Title: Assistive technologies in nursing and healthcare: cost factor and/or economic driver?

Authors: Sven Wydra; Tanja Bratan

Addresses: Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research, Breslauer Str. 48, D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany. ' Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research, Breslauer Str. 48, D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract: The macroeconomic impact of assistive and other health technologies is currently being discussed from two points of view: on the one hand new technologies are regarded as a potential factor for rising healthcare costs and therefore an impediment to economic development, while on the other hand they are increasingly considered as a key driver for economic growth and employment. In this paper, we argue that these different perspectives should be considered together as part of multi-dimensional view of the impact of such innovations. As a fully empirical study on such a concept is not yet possible due to data restrictions, this article discusses current empirical findings from a cost as well as an economic driver perspective. Overall, assistive technologies may have considerable positive impacts for the health system and economy, but significant barriers are yet to be overcome.

Keywords: assistive technology; ambient assisted living; AAL; healthcare costs; economic impact; health economics; nursing; healthcare technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBHR.2012.046722

International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research, 2012 Vol.3 No.2, pp.73 - 90

Available online: 18 Apr 2012 *

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