Demographic change, a shortage of doctors and a changing spectrum of diseases: challenges that not only Germany and the Lake Constance region have to deal with. The goal of the D-CARE project was to build a transnational network of 26 partners from nine Danube riparian countries who are working together to optimise the health infrastructure in rural areas. The focus was on the care of the elderly population through innovative telemedical measures. D-CARE was funded by the EU Interreg Danube Transnational Programme.
Demographic change has greatly altered the population picture. Especially in rural and structurally weak areas such as the Lake Constance region and the Danube region, this influence is increasingly felt: young people often move to larger cities or abroad in search of better career opportunities, while older people are left behind alone. In order to revitalise rural regions, strengthen the regional labour market and improve healthcare for the elderly population in these areas, new, innovative and cross-sectoral services are needed.
This is where the D-CARE project came in: The project aimed to establish a transnational cooperation network by designing, testing and implementing innovative models of care for older people 55+ in nine partner regions. This enabled the emergence, validation and implementation of smart care services to strengthen regional social and health systems. This was done, among other things, through skills training and the development of innovative care models to better exploit the potential of the changing, diverse population in the partner regions.
D-CARE (Digital Care) aimed to address the societal challenges posed by demographic change by building an innovative transnational learning network, connecting the nine partner regions so that they could support and learn from each other in their common endeavour. Furthermore, Smart Care Pilots were established in five of the project regions to test, validate and implement Smart Care models. In order to achieve the best possible results, the project envisaged close cooperation with local actors from the fields of politics, research, industry and patients in order to develop solutions that are precisely tailored to the situation and needs of the individual regions.
The aim of D-CARE was to improve the employment situation in rural areas of the partner regions in the entire Danube Region and to offer better health care to older people living there through new Smart Care services. 26 project partners from nine Danube riparian countries were working together to achieve this goal.