The demand for high-quality carers is rising as the population ages. By 2026 it is predicted that the UK will need about 420,000 more caregivers, but with the current high vacancy rate and the number of those showing interest in the care sector decreasing, it is important to use technology to help fill the gaps and provide the best possible social care. IoT, AI and robotics can all play a role in improving the well-being of customers and carers.
IoT sensors can unassumingly monitor movement, normal behaviour, humidity, and temperature across a home, allowing a care organization to quickly gain an overview of the day-to-day routine of each individual – information that is then key to flagging changes that could reveal a problem.
These AI-based tools provide better information to caregivers and enable them to intervene at the right time and create a care program that best suits the individual’s needs. This information also provides a platform for end-to-end healthcare digitization, coordinating local authorities ‘ ecosystems, healthcare providers, NHS trusts, GPs, registered nurses, and care homes, inspiring a more proactive and interconnected approach to care.
Robotics are in their infancy in this country’s social care sector, but they are making significant inroads in other places like Japan, where care bots are prominent in the Shin-tomi nursing home in Tokyo.
The UK still has to fully embrace these technologies, most likely due to budget constraints, but when combined with IoT sensors, the devices add an additional level of security to home care and can even serve as interim companions between career visits. They can give the individual prompts, help them with step-by-step instructions to complete tasks, play games with them, and even connect them to their families via video calls.
By leveraging technologies such as IoT, AI, and robotics, caregivers will be empowered to deliver more personalized care programs and be able to respond to any warning signs more quickly. Carers could also use an easy-to-use app to save time reporting on these visits, reducing the time spent on admin and enabling them to deliver more detailed reports through voice recognition. Not only will these adjustments have a positive impact on customers and their families, but they will also enhance carers ‘ working lives and help the NHS meet rising demands and expectations.