The CURA-B project (acCURAte-Business) was a three-year, priority 1 EU ERDF project, part-funded through the Joint Technical Secretariat INTERREG IVA 2 Mers programme, to promote entrepreneurship and the development of new cross-border initiatives.
The project developed best practice models for the procurement, development and deployment of innovative AT-led (assistive technology) service solutions for the social and health care markets (often referred to as tele-health, tele-medicine or tele-care).
It is an increasing challenge for society to provide high quality and affordable health care. There are also greater demands on health and social services to follow a strategy for early intervention and prevention whilst involving the individual in care through care personalisation. The introduction of innovative products and services along with new models of health and social care, is viewed as crucial to meet these challenges.
“We can't afford to get assistive technology wrong. It is going to be a cornerstone of affordable healthcare over the decades to come and will increasingly be central to the very experience of getting old”.
Prof Chris Ivory
Deputy Director of the Institute for International Management Practice (IIMP)
Specific project objectives for all participating regions were to develop innovative new care pathways that were patient and carer focused that provided:
- Improved efficiency in the health and social care sectors
- Improved quality of care and outcomes for patient, family and carers
- Reduced the cost of delivering health and social care
- Increased awareness and prominence of Assistive Technology for all stakeholders
- Improved the opportunities for business development and innovation within the healthcare and social care; and sectors for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).
The CURA-B project was led by Impuls Zeeland (regional development agency, Netherlands) and brought together organisations in West Flanders (Belgium), northern France and Suffolk.
Anglia Ruskin University's role in CURA-B was to provide social science support and direction to the project.
Our brief was to advise on and support the project's research activities and to analyse and reflect upon the implications of the data collected. Our focus was upon how innovation may be improved in the sectors examined; both by drawing lessons from the use and uptake of different forms of assistive technology and by helping local agencies, firms and care-providers develop models suitable to effective, integrated health care provision.
We were also interested in the broader ethical and social questions emerging from this re-shaping of relationships between carers, agencies and citizens.