Technology is set to revolutionise social care in the post-COVID ‘new normal’, according to a new report from Barclays Corporate Banking.
Stepping out of the shadows: Social care prepares for a digital future, reveals that COVID-19 has significantly increased interest in digital communications and the use of technology, with four out of five people agreeing it has been a vital support during lockdown.
The report indicates that increased familiarity with technology – and thus increased usage within the sector – will help support the shift from healthcare being something patients access when they’re sick, to something that can support healthy lifestyles and mental and physical wellness.
It shows that in a care setting, this more proactive approach can alert staff before problems reach a critical stage and, for those living independently, provide reassurance that their wellbeing is being closely monitored.
The widespread roll-out of assistive technologies – including wearable sensors, vital sign monitors and stress level trackers – can aid greater independence and improve the experience of care at home or in residential settings, the report states.
Additionally, a switch to digital by healthcare providers will also boost connectivity between individuals and care homes, allowing for more responsive, data-driven development of care.
Steve Fergus, Head of Healthcare for Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Technology will revolutionise social care in the UK. The sector is waking up to the potential that technology offers to create better, more effective and efficient care for residents/users and deliver real business benefits for providers. The opportunities are wide-ranging.
“Sharing information about the potential of technology and these opportunities with providers, individuals and local authorities, is an important part of the UK social care debate. Connecting our clients with what is possible in the world of social care can help initiate conversations and deliver real change.”