The European Commission wants to see Europe developing as a hub for ICT for older people through the development of smart home technologies, electronic alarm systems and remote health facilities, for example.

It is hoped that smart devices, mobile technologies for monitoring vital signs and user-friendly interfaces for people with impaired vision or hearing will improve the quality of life of elderly people, their carers and families.

According to an article on VNUNET, the plan, proposed by the European Commission in June 2007, had already been approved by the European Parliament in March 2008 in a first reading. Twenty EU member states, as well as Israel, Norway and Switzerland would participate in this € 600 million joint research project called “Ambient Assisted Living” programme.

Between now and 2013, another € 400 million are allocated to research and innovation for the elderly people under the E.U.’s seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. “There is no reason for older people in Europe to miss out on the benefits of new technologies. The solutions and services resulting from this program will help them to remain active in society as well as staying socially connected and independent for a longer time,” said Viviane Reding, E.U. Commissioner for the information society and media.