Summary Report of the Consultation on Advancing Technological Innovation for Older Persons in Asia 20-21 February 2013, Kobe, Japan

Volume,Pages 83
Authors :
WHO
Publication Date : January 2013
Language : English

The global population, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, is rapidly ageing with implications for swiftly rising health care and social costs, and maximizing the potential of this population’s contributions to society. In the next 20 to 30 years, the greatest growth in ageing populations will be in low and middle income countries. A WHO priority is to enable ageing populations to remain healthy, active and independent for as long as possible. Achieving the aforementioned goals requires early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of prevalent diseases (e.g., non-communicable diseases), reduction of their risk factors, ensuring rehabilitation services and managing disability, and delay, management, and prevention of functional and cognitive decline. Advancing the availability and affordability of medical and assistive devices, and their integration into community-based health and social service systems, requires innovation that addresses the needs and contexts of older populations, particularly in low income and emerging economy countries.

The Consultation convened experts from government, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations representing the perspective of those using technologies, and from WHO. In addition, with support from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, WHO commissioned two systematic reviews/studies of the availability and status of medical and assistive devices (respectively) in eight Asian countries, preliminary findings of which were presented during the Consultation.

The Consultation highlighted the need to address many inter-twined spheres of action to ultimately increase the availability of affordable, acceptable, safe and effective health technologies. Underlying discussions was a recognition of an end-to-end process for innovation that recognized the link between needs articulation, design, development, production, assessment, regulatory oversight, financing, procurement, use, maintenance, and continued post-marketing surveillance.

The global population, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, is rapidly ageing with implications for swiftly rising health care and social costs, and maximizing the potential of this population’s contributions to society. In the next 20 to 30 years, the greatest growth in ageing populations will be in low and middle income countries. A WHO priority is to enable ageing populations to remain healthy, active and independent for as long as possible. Achieving the aforementioned goals requires early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of prevalent diseases (e.g., non-communicable diseases), reduction of their risk factors, ensuring rehabilitation services and managing disability, and delay, management, and prevention of functional and cognitive decline. Advancing the availability and affordability of medical and assistive devices, and their integration into community-based health and social service systems, requires innovation that addresses the needs and contexts of older populations, particularly in low income and emerging economy countries.

The Consultation convened experts from government, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations representing the perspective of those using technologies, and from WHO. In addition, with support from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, WHO commissioned two systematic reviews/studies of the availability and status of medical and assistive devices (respectively) in eight Asian countries, preliminary findings of which were presented during the Consultation.

The Consultation highlighted the need to address many inter-twined spheres of action to ultimately increase the availability of affordable, acceptable, safe and effective health technologies. Underlying discussions was a recognition of an end-to-end process for innovation that recognized the link between needs articulation, design, development, production, assessment, regulatory oversight, financing, procurement, use, maintenance, and continued post-marketing surveillance.