Service requirements meeting people’s need

The range of possible needs and demands of (older) people is as diverse as the target group itself, ranging from complex needs associated with a chronic condition such as chronic heart failure or COPD to the demand of little support services such as support for household work or shopping. Coping with a chronic condition or an accident such as a fall often puts the person in a situation where a complex mix of services from social care and healthcare is needed to enable the person to stay at home.

The SmartCare services will also support formal carers (from social care, healthcare and third sector) in providing care for older people in a more efficient and qualitative manner. Arange of societal and economic trends are currently observable that will also have an influence on the service landscape in the social care and healthcare sector. Demographic pressures of increased longevity, coupled with more people surviving serious illness but often with increased dependency, are increasingly compounded by societal pressures for more and better services for needy members of society.

Also, clients and patients are becoming increasingly demanding in terms of personalised and individual support, also demanding more responsive and quality services. Increased consumer expectations of service availability and quality based on more widespread consumer-oriented attitude of commerce and society are increasingly leading to citizen-based aims of holism and service coordination. As part of this, a strong frustration can be observed with the lack of coordination between social care and healthcare services, which may manifest in different aims and goals, different support approaches or clashes in delivery schedules.

However, today social care and healthcare services are often still delivered independently by different providers. This can cause many practical difficulties like having to run from one provider to another, or being unsure about who is responsible for what. As a consequence, the quality of the care services can be diminished with notable effects for service clients, their family and close relations.

Implementing and deploying integrated eCare services thus requires a thorough investigation and consideration of needs and requirements of all target groups involved.