Improved wellbeing in later life










The Challenge

As the UK progresses towards an aging population, it has become even more important to encourage healthy lifestyles to help prevent chronic physical and mental health problems. Aside from the personal and social implications, this has significant economic impact. Two thirds of people admitted to hospital are over 65 years of age, and the average value of NHS services for retired households is around £5,200 compared with £2,800 for non-retired.

It is also well understood that deteriorating health can affect older peoples' capacity to engage in social life. This often leads to negative perceptions of self, making it difficult to find the motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, digital technology can offer new social connections to help combat loneliness, and provides a platform to combine learning and sociability as a robust motivator for behaviour change and self-improvement.

This challenge, therefore, seeks solutions that empower older people to engage with self-tracking and/or sensing technology, in order to utilise their data for improved wellbeing.

The successful solution will:

  • Have a simple user experience, that adapts to address some of the physical and/or mental challenges of older age
  • Explore novel user interfaces and techniques to encourage sustained use
  • Connect the user to others in a digital social setting, to encourage interaction and sociability
  • Be personally relevant, useful and usable
  • Address attitudes to privacy and explore ways of engendering trust with the unknown, whilst simultaneously ensuring that data is handled in a safe, secure manner
  • Allow users to utilise their data without the assistance of a medical professional

Additionally, applicants must explore quantified self as a means of improving one or more of the following:

  • Emotional wellbeing and positive mental health
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sociability

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to trial their solution with Saga for a minimum period of three months. Saga has over 2.6 million customers and a database of 10.4 million over-50s, across its insurance, financial services, travel, healthcare and publishing businesses. Saga will work with the successful application to determine the most appropriate trial, which could, for example, include live-testing in the Saga-marketed retirement village, online surveys or in-person focus groups with existing Saga customers, or marketing and proposition testing in the Saga magazine.


About Saga

Saga is a name that everyone knows when it comes to services for people in or approaching retirement.  We're a trusted brand with a reputation for high-quality service (no offshore call centres or automated response systems for us) based on an intimate understanding of our customers.  We are still based in Folkestone where we opened our first hotel in 1951 – even though there are now more than 20,000 staff.

Our first 30 years were focused on travel and then in the 80s we launched Saga Magazine and developed home and car insurance and financial services which was followed by private medical and travel insurance in the 90s, along with the launch of our own cruise ship operation.  We entered the homecare sector in 2008.

Saga's divisions all focus on the specific needs and wishes of our customer group. By gaining an insight into our customers, we are better able to understand their needs and so identify products to meet those needs – from a new home insurance product to a South American cruise. We then work with both external providers and our own in-house suppliers to design and develop tailored products and service

The strength of the Saga brand provides the Group with the potential to expand into other business areas as opportunities present themselves and customer needs change - we are building or piloting new businesses in private domiciliary care, legal services, wealth management and aspirational retirement living – our first village is called Wadswick Green, created in partnership with a startup called Rangeford.

We have over 2.5 million customers and a database of 10.5 million over-50s across our businesses.  With sophisticated data mining tools (we were doing Big Data before it was Big!) we can identify highly targeted cohorts of customers with whom we can co-create new products.

Awards: 5 x £35,000

Contest Brief

Guidance for Applicants

Deadline: noon, Tuesday 27 October