the main focus is: how to keep the elderly happier, healthier and longer in their own environment?
The objectives of this project were to combine high quality of life with technological and innovative concepts in care, living and well-being for citizens. That means no more rising costs, fewer hands, quality assured and trying to make essential technology an economic opportunity. With the use of ICT tools and services, a living lab environment was tested with the help of our own citizens.
In the Smart Care project, the Province of North-Brabant and the municipality of Eindhoven worked together in a quadruple helix construction. Thus, in cooperation with the Technical University of Eindhoven, several SMEs and of course not to be forgotten, the most important of all: citizens themselves! The input of citizens was used in an early stage, and together with a lot of different people from different organisations, they learned to work together in an interactive and iterative way. They learned by doing!
The outcomes are new services for elderly people with the use of ICT. Fewer people are needed, but we can still make sure that regular contact is established and we can make sure that people are still fine. The end users are also very happy with the outcome. The new method showed that cooperation on societal tasks, using a co-creation approach is needed to foster innovation.
This project was a pilot for both the living lab method and co-creation. However, obtaining more experience with working closely together with citizens can bring us even further! The end result of this project is the foundation of the “Slimmer Leven 2020” Cooperative (Smarter Living 2020), in which all companies around the subject of health are involved. Information about the cooperative “Smarter Living 2020”, its projects, the partners, and more can be found on: http://www.slimmerleven2020.org/en/about-sl2020.