Welfare technology, a new term that covers design and development of aids and appliances in the nursing sector, could become a major export area for Denmark opines the Danish Society of Engineers and Ældresagen, an organisation that works to improve care of the elderly. The news is reported by Erhvervsbladet (The Business Paper).
Bjarne Hastrup, chairman of Ældresagen, says that just as Danish companies 30 years ago chose to focus on renewable energy and so today have gained a large share of the world market in this area, the same could happen regarding welfare technology.
"With the profile and experience we have gained with our welfare system, we should be right at the forefront of making technology more human. We already have a good starting point, but it is all important that society invests in this."
In the next decades many western countries will encounter the same challenge as the Danish welfare society – few carers, but many elderly.
The Danish Minister for the Interior and Social Affairs, Karen Ellemann, comments: "Welfare technology is a very central tool to help us with the challenges we are facing in the public sector. And not just to create sensible technology for our own challenges, but also as an export potential."
The Minister emphasises that the government, together with the Danish People's Party and Liberal Alliance, has earmarked DKK 3bn (USD 570m) for experiments with labour-saving technologies.