Care sustainability in an ageing society

Leader: Marco​ Albertini, UNIBO
Co-Leader: Cecilia Tomassini, UNIMOL


Spoke Themes

It aims at promoting environmentally, economically and socially sustainable integrated solutions regarding the world of care provision. Spoke 5 will thus identify, test and implement multisectoral interventions and policies for the care of older people, including medical, institutional and technological solutions to the development of person-centred, affordable and integrated long-term care provision, in the context of differentiated geographical and economic local contexts (including inner areas).


Activities are organised around 6 WPs, that involve interdisciplinary scholars working on different domains of care receipt and care provision. Main outputs are collection on statistical information on care, two medical monitoring of older patients and their caregivers, a territorial analysis of the provision of care, a training platform directed to different carers groups and a final macro analysis of the care provision in Italy. A cross-cut team of IT scholars to implement different solutions for all WPs.


Scienze mediche (geriatria, reumatologia, fisiologia, neurologia, cardiologia); demografia e sociologia; metodi di indagine e analisi dei dati; statistica sociale; psicologia clinica e sociale, economia della salute; politica sociale; sanità pubblica; leggi e medicina legale; informatica, scienza dei dati; e bioingegneria. 

Work Packages

Prof. Cecilia Tomassini, UNIMOL

Using large national representative surveys, WP1 aims to draw an updated picture of care needs by different perspectives to provide a framework to the other WPs on the contribution of emerging technologies, new medical innovations, family arrangements, care homes, legal settings and institutional actions to increase older people and care providers’ well-being.

Prof. Marco Domenicali, UNIBO

WP2 will shift the focus of e-health solutions to support caregivers’ health and well-being, given its bidirectional direct link with patients’ health and well-being. WP2 tasks will investigate how technologies can concretely empower caregivers, ameliorate their quality of life, preserving cost-effectiveness owing to reduced use of unnecessary health services. The WP includes desk analysis, original data collection, technology development in collaboration with Spoke 9 and fast prototyping activities. Through cascade calls, WP2 will also spark innovative SMEs and start-ups operating in the field of digital e-health care monitoring/giving solutions, particularly in Mezzogiorno regions.

Prof. Gianluca Testa, UNIMOL

The Italian ministry of Health recently issued new national directives (DM71/2020), following the impact of Covid-19 on patients with respiratory failure, focused to ameliorate the integration between hospital and community health services and to increase the role of telemedicine in the surveillance of these patients. WP3 will develop an innovative prototype platform for e-health provision for patients with respiratory failure related to chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

Prof. Stefania Bandini, UNIMIB

WP4 will deal with the analyses of innovative care systems for both urban and inner areas favouring the development of inclusive tools to converge different knowledge sources towards a sustainable design of person-centred care provision. Environmental aspects, which vary significantly across different areas and regions, may trigger care needs in the older population. Innovative technological facilities will mark the transition to new care systems through the synergic activation of new generations of computer-based solutions.

Prof. Rabih Chattat, UNIBO

WP5 will develop training modules exploiting outputs of the other WPs. These modules for end-users will include basic information about specific diseases and ameliorate skills needed to cope. The output will be an open learning platform easily accessible for professional and informal caregivers in order to build skills and to offer information about available services, models and ways of access.

Prof. Giovanni Lamura, INRCA

The aim of this WP is to support (upon the scientific evidence provided by the other WPs, by validating it with the contribution of relevant stakeholders, and integrating it with in-depth analyses from different disciplinary perspectives) policy recommendations on care provision at national and regional level. WP6 will deliver a series of evidence-based recommendations for policy makers and practitioners, developed in close collaboration with Spoke 10, addressing the most recent developments emerging from the implementation of the National Resilience and Recovery Plan in community care (e.g., DM71/2022).

Key Outputs

  • Recruitment of researchers and PhD students.
  • Report for policy makers on issues in care.
  • Mapping the Italian territory according to the demand of care
  • Getting authorisation from Ethical Committes
  • Preparation of pilot questionnaires for training carers
  • Meeting stakeholders: planned in October/November
  • Development of a prototype of IT platform and innovative, integrated technological facilities to monitor care givers’ wellbeing. This platform will integrate a user-friendly interface for informal and formal care givers and their GPs.
  • Creation of a prototype of learning platform for individuals and institutional actors involved in care giving. The platform will provide training modules and information on a wide range of aspects of the care provision process, in order to implement a person-centered service-delivery model.
  • Provision of an overall up-to-date review of care giving resources and needs in Italy, in comparative perspective. Development of a portfolio of policy best practices establishing a decision- making framework centred around the mutual well-being of care giver and care receiver. The portfolio will inform policy recommendations on care provision accounting for the different needs of individuals living in inner and urban areas.
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