Embracing the future

Essex Life|August 2020

Embracing the future
Despite the devestation of Covid-19, has one of the consequences been an advance in the use of new technologies in our care homes?
Kate Jones

In April, the UK Government said that NHSX – which brings together teams from NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS Improvement – was working with technology companies to help individuals access emotional support and companionship during the Covid-19 outbreak. Within this, social networking platform Facebook was set to donate Facebook Portal video-calling devices to care homes. Facebook Portal devices were also due to be given to hospitals and other settings, and at the time of writing, 50 had already been sent to pilot sites.

According to care sector specialist Blueleaf, ‘care homes used to be notoriously behind the times when it came to technology’, but now this ‘couldn’t be further from the truth’. What’s more, Daniel Casson, digital development executive at Care England (a representative body for independent care providers), says that the coronavirus crisis – while ‘a horrible thing to happen’ – has ‘accelerated the use of digital technology’ in care homes for older people ‘exponentially’. He believes the crisis constitutes ‘a kickstart for digital transformation in care’.

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August 2020