EKTG first meeting was in September 2010 in Denmark and comprises a widely drawn group including policy makers, designers and implementers, as well as leaders of large and small businesses, academics, third sector, central and local government, health professionals and users. The group shares a desire for fundamental change in the way ageing is perceived and eHealth is delivered. We have been regularly supported by INNOVATE UK and KTN.
As a Group we have identified the need for better understanding and implementation of digital and eTechnology. We also appreciate the need to encourage cross sector working in health, care, housing, education, as well as the technology services and industry. We believe that the changing demography coupled with fast evolving mobile technologies creates a huge opportunity for innovation in delivering services in the community, especially to older and disabled people. There is a growing commitment across Europe to rapid deployment of Digital Services. It is important that this is part of the UK's strategy for an ageing population and for effective management of chronic conditions.
Although technologies have been extensively trailed and evaluated creating a substantial and growing evidence base, these services are yet to be established nationally.
eTechnology has not reached educational courses or academic curricula to any great extent, especially in the UK. Many people in the associated workforce function without any formal qualifications or cover for legal and ethical matters.
eTechnology and eHealth are now ready to scale up, demanding active knowledge transfers and process-focused understanding.
Potential service and supply partners such as health commissioners, social care providers, retail channels and installers must understand each other’s concerns. Employers are often unaware of the extent of their responsibilities to employees working off-site. Further educational opportunities are needed.