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Application of digital technology in care for older persons in ASEAN


The International Workshop on Active Ageing, Innovation and Application of Digital Technology in Care for Older persons in ASEAN was opened November 19 in Ha Noi. This is an initiative of Viet Nam, as Vice Chair of ASEAN Center for Active Ageing and Innovative (ACAI) that is consensus of all ASEAN / ACAI Member States.

The International Workshop is held by the Ministry of Health, Viet Namin collaboration with the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), From the People of Japan, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. The workshopwas organizedin order to promote cooperation and share experiences among ACAI members and between ACAI and development partners on building solidarity, active ageing, and innovation ASEAN community.

Population ageing is a global phenomenon. Virtually every country in the world is experiencing growth in both the size and the proportion of older persons in the population. The number of older persons in ASEAN is more than 45 million population aged 65years or over, accounting for 7 per cent of total ASEAN’s population (in 2019). This number is projected to be 132 million persons, accounts for 16.7 per cent of total ASEAN’s population by 2050.

Viet Nam has officially entered the "ageing phase" since 2011, with the number of older persons (at aged 65 years or over) accounting for 7 per cent of the total population.Currently, the number of older persons (65years or over) is 7,4 million older persons, accounting for 7.7 per cent of total population. It will increase to 22.3 million older persons, accounting for 20.4 per cent by 2050. Viet Nam is one of the most rapidly ageing countries in the world.
Addressing the workshop, Mr. Do Xuan Tuyen, Vice Minister of Health, Vietnam said: “The Party and the Government of Vietnam always pay attention, care and support and promote the role of older persons. The Resolution No. 21-NQ /TW dated October 25, 2017 of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, emphasizes the importance of proactively adapting to population ageing, enhancing health care services for the elderly, focusing on the application of science and technology”.
In 2020, all ASEAN Member States signed an Agreement to establish the ACAIas a proactive adaptation to population aging in ASEAN. ACAI's primary mission is to support making and implementing policy on active ageing and innovation that through providing information, knowledge and building capacity to each ACAI’s Member State.
Dr. Suwit Wibulpolprasery, Chairman of the ACAI GB emphasized: “Aged people in every country have accumulated huge social, intellectual and maybe also financial capitals. They should be considered as important assets for sustainable community and social development. We shall require substantial social and technology innovations to harness these valuable assets. That’s the main reason why we need ACAI. Our Vietnamese Vice Chair, who will be the upcoming chair of ACAI, has taken the leadership to convene this workshops as a lively kick off of ACAI full activities. ACAI will be up and running from now on, with contributions and leaderships from all member states and partners.”
Population aging createsup the opportunities in insurance, finance, tourism... but also bringsmany challenges at all sectors including health care and social security, especially in the context COVID-19 pandemic. The older personis one of the most vulnerable population groups.
Addressing the event, Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam said: “Both population ageing and digitalization are part of the world’s Mega Trends which we all have to respond to. Digital technology is continuing to reshape the way we access health information and care services. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the trend more visible: digital access has become a new social determinant of health. More than ever, the ability of older people to use digital technologies may affect their health status and quality of life. We leverage the potential of digital technologies for active and healthy ageing by promoting the participation of private sectors and facilitate innovations in the provision of goods and services for older persons.”
Mr. Hidemoto Mizuhara, Executive Vice President of MRI shared: “Many Asian countries will age at a faster pace than Japan.  We need to actively take on the challenge of creating a system that allows everyone to age while living their lives to the fullest. This must be done while taking into the unique cultures and infrastructure development progress of each country. Japan has already experienced this. As a research institute involved in establishing the system in Japan, we hope everyone can learn and build on what Japan has achieved these past 30 years through trial and error”.