Challenges to d(HL) in Europe and how to overcome them perspective from citizens with a focus on the older adults in Italy

Oscar Zanutto & Adele De Stefani


The increasing digitalisation of health services, health-related communication and, in some cases, even treatment is a reality that the European population is currently facing. Digitalisation of health poses several challenges with regard to daily health management, especially when it comes to population segments that are more exposed to frailty and marginalisation. Therefore, ensuring citizens’ digital health literacy is becoming crucial to guarantee equal access to health and wellbeing, paying particular attention to those at risk of exclusion. Moving from the results of the consultation conducted within the Horizon Europe IDEAHL project with 1434 citizens belonging to different population groups in 10 EU countries, the presentation gives an overview of the main challenges they encounter when seeking information or taking action to manage their health, especially when using the Internet, online platforms, and apps. A special eye is devoted to the Italian panorama and the case of the Italian over-65s. The presentation dwells on the emerged challenges, which allow the identification of the aspects it is a priority to act on in order to increase European population d(HL) and prevent digitalisation from aggravating already existing health inequalities.


Celebrating Innovation: remarkable cases of extramuralisation and the power of public-private partnerships

Anne Binnendijk, Twan Kerssens, Lilian Beijer, Chantal Huisman

SIA & Health~Holland

An increase in healthcare costs and –demands is expected due to an ageing population with increasingly complex care needs. This development coincides with a relative decrease in the number of healthcare professionals. Therefore, there is a need for innovative solutions that address these challenges, preferably within the clients’ own (home) environment. These innovative solutions play a key role within the Dutch Mission-Driven Innovation Policy, specifically Mission II for Health & Care:  By 2030, care will be organized 50% more frequently in individuals’ own living environment, together with (the network surrounding) people.


Through funding from the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA (as part of the Dutch Research Council – NWO) and Health~Holland (Top Sector Life Sciences & Health), Dutch universities of applied sciences were enabled to conduct innovative research projects in close collaboration with technological companies and end users (both citizens and professionals) to organize care in the own (home) environment. Nine projects, testing a wide variety of technological innovations and targeting diverse populations, ran between 2021 – 2023. In a follow-up call, two large consortia were formed from a selection of these nine projects and were awarded follow up funding (start in 2024). All of these projects are conducted within Learning Communities. A Learning Community, in this context, consists of different public and private organizations and other partners (non, or less organized parties such as citizens and/or professionals), which together contribute to the collective capacity of (livelong) learning, professional practice and innovation. Based on current experience with Learning Communities, certain questions arise, e.g.: “What value does a Learning Community create for the different participants?” and “How can collaboration in a Learning Community be secured for several years?”

The aim of this workshop is to share experiences from two of the finished research projects of the initial subsidy round and to explore solutions for complex societal problems from different perspectives: funding, research, and the experience with Learning Communities.

Hoe bouwen we dementievriendelijk? (NL)

Anne de Boer & Anne van Grinsven

Alzheimer Nederland & WZNL

De hoeveelheid mensen met dementie groeit sterk en dat vraagt aandacht in hoe we onze huizen en wijken bouwen. Wat ervaren mensen met dementie en hoe bouw je hiervoor? Omdat de omgeving van invloed is op mensen met dementie, kunnen we in de (ver)bouw dementievriendelijke keuzes maken. Zo kun je de omgeving benutten om langer en zelfstandig in een eigen woning te blijven wonen. Alzheimer Nederland, Woonzorg Nederland en de Technische Universiteit van Eindhoven hebben de handen ineengeslagen om een dementievriendelijke toolkit te maken. Specifiek richt de handreiking zich op ontwikkelaars, complexbeheerders en huurders die vanuit een woningcorporatie betrokken zijn bij de verschillende fasen van het bouw- onderhouds- en transformatieproces. Het gaat dus om nieuwbouw én bestaande bouw, specifiek gericht op de nultredenwoningen. Het is een vervolg op de oude toolkit “dementievriendelijk ontwerpen”. Met behulp van illustraties worden een aantal thema’s die belangrijk zijn voor een dementievriendelijk woongebouw samengevat en tekstueel toegelicht. Aan de hand van een ervaringsoefening en voorbeelden voor dementievriendelijk bouwen, gaan we met elkaar in gesprek.

Social Innovation as motor for smart inclusive environments

Willeke van Staalduinen, Silvia Urra Uriarte & Anne Grave

AFEdemy, age-friendly environments academy, Tecnalia & TU/e

Smart healthy inclusive living environments foster social participation, independent living and health and well-being of citizens.

