How can technology change health and social care for the better?

Technology has transformed the lives of millions of people across the globe, from personal devices such as iPhones and MP3 Players to advanced medical equipment curing diseases and forensic apparatuses helping to solve crimes. Every industry uses tech in some form or another, including the health and social care sectors – but could these industries benefit from greater adoption of technology in the workplace?

We believe they can. Whilst technology within social care has been typically used for administrative purposes, a growing amount of care providers have begun to embrace the benefits of introducing additional tech to their service. One residential home, for example, has installed a digital reporting system across the premises in the form of 10-inch tablet computers that workers claim have transformed the workplace. The tablets ensure that all information (care plans, risk assessments, medication logs etc.) is inputted into the system in real-time, meaning very little paperwork is needed. Not only does this use of technology save paper, but it will also provide carers with more time to tend to patients.

Social media is also increasingly being used within the social care sector. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow healthcare professionals to, “establish contact with patients, answer questions about practices, launch public awareness campaigns, and perform community outreach.” Within residential homes, workers can also use social media as a reporting tool for family members, thus enhancing the communication between care providers and customers.

With technological advancements every day, it is unsurprising that wearable technology has also been integrated into health and social care systems. Wearable devices are relatively cheap in the grand scheme of care costs, but provide carers with a multitude of services including a means of tracking a patient’s whereabouts and a way to consistently monitor heart rates – and that’s not all. Applications, such as, can be downloaded onto wearable devices to assist people with mental illnesses through a sophisticated monitoring of activity levels and behavioral changes – the app even claims that it can act as a predictor for illnesses such as Dementia.

With the world going digital, health and social care leaders should indeed push for increased technology in the workplace – not just to keep up with the times, but to significantly improve the efficiency and quality of care services, something that has been heavily focused on in media reports.