Enabling people to live independently as long as possible, remain active and make their own healthcare decisions - this is the aim of the Demand-driven Healthcare research group.
The social necessity for this is clear: the number of ageing adults is increasing, capacity shortages are looming and the cost of care is rising. But it is not simply a question of money and capacity. Many elderly people and chronically ill people also actively prefer to live at home for as long as possible, and technology is enabling them to remain independent.
The research group examines the opportunities and limitations of technology in healthcare. The model homes, which the research group has realized together with the installation sector, are a good example
http://technologiethuis.nu/. With some architectural and technological adjustments, people living with dementia, COPD, diabetes or limited vision can continue to live longer in their own homes.
The research group is also investigating the role of the reallocation and delegation of tasks. Thanks to clear and unambiguous treatment procedures and the use of technology, new professions are emerging such as that of optometrist. An optometrist is well positioned to take over some of the work of an ophthalmologist. Other examples include skin therapists, physician’s assistants, dental hygienists and elderly care workers. These professionals cost less than physicians, but are able to deliver the same quality of care. All this means that task reallocation and technology are lowering healthcare costs.
The professor and the researchers share their knowledge with students, lecturers, researchers and policy makers. But also with professional practitioners working in healthcare institutions, in the technology sector (e.g. product designers) and in the building and installation sector. This dialogue also works in both directions: all these parties are also helping to work on the research. In addition, the research group incorporates its newly generated knowledge into teachings for Bachelor’s and Master’s students. The minor in Public Health Engineering and the annual summer course in Health and Engineering also serve as platforms for knowledge transfer. Research for the Demand Driven Care is structured accordingly to: 1. Self-management 2. Smart Care 3. Smart Business and 4. Smart Environment.