The Government of Jersey is awarding up to £2 million to technology solutions that improve the lives and wellbeing of Jersey’s rapidly ageing population.

The number of islanders in Jersey aged 65 and over is set to increase by 30% by 2040, including a 50% increase in the number of people living into their 80s and beyond, according to statistics published in December.

By the age of 65, more than half of Jersey’s islanders live with one or more long-term health conditions and by 85, the majority of people have two or more long-term health conditions.

An initiative called the ‘CareTech Challenge‘, driven by the Government of Jersey’s delivery partner Impact Jersey, is calling for tech-focused projects that can empower older people to live well, safely and independently.

The project is looking for solutions that assist older people to live safely in their own homes, help them to stay connected with their communities, and/or  support carers in their roles, with the aim reducing the demand on Jersey’s healthcare system.

Individuals, start-ups and established organisations can submit entries to the CareTech Challenge until midnight on 30 August 2024.

Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, responsible for delivering Impact Jersey, said: “We have the opportunity, right now in Jersey, to transform how we support health and care for our older citizens, delivering better outcomes for them by enabling new and scaling technologies that leverage cutting-edge advances.

“Not only will these solutions benefit islanders, but Jersey can be the testbed for these technologies to support older people around the world.”

The CareTech Challenge is seeking technology-based approaches that assist older people to live safely in their own homes, help them to stay connected with their communities, and to support carers in their roles.

Jersey’s deputy chief minister, Kirsten Morel, said: “In the next decade, the number of people aged 65 or more will significantly increase, both in number and as a proportion of the population.

“We are addressing the challenges that this demographic shift will bring for the Island’s health and care systems now.

“As one of the world’s most digitally connected jurisdictions, Jersey is primed to seize the opportunities that new technologies offer our citizens, enabling Islanders to enjoy life and retain their independence for longer. The CareTech Challenge will help us achieve this goal.”

Jersey is one of the most digitally connected countries in the world and tops the worldwide broadband speed league table.

It benefits from three separate 4G networks with an island-wide 5G network launching this summer, making it the ideal testbed for companies looking to demonstrate the effectiveness of cutting-edge technologies.

In May 2024, the Government of Jersey’s Health and Community Services announced that it has implemented an electronic prescription system at the Jersey General Hospital’s pharmacy, which it aims to reduce waiting times and improve patient safety.