The elderly will be able to stay in their homes for longer under a multi-million government scheme to develop products and services to help Britain’s ageing population stay independent.
A £300 million fund has been set aside to help boost the physical and mental health of older people, as well as providing an extra £40 million for the UK Dementia Research Institute.
The government said it wanted to be the best country in the world for dementia care and research by 2020.
10 million Britons alive today are expected to reach 100 years old, and the scheme will also see £98 million set aside to help people to live in their homes for longer, tackle loneliness, and increase independence and wellbeing.
The government said the ageing population was creating new demands for new care technologies, different housing models and innovative savings products for retirement.
Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care said: “With an increasingly ageing population we must transform the way we think about our work, our housing, our health our finances and our communities.
“These investments will not only help in our aims to make this the best country in the world to live with dementia but provide a revolutionary vital boost to develop and scale up products and services of the future, ensuring everyone can age well and live more independently throughout their lives.”
Some £210 million of the funding will pay of a ‘data to early diagnosis’ programme which will use artificial intelligence to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
As part of the programme, the 500,000 UK Biobank participants will have their genomes sequence to provide a new DNA data.
Regional centres of excellence will also be set up across Britain to explore using AI to analyse medical images and allow companies to test new products.
Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, said Welcoming today’s announcement, Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Through our Industrial Strategy we will not only boost innovation and productivity across the UK, but we will also ensure that this Government changes people’s lives for the better.
“We are over £300 million into developing the treatments of the future, in new technologies that will revolutionise the way we age and provide everyone with the best possible chance to grow old with dignity in their own home.
“By 2020 we want to be the best country in the world for dementia care and research and today’s announcement of £40 million for the Dementia Research Institute is a vitally important step on that journey.”