Future of health in EU faces the triple challenges of ageing, fiscal restriction and inclusion. In the UK the number of aged people will increase to 6.6 million in the next 25 years. In Scotland, the group people 74+ are projected to increase most dramatically by 82% by 2035. That statistics show every day the needs of older people are growing and an increasing number of carers are required. Now the number of carers are around 10% of population of the UK. In next 25 years the population of carers will rise to 9 million. The current value of care is worth an estimated £119bn per year - considerably more than total spending on the NHS. Hence government searches for ways to reduce costs while maintaining quality of care. The full participation of informal carers in the co-production of health and care has the potential to play a significant role in the sustainability of health and care delivery. A pressing issue is how to coordinate this massive resource with the formal health and care system to enable true co-production of health and care. Increasingly e-health, is seen as the tool to re-shape healthcare systems. In particular, social media (SM) are seen as critical enabler for co-production.
Our study investigates the current and possible future for SM as an enabler of co-production in health and care. To achieve these aims two main sets of questions are asked: what are the current uses of SM in health and social care? How can SM be reshaped to enable health and care coproduction? We consider a typology of opportunities and limitations of SM for health and care: - Existing health and care service bundles with existing or new SM tools - New health and care service bundles with existing or emerging SM tools
So far we have: a) Characterised current uses of SM and have identified benefits (and risks) of SM for health and care by reviewing the literature; b) Identified coordination tools and social sensemaking as key emerging trends in the use of SM; c) Identified health and care integration as a key driver for service redesign and for the adoption of co-production and have begun to characterise the needs SM can meet in this context. d) And begun preparing to collect data through collaboration with the Living it Up Project (a sub-project of DALLAS study - Delivering Assisted Living Lifestyles at Scale, a £23 million partnership between the Technology Strategy Board and government departments, launched in June 2011) which is a programme aiming to support better health, wellbeing and active lifestyles in Scotland and is exploring new services and modes of cooperation