The first instalment in our series of technology landscape reviews.
The digital technology market is growing rapidly. Technology, and its future development, continues to be a key contributor to solutions for the home care market. This report, the Care Tech Landscape Review, explores those start-ups deploying technology solutions in that market and the benefits they bring to those providing and receiving care at home.
It should be useful to innovators, technology developers, carers and policymakers alike – raising awareness of the different technology that is available and the potential for technology to enable better independent living for people in their own homes.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted some of the challenges faced by care workers, recipients of care and their families – albeit more in the residential than the home care sector. Most of us, for example, will know someone who is an unpaid carer – a relative, friend, neighbour. The pressures have never been greater for those caring and for those in need of care. The pandemic is already accelerating the adoption of many forms of technology in home and other care settings.
This report identifies that there are major opportunities to improve adult social care provision through the use of technology. This is both in terms of care givers and recipients. The research also concludes that there is a small niche of home care companies using technology in a truly innovative way, although this is small in comparison to healthcare or other sectors. The conclusion is that targeted support and intervention is required to grow the sector in order to provide a defined ecosystem and an adequate range of companies to meet the needs of individuals. In other words, care is not one size fits all and neither are technology solutions.
The Government has invested in national programmes to boost the health tech sector and must now match that investment to meet the needs of those in receipt of care.
This research has been conducted and is being published in a complex social and political context. The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the care sector in the UK and highlighted some of the difficulties faced by care workers, recipients of care and their families. The pandemic has clearly demonstrated gaps in the availability of data about social care. Going forward, we need better quality, up-to-date information about the number of people in the care system. Our ageing population poses both opportunities and challenges, and individuals need to be empowered to live healthier lives for longer, in an independent way. Increased spending power and the emergence of a ‘silver economy’ means that technology-led solutions may be able to improve the quality of care provided at home. Dr Peter Bloomfield, Head of Policy & Research
We are keen to expand the research and improve the quality of the data, hence we encourage any startups to contact us ([email protected]) if they are not currently represented in this piece and believe they should be.