A greater use of technology in home care could be “one of the good things” that comes out of the coronavirus pandemic, leaders in the sector have said.
During a virtual conference hosted by LaingBuisson last week, speakers discussed digital tools and solutions that enable technology platforms to connect with different IoT devices and allow for health monitoring and remote communication.
“Quite a number of our members are already engaging directly with providers of these types of solutions,” said Dr Jane Townson, CEO of United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA).
“I think we are going to see quite a big change, in a good way, in the coming months and years, and if anything good comes out of this awful pandemic, this may well be one of them.”
In a poll during the conference, 48% of delegates said more use of technology will be the thing that will most impact home care providers after the pandemic, with 30% believing there will be more local authority funding, 12% better commissioning and 10% easier staffing with more availability and appeal for the sector.
Also during the conference, Jonathan Vellacott, executive chairman of MiHomecare, said that investing in technology over the last two years has allowed his company to be resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We entered the pandemic with a fully digital cloud-based operating model. Pushing the boundaries of how we normally work, we have managed to have people working from home and all our care workers on the ground have had smartphones for some time, so the communication has been very strong,” he said.
“All other aspects of the business have also had to go digital – our whole recruitment and training model, for instance. In fact, in March and April we have had the two best months, in terms of new applicants. But without the technology in place, none of this would have been possible.
“If we hadn’t had the investment over the last couple of years, I believe we would have not have been as resilient. From our point of view, technology is absolutely essential business-wise because of efficiency and so on, but in terms of quality and providing a better overall service, using assistive technology alongside personal care is only a benefit to everybody.”
Caption: Image courtesy of ARMED.