Coastal Communities growing older, elderly, old couples, walking, beach
With intergenerational connections lost with younger people migrating to out of coastal communities to larger, more economically advantageous urban centres, older people in coastal areas need support. 
While many who choose the coast for their retirement are active, healthy, wealthy, and remain economically active or involved in volunteer activities, others are not. Older coastal residents are at risk of isolation and lack of support in daily activities due to the low threshold eligibility for social care.

Supporting healthy ageing

eHealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly (EPIC)

Led by the University's Centre for Health Technology, EPIC works to strengthen the digital health ecosystem in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, a a peripheral and coastal local authority with high levels of deprivation. By supporting development-led growth in enterprises, and working with health and care users, EPIC works to develop useful solutions to real world need within healt and care. eHealth solutions, from robotics to VR, sensors to wearables are working to address difficulties providing care in remote locations, addressing loneliness and isolation and improving user experiences of existing health systems.
EPIC: lady looking at tablet with EPIC, ERDF. HM Gov and University of Plymouth logos on

Autonomous Telemedicine

Professor Edward Meinert, Associate Professor of eHealth, leads the evaluation of the Autonomous Telemedicine project that will see AI technology developed by Ufonia – a natural language AI assistant and call system called DORA – implemented for patients who have undergone cataract surgery. The system will conduct a real-time two-way conversation with patients that will substitute a face-to-face outpatient appointment. Dr Meinert will evaluate the effectiveness, usability and acceptability of DORA in comparison to an expert human clinician.
The project is funded by an Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award, part of the NHS Artificial Intelligence Lab managed by the Accelerated Access Collaborative in partnership with NHSX and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).
Phone call

Intergenerational Codesign of Novel technologies In Coastal communities (ICONIC)

Led by Professor Ray Jones MBE and the Centre for Health Technology
Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
ICONIC explores the role that intergenerational connections can play in reducing digital exclusion among older people while promoting greater self-esteem and self-efficacy among young people. Helping people to connect to their communities and cultural landscapes, participants work with researchers to co-develop novel technologies that create connections in the region.
Senior couple looking at an iPad.

Generating Older Active Lives Digitally (GOALD)

Participating in activities such as online games, virtual social gatherings and using assistive technologies allows us to stay connected to our communities and create meaningful experiences which positively impact our health and wellbeing. But how can we ensure these activities are accessible to older people?
The GOALD project is using intergenerational groups to examine how to design and deliver digital resources to provide and engage older people in structured activity programmes with the aim of improving their health and wellbeing.
Elderly people exercising via internet video


Coastal communities