Care for the future?

TEDxMaastricht is all about the future of health. Healthcare is changing rapidly because of huge technological breakthroughs. But also because the public opinion about healthcare is changing. At the centre of the changes is the human being, as Lucien Engelen says himself: “Real participatory Healthcare starts with embracing the patient into you team!”. Fascinating stuff and absolutely true! Go see e-patient Dave and Ragna if you need to be reminded ;)

Although, attending last years TEDxMaastricht, there was one thing that I think was missing. Patients aren’t the only people receiving healthcare, but also elderly people, people with disabilities and the chronically ill. There was a lot of attention for “cure” and less for “care”. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of good stuff in Maastricht last year, but a little more “care” wouldn’t hurt.

That’s why I was very happy with the announcement of Geert Vandewalle as one of the speakers for TEDxMaastricht 2012. He is working on something called the : an app for smartphones that helps people with mental disabilities to participate in society on their own. It can help them ask the way to a stranger, set reminders or provide a hotline to a caretaker in case of an emergency. Geert and his team have big ambitions for their app, they want it to have the same symbolic status as the white cane that visually impaired people use.

These are the kind of initiatives that, in my opinion, are going to change the future. A simple app with a big impact on the lives of countless people. And not to mention, a possibility to reduce employee costs. Combine this with a high ambition and attention for people in long term care and my TEDxMaastricht experience already can’t go wrong!


Blog by Michiel Rutjes