Limerick encouraged to utilise technology to help older people

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Limerick encouraged to utilise technology to help older people

Nancy Breiman of IBM with Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Liam Galvin

A TOP team of experts have said that Limerick “should utilise technology to improve the lives of its older citizens” and for more information to be shared to respond to their needs more effectively.

On Friday, a team of five experts from technology giant IBM delivered a set of innovative recommendations in Limerick after spending three weeks in the Mid-West addressing challenges around the city’s ageing population, as part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Programme.

Limerick hosted the visit after it was named winner of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge programme 2015 alongside 16 other cities around the world including Athens, Melbourne, Denver and Amsterdam.

The IBM team, after undergoing research in the city, recommended that Limerick creates a “master data management plan” that responds to the needs of older people; the sharing of information electronically to allow emergency personnel to quickly access treatments through the use of a ‘smart card’; the increased use of senior-friendly technology; and to replicate best practices for transport.

Limerick City and County Council deputy chief executive, Pat Dowling said: “These recommendations will enable the council to develop its strategy to enable us to predict and respond to the needs of older people through the better management of shared information.

“Limerick is already looking at innovative ways of using technology to respond to the health and well-being needs of the population through our Digital Strategy Team and Age Friendly Alliance. The IBM team has presented some very innovative proposals to us, particularly in the areas of public transport and public health.”

He added that technology can be used to help elder people in disadvantaged and rural communities in Limerick.