Getting strong in fighting frailty: high participation in eCare’s Open Market Consultation

Preventing frailty in elderly adults is appealing. At least, when it comes to finding disruptive solutions for it. This is the broad conclusion that we extract from the high participation in eCare’s Open Market Consultation (OMC). 

The OMC activities conducted from October to December 2020 were an excellent opportunity to hear from both ICT companies and health and social organizations regarding the eCare challenge. We have gathered facts and figures and also extracted some conclusions. The time has come to share them and pave the way for the next steps to take.

Facts – relevant activities conducted during the OMC

  • 4 iterative webinars to present the eCare challenge and open a dialogue with the market about the procurement scope: one conducted in English and the others in the procurers languages (Polish, Spanish and Italian). 
  • A supply-side questionnaire to present available technologies and experience for the eCare challenge, as well as to provide feedback for the tender preparation.
  • A demand-side questionnaire for health and social organisations to receive feedback on the key aspects to consider to address the challenge.
  • A matchmaking tool (which is still open) to encourage partner search for those companies that would like to make a group bid.
  • An agile mechanism to reply to the questions of OMC participants, that were answered by the procurers and published on the website (FAQs).

Figures reveal a high level of participation

  • 180 attendees to the webinars from +10 different countries, especially from Spain (48%) and Italy (24%) 
  • 45 answers to the supply questionnaire 
  • 22 answers to the demand questionnaires
  • 33 organisations have signed up for partner search in the matchmaking tool 
  • 61 FAQs published on the website 

Key conclusions extracted from the OMC

  • The eCare challenge is deemed innovative, clear, feasible and relevant for both supply and demand sides. All its dimensions, ranging from health to social care, are considered important by both supply and demand to address in a comprehensive manner the common challenge of frailty. 
  • The supply chain is ready and willing to take the challenge. Many players have already manifested their initial interest in participating in the PCP. In this regard, SMEs are an important part of the market, which will be accounted for tender preparation, ensuring that the conditions do not harm smaller players. Besides, big players and well-established companies in the sector have also found interest in the eCare PCP. 
  • Procurers also took note of aspects that needed to be considered from their side, such as a more extensive description of the user profiles to be targeted by the ICT-tool. 

Where are we now and what are the next steps

As the nature of the eCare challenge is connected to sensitive issues – frailty management, prevention and detection to boost wellbeing in elderly people – so it is the designing of the tender. The eCare procurers are now immersed in analysing all the relevant information gathered from the OMC activities. With the feedback obtained from the market, they are preparing and fine-tuning the tender. The call is expected to be launched in the first semester of 2021. Stay tuned!