Science and technology are exponentially transforming healthcare, giving patients more control over their own health. Opportunities in the use of mobile technology have increased due to the growing number of smartphone and tablet users in the UK and developments in bio-sensing technologies, such as digital blood pressure monitors and glucose sensors, means that technology has the potential to help increase access, decrease healthcare system costs and improve health outcomes.(Deloitte 2015)
Predictions suggest that over the next twenty years the UK will have an increased "ageing population" (people aged between 65-84), with the number of people who need formal care expected to rise by more that 60 percent by 2035. This will have a huge impact on care delivery, factors such as the high cost of care, increased number of admissions to hospitals and more of the "ageing population" living alone in their homes.
Short falls in funding alongside an ageing population drive the development of assisted technologies which are expected to provide a powerful platform that enhances connectivity and improves data management between healthcare providers, medical device manufacturers, patients, medical and life insurers, the pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders.
What does an ageing population mean for the care industry?
An ageing population is associated with factors that influence care delivery and these factors need to be considered carefully when designing new care pathways for ageing individuals with long-term conditions. Factors such as the cost of care, increased number of admissions to hospitals and more of the ageing population living alone in their homes therefore requiring formal care.
How can technology be used in the health sector?
Technology in health and social care is fast becoming an integral part of the future of health care as advances create opportunities in the use of technology to prevent further complications among individuals with long-term conditions. This will help inturn reduce waiting times to see a GP or specialist and the use of assistive technology also allows clients to be more involved in self-managing their condition, which improves their understanding of their condition and allows them to identify any changes at early stage which could lead to early intervention and prevent unnecessary hospital admission.
As with every other industry, the health and social care sector is modernising and assisted technology is a huge part of that modernisation, enabling individuals with long term health conditions to live safely in their own home.
What is assisted living technology?
Assisted Living Technology (ALT), is the use of applied technology to health and social care (telecare and telehealth, digital health) to offer tele-monitoring transmission of data via the internet. Assisted living technology is being integrated into care pathways for individuals with long term conditions who requires health and social care support while living at home to ensure quality care being delivered and maintain safety for these individuals.
How is education adapting to train people in assisted living technologies?
Institutions have introduced specialist enterprise hubs, such as Barnet and Southgate College's Centre of Excellence for Technology Enhanced Care (CETEC). The CETEC hub is designed to bring health, social care , industry and clients end-users together to work in partnership and collaboration to develop and enhance the application of technology into care pathways, developing and implementing assisted living technologies. Contributing to the modernisation of health and social care services.
What does CETEC mean for the Health Industry?
The Centre of Technology Enhanced Care has been commissioned to bring together assisted living expertise from academia, primary and acute care, local authorities (social care), industry and third sector partners to develop new service concepts. It has been designed to efficiently use research funding for the development of future tools, methodologies and business solutions for the application of new technology and provide events and courses for assisted living innovations for health care professionals.
CETEC uses the ‘living lab’ model, a real-life test environment where users and producers work together to create new products and services. The team behind CETEC believe that ‘living labs’ have become a powerful instrument for effectively involving the user at all stages of the design, research, development and innovation processes.
With health care being used as a political football advancements in technology health and social services are faced with huge challenges in being able to deliver timely, effective, efficient and quality care for the ageing population, with an increased number of ageing people with multiple complex needs, shortages of staff, lack of hospital beds to meet their health and social needs,at CETEC we believe technology holds the answers to these issues.
Find out more about CETEC here