Technology at the service of welfare

     December 5, 2013
    By Javier Garcia

    On November 12th of this year, the Gerontological Athenaeum took place in Valladolid, Spain, an event held to discuss and reflect upon the challenges and opportunities posed by an aging population. Under the title “Quality, technology and sustainability”, professionals from diverse sectors singled out the keys to the future of gerontological care from the perspective of innovation and technological development.

    Over the course of various round tables, each focused on a specific aspect, speakers were able to create a global map of the future of elderly care, in which challenges will arise from the increasing over 65-year-old population and ever tighter resources. The final session, in which Iñaki Bartolomé took part (Managing Director of Kwido and founding-partner of Ideable Solutions), focused on the technological solutions that already represent the present of geriatric care.

    At the aforementioned round table, the possibility of using technology to improve people’s quality of life was highlighted, thanks to the advantages it offers in enabling elderly people to stay in their own home for longer, as well as developing personal security, amongst other benefits. Felipe Soto (Head of Therapeutic Innovation and Community Support at the Intras Foundation), Diego Juez (President of the Castile and Leon Federation of Elderly Care Homes) and Iñaki Bartolomé, shared their knowledge and experience in successful cases.

    Among the ideas put forward during the above debate, the following should be highlighted:

    • Care professionals should be involved in the use of new devices, encouraging their use and potential improvement.
    • In addition to being useful, technology must be easy to use.
    • Technological innovation cannot and should not substitute the care professional, but assist and complement them in their work.
    • It is essential that the elderly become more involved with these tools, which will happen once they appreciate their usefulness.
    • New technologies have extensive possibilities, they can be personalized and they cut costs.

    During the meeting, the telecare platform via tablet, Kwido, was presented, highlighting its many useful features, including videoconferencing and the monitoring of health related parameters. Overall, Kwido is a tool which empowers the elderly, brings peace of mind to their families and assists care professionals in their work.