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The future of ICT for health and ageing: Unveiling ethical and social issues through horizon scanning foresight

Flick, Catherine; Zamani, Efpraxia D.; Stahl, Bernd Carsten; Brem, Alexander


Catherine Flick

Efpraxia D. Zamani

Alexander Brem


This paper uses horizon scanning as a foresight methodology to investigate the opportunities, challenges and futures of ICT for health and ageing, particularly focusing on identifying the ethical and social issues associated with this sector. It uses empirical evidence gained from the analysis of interviews, literature reviews, and policy documents to identify the primary signals within the areas of future technologies, future environments, future companies, and future older people. In addition, we build on contemporary internet-based discussions amongst the general public and the ICT start-up sector to identify weak signals regarding ethical and social issues, based on and around these areas. Our findings show that the key ethical and social issues identified are concerned with the issue of the elderly being seen as collections of diseases, the human face of ICT, privacy and informed consent, autonomy, stereotyping of older people, and general anxieties around ICTs. We conclude our paper with recommendations for addressing these ethical and social concerns, specifically through the adoption of responsible research and innovation practices.


Flick, C., Zamani, E. D., Stahl, B. C., & Brem, A. (2020). The future of ICT for health and ageing: Unveiling ethical and social issues through horizon scanning foresight. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 155, Article 119995.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 2, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 14, 2020
Publication Date 2020-06
Deposit Date Jan 1, 2023
Journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Print ISSN 0040-1625
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 155
Article Number 119995
Keywords Management of Technology and Innovation; Applied Psychology; Business and International Management
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