  • Housing is accessible and equipped to support its inhabitants. It is smart and responsive to meet the needs and challenges in case of impairments or chronic disease.
  • Outdoor spaces provide elementary facilities for accessible leisure, care and meetings.
Who would not feel attracted to such living environments for all? Innovation actors, such as municipal workers, housing developers and care providers in most European countries are initiating or contributing to the realisation of such environments. The goal is quite clear, however, the path to it is often challenging and needs much patience and clever manoeuvring. The SIRENE project (Social Innovation Responsive Environments Network) brings together multidisciplinary experts to co-create an applicable Framework for innovation actors. The Framework provides insight information on the involvement of multiple stakeholders in ecosystems, funding opportunities, good practices and smart solutions. In this interactive workshop, we will introduce the Framework and invite the audience to engage in discussions and suggest amendments. Various examples of smart age-friendly initiatives at different scales, such as urban and building contexts, will be showcased. The session will delve into the analysis of how social innovation plays a pivotal role in the development and implementation of these initiatives. The agenda of the workshop is the following:

  • Opening by Willeke van Staalduinen, CEO of AFEdemy, to introduce SHAFE, Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments, SIRENE and the Framework
  • Contribution by Silvia Urra Uriarte, PhD candidate and Researcher of Tecnalia, about urban planning and age-friendly cities and how social innovation is key.
  • Contribution by Anne Grave, MSc, EngD about Designing Neighbourhood Open Spaces to Promote the mental health of the ageing population
  • Discussion, questions and amendments

Masterclass Conceptueel Bouwen: Nieuwe prestatie-eisen voor wonen met zorg (NL)

Olga Görts-van de Pas

Netwerk Conceptueel Bouwen

De vraag naar woningen waarin ouderen comfortabel kunnen wonen en waar passende zorg verleend kan worden is groot. Het Netwerk Conceptueel Bouwen is een kennisnetwerk en heeft als missie partijen werkzaam in de woningbouwmarkt bij elkaar te brengen om conceptueel bouwen te stimuleren. Daarvoor ontwikkelde het NCB onder andere De Woonstandaard waarin veelgevraagde productmarktcombinaties (PMC’s) zijn gedefinieerd. Samen met Actiz, Aedes, en de ministeries van BZK en VWS werkt het Netwerk Conceptueel Bouwen aan het definiëren van nieuwe PMC’s voor levensloopbestendige woningen, geclusterde woonvormen en verpleegzorgplaatsen. Met deze prestatie-eisen breiden we De Woonstandaard uit. We helpen hiermee opdrachtgevers bij het formuleren van de uitvraag voor nieuwbouw van zorggeschikt vastgoed en stellen conceptaanbieders in staat hun aanbod uit te breiden met deze producten voor wonen met zorg waardoor we sneller, slimmer en schoner kunnen bouwen voor een scherpe prijs/kwaliteit.

An empathic approach for connecting health to mobility behaviour in public space

Melissa Bruntlett, Esmee van Selst & Bige Tunçer

Royal HaskoningDHV

When imagining healthy environments for living, learning, and working it can be challenging to find the connections between home environments, healthcare, and how people move in their communities. Despite many innovations and technological advancements, less attention is given to the effects that calmer restorative environments can have on healthy human experience physically, psychologically and socially. Studies are surfacing that identify the link between feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression and the level of ambient stress caused by for example high traffic volumes, lack of green spaces, and few opportunities for social connection.

In this interactive session, we will examine these links from the perspectives of children, the elderly, women, disabled people, and other historically overlooked groups. How can bringing more social responsibility and kindness into infrastructure and mobility improve the human experience, contributing to healthier, more inclusive, and more kind spaces for citizens regardless of age, gender, physical ability, or economic means? Through an introductory presentation and new tools for measuring access as linked to wellbeing, Melissa Bruntlett, Esmee van Selst and Bige Tuncer will facilitate a discussion on the benefits made possible by thoughtfully designing and planning for mobility that enable a healthy combination of autonomy and social responsibility to our communities.

Neighborhood Social Interaction. How can buildings and the immediate surroundings of the housing estate support social interaction?

