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Industrial strategy fails older people

I cannot help but feel that the Government's new industrial strategy does not call for enough innovation in age-related products.

The report mentions smart-home technologies and wearable devices to help older people lead more independent lives.

These technologies can certainly ease the pressure of long-term health conditions on the NHS, but focus on the technology alone is little more than an aspiration.

A true strategy must invest at a component level.

Without effective battery and charger technology, wearable devices cannot be relied upon to monitor vitals, or notify users of health emergencies.

Batteries must balance power with size, which involves innovation from design engineers.

This is the single biggest challenge for medical wearables, and the UK is well-positioned to lead the world in overcoming it - as long as the strategy is correct.

In addition to the focus that is being placed on batteries for the electric vehicle and energy storage markets, the Government must also support the development of miniature batteries in its industrial strategy to allow wearable devices to become even more long-lasting, or its vision for the country's ageing population will not be realised.

NEIL OLIVER

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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