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March 2020

Living better in later life

A new partnership with the University of Edinburgh aims to improve health and social care for our ageing population

Staying independent in later life is a priority for older people, their families and society, but planning is difficult when the future is uncertain. Developing new models of care alongside investable and scalable technologies to support them is just one of the goals of a new partnership between Legal & General and the University of Edinburgh, which is aiming to help us all live better in later life.

There are currently 12 million people over the age of 65 in the UK and this figure is set to rise by 50% in the next 20 years. In response, we’ve provided £20m of funding so that the University can launch the Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC), which will carry out ground-breaking research into data-driven, personalised and affordable care. It aims to find solutions that will support the independence, dignity and quality of life of older people living in their own homes or supported environments.

There is a broad consensus that more research is needed into frailty, function, social isolation, quality of life and into maintaining independence in people with multiple health conditions. The ACRC will, therefore, look for ways that data science, artificial intelligence, assistive technologies and robotics can be embedded in health and social care systems.

This exceptional partnership will re-imagine care for the mid-21st century. As our population ages, so we need to develop innovative new approaches to provide individually tailored care.”

The ACRC will stimulate debate about how the healthcare sector and wider society should respond to the growing challenge of an ageing population and by gathering expertise and evidence it will become the ‘go to’ source of information for policymakers. In addition, it will develop the next generation of leaders in the field. And the ACRC will harness advanced digital techniques, such as artificial intelligence, to manage the explosion of health and social care data being collected. Its four core programmes of research and development include:

  • A wide range of public and stakeholder engagement activities to shape national debate on ageing, health and care, including building an improved understanding of the ageing individual in context.
  • Application of new data science methods to enable targeted interventions in later life including better analysis and improved data for insight and prediction.
  • Developing new models of care alongside investable and scalable technologies to support them.
  • Creation of an Academy for Leadership Training in Advanced Care, which will train a new generation of interdisciplinary leaders in later life care, with an associated entrepreneurial programme supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service.

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh says: “We are delighted to host this ground-breaking collaboration with colleagues at Legal & General. This exceptional partnership will re-imagine care for the mid-21st century. As our population ages, so we need to develop innovative new approaches to provide individually tailored care. This is the big challenge that the partners will address, bringing to bear pioneering research from the brightest academic minds across multiple disciplines to deliver creative and trusted solutions to address real world problems.”

Legal & General is already investing in a range of ways to help people live better as they age, such as our innovative Inspired Villages and Guild Living communities that encourage a more active and engaged lifestyle, and services like Care Sourcer, which helps people find the care they need.

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