Open HoCare2.0 Conference brought together SMEs, Public service providers and experts to discuss latest trends in home care

Open HoCare2.0 Conference took place on May 5th with a goal to showcase the latest trends, hot topics and best practices from Europe in home care including practical examples of the development of new, innovative products and services in 6 countries. The conference was organized by Hungarian National Directorate General for Hospitals and brought together more than 110 participants.

European population is ageing, and soon there will not be enough carers for seniors. It brings a need for the development and deployment of highly innovative home care products or services that will empower seniors to be more independent. 

The Conference

1st part of the conference introduced practical examples of such innovative products or services. „Globodemic Technologies from Hungary who produce a device that increases the regeneration of fractures. 1/3 of people above the age of 75 are affected by osteoporosis, and are more vulnerable to fractures. Their devices allow for monitoring the healing process both by patients and caregivers“ said Csaba Bende, project manager, representing the lead partner the Central Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency (CTRIA). Another example was presented from the Czech Republic, where many people take care of their own elderly parents or grandparents. These informal carers often struggle with getting back to work once their caring responsibilities are over. The new service combines various forms of formal and informal care to enable informal caregivers keeping contact with and eventuall returning to the labour market. In all 6 countries are being developed applications, products and services for innovative home care. 

Mobi Seni App from Poland

The second part of the conference was dedicated to Open Innovation & Co-creation trends and showcased best practices, which support SMEs to deliver innovative products. In Europe, several initiatives support delivery and deployment of home care products. E.g. European Network of Living Labs, Living & Care Labs or D-Care Labs. All of them promote user-driven innovation and support the co-creation process from the beginning to the end with the involvement of stakeholders and end-users. 

European Network of Living Labs

The conference was concluded by a moderated expert panel discussion with the participation of four guest spekars: Zsuzsanna Bódi, Senior Strategic Advisor, ENOLL; Márton Kis, Health Innovation Expert, Semmelweis University Health Services Management Training Centre; István Csizmadia, Senior Principal Counsellor, National Directorate General for Hospitals; and dr. Ferenc Gyergyák, Secretary General; Hungarian National Association of Local Authorities (TÖOSZ).

The participants agreed that the health sector was a priority industry where the cooperation of the 4 helixes (end-users, businesses, research actors and public authorities) and open innovation should play a key role in formulation of policy recommendations to change existing national public funding schemes or crate new financial instruments (call for proposals or/and priority projects are opened or planned) for fostering and improving access to, and uptaking of innovative homecare products and services. Panel experts emphasized that if we aimed at improving access, service quality and cost effectiveness of homecare provision then social and health care protocols and processes should be re-thought closely in line with technological innovations.