Can Technology-based Services support Long-term Care Challenges in Home Care? Analysis of Evidence from Social Innovation Good Practices across the EU: CARICT Project Summary Report

  • Authors: Stephanie Carretero, James Stewart, Clara Centeno,Francesco Barbabella, Andrea Schmidt,Frédérique Lamontagne-Godwin, Giovanni Lamura


Deployment and use of technological services for informal carers is still limited, mainly due to users' low digital skills, the lack of demonstrated business cases, and the poor evidence of the impact and sustainability of these services. The CARICT project aimed to collect evidence-based results on the impact of ICT-enabled domiciliary care services, and to make policy recommendations to develop, scale and replicate them in the European Union. The methodology was based on a mapping of 52 ICT-based services for informal carers developed in Europe, and a cross–analysis of 12 of these initiatives to get data on their impacts, drivers, business models, success factors, and challenges. The main results show that there is a wide range of successful, not very costly and beneficial examples of ICT-based support for carers across Europe. The cross-analysis indicated that these services had positive impacts on the quality of life of elderly people and informal carers, the quality of care and the financial sustainability of the health and social systems. The data also confirm that policy at European, national, regional and local levels can promote the successful development, implementation and transferability of these services through funding, policy leadership and by promoting stronger cooperation among stakeholders including end-users, mainly from the third sector and informal carers, to create a new value chain in the provision of long-term care. These findings help to achieve the objectives of European policy defined by the 2020 Strategy, and more specifically the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) and the European Innovation Partnership on Healthy and Active Ageing (EIP AHA).

In 2008, we (JRC-IPTS1), in a project co-funded by DG CNECT,2 highlighted the opportunities
offered by ICTs for long-term care of elderly people, and for the first time for informal
carers. We showed that ICTs for can help informal carers with their care tasks and improve
the quality of care they give and their own wellbeing. Nevertheless, we also concluded that
this potential is currently largely untapped, and that research is needed to obtain evidencebased
results on impact, scalability and sustainable business models of ICT-enabled care
In 2010, DG CNECT asked us to contribute to the i2010 e-Inclusion policy, which was later
revised under Chapter 63 of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE). For this purpose, we
signed an agreement in May 20104 with DG CNECT, to study the role played by information
and communication technologies (ICTs) in the activities of social inclusion actors in an
ageing society. We approached this need for research on the evidence-based results for
ICTs for informal carers, and we carried out a study entitled 'ICT for caregivers and other
social actors: enhancing the sustainability of long-term care and social support' (CARICT) in
CARICT aimed to find out to what extent ICT-based services for informal carers exist in
European countries, their impact and the policy support needed to develop and implement
them. These data would allow us to understand whether these services help to create
motivated and skilled domiciliary carers, and whether they have an impact on the quality of
life of the elderly and carers, and on the quality and efficiency of the care supplied. The
study was carried out by a group of experts on ageing, long-term care and informal care,
led by the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research (the contractor) and
IPTS, through the following activities:
1. The systematic mapping of the most relevant ICT-based initiatives in Europe to support
informal carers of older people living in the community. The results of this mapping can
be found in the deliverable '2.3: Analysis and Mapping of 52 ICT-based initiatives for
ves.pdf and
2. A cross-analysis of 12 selected good practices to better understand the impact and the
success factors of these services. This analysis is available at the following link for the
deliverable '4.3: Final report containing case-by-case detailed description and analysis
of selected 12 good practices:'
Fundamental to these two activities was the building of an impact assessment
methodology (IAM) prototype for evaluating the multidimensional effects of ICT-enabled
services in home care. This methodology explores and judges the range and quality of
impact evidence available and can be found at the following link for the deliverable '3.6:
Final report on the 'Methodological Framework':
In addition, the project ran two expert workshops in June and November 2011. The
workshops’ minutes with recommendations are summarised in the following reports:
• ´Deliverable 3.4 Minutes of the Expert's Workshop with a set of 'Expert's
recommendations for the Methodological Framework' for the first workshop
• 'Deliverable 5.2: Minutes of the Policy Makers' and Experts' Workshop identifying the
Recommendations to be taken into account for WP3 and WP5'
All information on CARICT, and this and the other reports are available at: