An inflow of public and increasingly private investment into making use of digital technologies over the last decade has laid the foundation for developing a flourishing European Health- and Age-Tech sector and a growing Silver Economy. If ranked among sovereign nations, the European Silver Economy (the economy of the population over 50) would currently be the third largest economy in the world, behind only the USA and China. Next to being profitable for businesses, the Silver Economy should be connected to a positive and socially inclusive identity for older adults in Europe. According a European Commission commissioned study, a supportive policy environment, with the right incentives and support measures will be key to facilitate this transition.
Official population projections suggest the Silver Economy will expand steadily over the next 10 years, across the EU. Based on the study's assumptions, it has the potential to expand by approximately 5% per year up to 2025, to €5.7 trillion. The contribution of the European Silver Economy to GDP is expected to reach €6.4 trillion and 88 million jobs by 2025. This would be equivalent to 32% of EU GDP and 38% of the Union’s employment. However, industrial actors and service providers have been slow to recognise the impact of changing demographics and shifting consumer needs on their markets.
Many innovative solutions introduced in the market are not progressing further from niche products as a result of market uncertainties, pricing issues and established business models. At the same time, Europe’s national health services are expected to invest heavily in connected health systems over the next 10 years, from patient records to online prescriptions. The roll out of these all-encompassing digital systems is also expected to drive the market for new health-related software applications, mHealth devices and mHealth services. The digital health market in Europe is already worth more than 15 billion euros, while market research companies are forecasting dramatic growth over the next 10 years, largely driven by the public sector in search of efficiency savings, but also from growing. Europe’s software and tech firms should benefit from this rapid expansion.
The European “Blueprint on Digital Transformation of Health and Care for the Ageing Society ” reflects the common policy vision of European policy makers, civil society, professional organisations and industry on how innovation can transform health and care provision in our ageing society. The Blueprint is essential to mobilise investments and guarantee the commitment of all actors including industrial players, regional authorities, professional and civil society organisations and multi-stakeholder platforms.
The "Monitoring and Assessment Framework for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing" (MAFEIP) is a web-based tool with the purpose of estimating the health and economic outcomes of a large variety of social and technological innovations. It enables early impact assessments of an innovative process in the health and care sector, helping decision-makers to take informed decisions about the future design of this innovative process, its deployment on a larger scale or its value for citizens and other stakeholders.
This platform is particularly dedicated to discussions, work, strategies and concrete recommendations on how to further develop Europe’s Health- and AgeTech sector, attract investments and develop a sustainable Silver Economy.