Insurer puts down £20m to research an aging rethink

A new partnership between Legal & General and Edinburgh University aims to address the societal and economic implications of an aging society.

The world is getting older, and while that might seem to be something to celebrate, the prospect of people routinely living to more than 100 has enormous implications for society, the public sector and the environment. This week, Legal and General have announced a partnership with Edinburgh University to address some of those concerns [1].

Longevity.Technology: As things stand, our lifespan is increasing, but healthspan is not keeping up. This is having an enormous impact on health and social care services with the number of people living with long-term and complicated conditions. This project, and others like, it will be necessary to ensure that society is equipped to cope.

Longevity is big business. Last year’s Longevity Week in London showcased a sector on the up, with big ambitions and enormous potential. As we’ve covered previously, even Brexit could be an opportunity with the chance to shape a more favourable regulatory environment.

However, it raises a number of social and ethical concerns as Professor Andrew Scott, founder of the Longevity Forum and author of the ‘Hundred Year Life’, acknowledged at the event.

“How do we as individuals and a society respond to longer lives? How do we prepare ourselves for longer careers?” He said. “When do we make best use of this extra time? How do we construct a life that increases our chances of aging well? How can we exploit new technologies and new knowledge that offer us the opportunity to age better?”

Legal & General will work with Edinburgh University to establish the Advanced Care Research Centre (ARC), to improve our understanding of care in later life and transform delivery. The partnership is part of a much wider £661 million data driven innovation initiative within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

The ARC hopes its research can deliver data driven care pathways which help people to continue living in their homes or in supported environment for longer. It will work with other universities, public and private stakeholders, and people living in later life to develop a new approach to care.

The ARC will also include an academy which will develop a ‘new generation of enterprise orientated leaders in later life care’.

The project recognises the full social and economic implications of Longevity. The idea that we could all soon be living beyond 100 is exciting, but services will need to be transformed to keep up and this is an immense opportunity.


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