Companies are to receive European funding to develop technology that helps older people continue living independently at home.
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.
"There is no reason for older people in Europe to miss out on the benefits of new technologies," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media.
"The solutions and services resulting from this programme will help them to remain active in society as well as staying socially connected and independent for longer."
The proposal is part of the European Commission's goal to save on health and social care expenditure.
A quarter of the EU population will be aged over 65 by 2020, and spending on pensions, health and long-term care is expected to increase to eight per cent of GDP in the coming decades.
The new proposal will see an additional €150m in funding to a new European Joint Research Programme, resulting in a total investment of around €600m.
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