Survey of Needs for Assistive and Medical Devices for Older People in Six Countries of the WHO Western Pacific Region


WHO Kobe Centre prepared the report of a survey of needs for assistive and medical devices for older people in six countries of the Western Pacific Region: China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam.

Innovations in health technologies, and associated health and social delivery systems, are critical to preventing and managing functional and cognitive decline that older populations increasingly experience, as well as to reduce long-term institutionalization.

The research identifies priority assistive and medical devices for older people, provides a better understanding of contributing factors for their availability and proposes approaches to improve access to high quality assistive and medical devices at an affordable cost in high-income and middle-income countries.

WKC Forum: Innovation for Ageing Populations
– Enhancing adherence: medication and nutrition

In commemoration of the UN International Day of Older Persons celebrated every year on 1 October, the WHO Kobe Centre will organize an open forum on “Innovation for Ageing Populations – Enhancing adherence: medication and nutrition” in Kobe. 60 participants were in attendance to learn about the latest innovations for older populations to improve medical adherence and the well-being of elderly patients; and the useful nutrition insight for older adults.

Today, more important to supporting treatment success depends on the extent to which a person’s behaviour – taking medication, following a diet, and/or executing lifestyle changes – corresponds with agreed recommendations from a health care provider. This is the concept of “adherence”. Adherence to therapies is a primary determinant of treatment success.

At this forum, four Japanese experts in the field of gerontology, medication, and nutrition, presented their respective evidence-based body of work and strategic recommendations in moving forward on addressing current and emerging challenges on medical adherence and nutrition in ageing populations.

Report of the WHO Global Forum on Innovation for Ageing Populations

In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the Global Forum on Innovation for Ageing Populations as an information exchange platform for diverse stakeholders to address the challenge of meeting the needs of older people in low resource settings with frugal innovations.

The Global Forum brought together more than 170 expert participants from 21 countries for 3 days of rich discussion and debate, in order to meet the following objectives: exchange information, views and lessons from key operations and health systems research concerning technological and social innovations for ageing populations; highlight findings and solutions through specific examples of successful, scaled-up innovations; and identify key future priorities for WHO and its partners in support of innovations for ageing populations.

The Report provides a synthesis of the presentations, debates, and conclusions of the Global Forum on Innovation for Ageing Populations held on 10-12 December 2013 in Kobe, Japan.

Revision of Urban HEART

More than a billion people have been added to urban areas since 2000. Ninety percent of this rise has taken place in developing countries. By 2050, it is estimated that 6.4 billion people will live in urban areas with nearly 2 billion living in slums. Inequities in wealth, health, and access to resources will continue to be a key concern in urban areas.

Till date, the WHO Kobe Centre has worked with cities from 40 countries to implement the Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART). The Centre has also documented experiences on using Urban HEART including the recent publication of two journal papers in 2014.

At present, the Centre is focused on revising Urban HEART based on feedback from city experiences, expert recommendations, and independent evaluations. The Centre would like to invite all who have used Urban HEART in any capacity to share their ideas and suggestions for revising the tool.

fact buffet

Measuring urban health

828 millionurban residents live in slum conditions worldwide

Measuring urban health

Interventions on urban health

11%of the world population are protected by national smoke-free laws

Interventions on urban health

Urban health emergencies

600 000deaths occurred worldwide as a result of weather-related natural disasters in the 1990s

Urban health emergencies