Linh Nguyen & Pauline van den Berg

TU/e & Fontys

Social interaction between neighbors is more than just recognizing one another’s faces, it is about communicating with each other, participating in common activities, and lending a hand to one another. Interacting with neighbors such as exchanging interests or having small conversations could increase people’s happiness, health, and well-being. With a certain level of social interaction, people can have the feeling of being socially integrated which could decrease the feeling of loneliness. Without interaction with neighbors, residents are considered as a group of people living separate lives in their neighborhood. One may ask if and how the design of the building and the immediate surroundings can invite residents to stay longer outside their private territories and as a result, support interaction among fellow neighbors. This workshop aims to emphasize the importance of social interaction and inclusivity within the neighborhood. We would like to highlight the perspectives of researchers and architects on the importance of buildings and the immediate surroundings to people’s social interactions. We also want to open a discussion with experts in different disciplines such as researchers, designers, housing associations, project developers, policymakers, etc. on how the design of buildings and the immediate surroundings can stimulate residents’ social interaction within a neighborhood. The main question of this workshop session is: How can the design of housing and the direct living environment contribute to more social interaction and a reduction in loneliness i.e. what spatial features create opportunities for social connection? In this workshop, we will discuss this topic with experts from different backgrounds. First, the topic will be introduced in three presentations. Next, we will have a group discussion to further reveal which spatial features create opportunities for social connection.

Future homecare for and with older adults

Camilla Evensson, Sarah Latus, Coosje Hammink


As the ageing population places growing demands on healthcare systems in the North Sea region, the ACE project has emerged to alleviate the burden.


The ACE project is pioneering a future where older adults can live safer, independent lives, by accelerating the use of innovative technologies and solutions for better future homecare.  


ACE’s transnational and multidisciplinary consortium of 14 partner organisations from six European countries – Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, France & Germany – is working to prepare formal and informal healthcare providers for the homecare solutions and technology of the future. The project will connect technology and solution providers with networks essential to making an impact and, ultimately, ensure that the end users of these solutions remain independent and healthy in their own homes.  


Last autumn the ACE project conducted nine workshops in five countries to identify common challenges and the most pressing needs among all relevant stakeholders connected to homecare. Participants included older adults and their relatives, care givers, care managers, politicians, companies, civil society, and academia. In total approximately 200 individuals participated and contributed to the workshop results.


In our  workshop, we will present a summary of the most pressing needs that we have identified, and we will invite the participants in our session to contribute interactively. We would like to tap into your expertise and experience in technology for the future, technology that would be suitable to match with the most pressing needs, to be able to create an attractive future homecare for older adults.

A methodology to analyze neighborhoods on living and care using GIS

Speakers: Otto Trienekens & Andrea Fitskie


A methodology to analyze neighborhoods on living and care using GIS With concepts such as ’10-minute city’ (Buurtstad) and ‘Living & Care circles’ (Woonzorgcirkels), cities as Amsterdam and Brussels are committed to organizing local nodes, where facilities for daily life are within reach for all residents. This focus on local life and neighborhood units touches on several societal questions, for example when it comes to reducing (motorized) transport flows and improving air quality, the viability of small entrepreneurs and equal access to high-quality basic facilities. The well-functioning of local ecosystems is important for all city residents, but especially for those who are bound to their place of residence and the surrounding area due to aging or some form of physical or mental disability. Social-spatial research lab Veldacademie (Field Academy) is developing a method to make citywide inventories and analysis of local amenity centers using GIS. The method is mainly quantitative and makes use of public data sources to identify these ‘anchor points’ in the urban fabric. In order to extent and to interpretate the method with qualitative insights concerning behavior of citizens, and therefore organize a better understanding of the actual need for amenities, we aim to collect more knowledge from various experts on this topic. In this workshop a brief introduction on the method will be followed by a collective reflection on the question of how to implement qualitative factors into this method. How can the scale of the city (and its urban strategy) be associated with the daily life in neighborhoods? What kind of (invisible) local networks are active, and how do they contribute to informal care? And what are the spatial conditions for community building? The workshop will be based on the (preliminary) outcomes of studies in the city of Amsterdam. The research, which started in 2015, focuses on living environments for elderly people and is now being extended to care for the mentally and/or physically disabled, homeless and refugees. The results of this complete inventory serves as a basis of knowledge on which the municipal strategic roadmap for housing and care 2024-2034 will be further developed.

Impact of eHealth

Speakers: Sander van de Hoef, Margot Rakers


With the rapid advancement of technology, the healthcare landscape is undergoing a profound transformation. Digital innovations, particularly those related to remote patient monitoring, offer unprecedented opportunities to enhance patient care, improve outcomes, and optimize resource utilization. In this workshop, we delve into the significance and added value of digital innovations, particularly in the realm of remote patient monitoring, within the domains of medicine and movement care. Various research projects and eHealth interventions will be showcased as examples, providing insight into their applications and impacts. Attendees will be able to engage in group discussions, bringing together diverse backgrounds to explore the barriers and facilitators in implementation, the required cost-effectiveness, and the involvement of end-users. Throughout the workshop, attendees will gain a comprehensive understanding of the latest developments in digital health, focusing on their practical implications and potential for healthcare delivery.