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Saturday, November 25, 2006

The ACAAL

Patrick Olivier comes from UK and Linmi Tao from China. The spotlights are: Accessible and Inclusive ICT: from brain computer interfaces to Ambient Assisted Living networking; Cognition and Robotics: from embodied intelligence conference sessions to the iCub humanoid robot. We believe there is a long way between the workshop and the success of our proposal. There are several things in our mind.

I had an opportunity to listen to all the experts in the workshop. There were academics from Germany, China, France, UK, Romania and presentation from VTT representing the findings from the Finnsih Technical Research Institute. Comments from the audience represented insights from Greece, Italy and Atlanta, Ga., USA, and some more USA insigths. I think there was something very interesting surfacing. I still don't have and idea about how the next step is surfacing. The importance of getting the patients and people to be a part of the development effort was stressed in several occasions.

ICT provides a major opportunity to integrate people at risk of exclusion and empower individuals to fully participate in the knowledge society. ICT also offers important means to address the problems associated to the ageing population such as the associated rise of number of people with high disability rates1, fewer family carers, and a smaller productive workforce. For many people, in particular for groups at risk of exclusion, e.g. the growing part of the population that is over 60, the complexity and lack of accessibility and usability of ICT is a major barrier.

Europe is facing the challenge of delivering quality healthcare to all its citizens, at affordable cost. Prolonged medical care for the ageing society, the costs of managing chronic diseases, and the increasing demand by citizens for best quality healthcare are major factors. Healthcare expenditure in Europe is already significant (8.5% of the GDP on average) and rising faster than the economic growth itself
1. The emerging situation calls for a change in the way healthcare is delivered and the way medical knowledge is managed and transferred to clinical practice. ICT are key to implement these changes in this information intensive domain.

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