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Magazine by UseTree
Good question Reading Time 3 min | 18.08.2022

Three questions for … Thomas Schildhauer – DUCAH

Prof. Dr. Dr. Schildhauer tells us about the goals of the DUCAH initiative, his personal motivation and the greatest challenges.

by Usetree Redaktion

The project with DUCAH, short for Digital Urban Center for Aging & Health, has partnered UseTree as part of the initiative since its launch. The idea here is to bring together digitalisation, urbanisation and health in order to digitally support people in their (urban) living space – in all aspects of health and care. To advance the project, an exchange between business and science is important. Therefore, companies can approach the consortium to receive impulses in different areas or to cooperate in concrete projects. 

We asked DUCAH initiator Professor Dr. Dr. Thomas Schildhauer three questions about the project:

What are the goals of the Digital Urban Center for Aging & Health (DUCAH)?

“How can we live longer and better in old age?” is one of the central questions that drives us at DUCAH. Our society is getting older, we are facing an increasing demand for care and support services. This is putting increased pressure on the healthcare industry, which has already been lacking resources and skilled workers for some time. Digitalisation offers a wide range of opportunities here and DUCAH is tapping into this potential together with partners from the medical and care sectors, technology development, science and business. It is important here that all processes, projects and developments are people-centred – because nowhere else are people so central as in the health and care industry. For example, DUCAH will support care districts in the application of digital support systems for caregivers and residents and offers certification as a DUCAH “Better Living District”.

What is your personal motivation to be part of DUCAH?

Digitalisation in the health sector must be able to be shaped by all stakeholders in Germany. I am motivated by bringing together stakeholders from different sectors, working towards a common goal and creating solutions that have an effective impact. In the last 18 months, we have identified concrete fields of activity, launched agile impulse teams, initiated and accompanied initial trial projects for digital solutions in care neighbourhoods and founded a cooperative. Now, together with the institutions and companies involved, we want to jointly provide answers and find solutions on how life can be lived better and longer. Creating humane solutions that, on the one hand, contribute to relieving the burden on those in the care professions and, on the other hand, create real benefits for people who are getting older, is the main motivation of our joint work at DUCAH.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for DUCAH?

Unfortunately, we are also feeling the shortage of skilled workers in the care sector, because some facilities simply lack the staff to tackle the urgent problems or implement desired solutions on site. We are in good spirits, however, because our concept is very well received everywhere. DUCAH surveys the needs and expectations of the institutions, imparts digital skills to the seniors, with whom our technology partners test their solutions. These processes and technical solutions are in turn tested by our science partners, including UseTree.

As a member of the cooperative, we at UseTree are pleased to be able to support a project like DUCAH and thus also to further our vision:

“Bring ease and joy of use to everyone while interacting with the digital world.”

More information about the Digital Urban Center for Aging & Health can be found here.