Empathy and high tech - Interim results of the LEV project Reference No.: S2013.003

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Today’s health and elder care systems are badly in need of more empathy and high tech. That is one of the conclusions drawn by this report from the LEV project, which studies long-term demand for welfare services.

We cannot continue to produce health and welfare services the way we do now while improving quality, keeping pace with the ageing population and reining in costs. To provide health and elder care in 2050, the systems must shift their focus from disease to reducing the risk that disease will develop in the first place.

New technologies will serve as the catalyst that enables innovative approaches by the health and elder care systems. Patients will be able to treat mild illnesses by phone, while screening and automated diagnosis at health centres and hospitals will allow more serious conditions to be detected in time. New technologies can take over many of the heavy tasks that are required in the elder care system.

Once technology is being used properly, savings will emerge that can finance more dignified care for the growing elderly population. Then we will have the ability to prioritize badly-needed empathy.

This report contains observations of health and elder care that can serve as inspiration for new ways of thinking and hopefully persuade more people to start experimenting with alternative methods of providing these services.