Group of doctors and nurses set in a hospital with a patient

The people of Planet Earth are aging. When the world population passed 7 billion in late 2011, 600+ million people were over the age of 60. By 2025, the 60+ segment will comprise 20% of the population in most industrialized nations. Bolzano, Italy, is reaching this milestone a little faster – almost a quarter of the population is over the age of 65. In fact, Italy, along with Japan, has one of the oldest populations in the world. As a result, Bolzano currently spends close to half of their social services budget on services for the elderly.

An IBM Smarter Cities team led by the IBM Human Centric Solutions Center partnered with Bolzano city planners to answer the question „Can we use technology to guarantee a good quality of life?” And the answer is a resounding „yes.” The team outfitted a small group of elderly residents’ homes with sensors which would report information back to a central database closely monitored by the city. From there, the city could dispatch a care worker to visit the home. By allowing Bolzano to keep the number of their staff members the same, the program stabilizes the city’s costs while simultaneously allowing it to care for its growing elderly population. The Living Safe Project is making a difference for Italian seniors aging in place in Bolzano. City planners estimate 30% savings in assistance and care. But, Zita, one resident using the solution, places a different value on the program, saying, „It feels like I have a friend at home watching over the house.” She adds, „Independence is the most beautiful thing in the world. This is important. This is living. This is richness.”  [youtube][/youtube]

IBM underlying platform as a service cloud infrastructure enables very fast time to market allowing city governors, partners, developers, start-ups to customize and extend IBM solution capabilities for any city that would like to follow Bolzano example.

  • There is significant funding available for vulnerable populations (active aging) supported by EU and Polish Government programs available to local government cities in 2014-2020 perspective

  • The IBM-Bolzano idea could be further developed in collaboration with local hospitals, social care institutions and NGOs to provide end-to-end coordinated care for elderly. Especially patients with multiple chronical disease need someone to manage their care plan, coordinate visits at specialist care, help them track medication dosage and perform regular physical exercise.

  • IBM is looking for technology partners to cooperate on the cloud platform development: integration with external systems (HIS, EMR), mobile technologies, wearables, telemedicine tools Open IBM’s cloud architecture enables developers/firms to collaborate and rapidly build, deploy and manage cloud applications, while tapping a growing ecosystem of available services and runtime frameworks.

  • There is also potential for local start-ups to use IBM cloud based app development platform to set-up disruptive business model based on unique IBM cloud computing application. Through global cloud infrastructure and application “cloud marketplace store” IBM is in position to help local start-ups to reach other markets.

Meet the presenter:

Matěj Adam, MBA Healthcare Industry Leader, Global Healthcare Solutions Executive

Phone : (+420) 2 7213-1307, e-mail: matej.adam [ at ]