We partnered with Hampshire County Council to find innovative ways of using digital technology that would transform the lives of people who rely on social care support. We trialled Amazon Echo with 50 adults using social care services to understand how it could help them, and engaged social workers and carers to learn how it could support the wider care system.
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Voice-activated technology is transforming the way we all live in our homes, letting us control appliances or get information without lifting a finger. And we believe it can revolutionise life for older people who rely on social care. So, we partnered with Hampshire County Council (HCC) to find out.
HCC secured Local Government Association funding as part of a national programme to explore how digital technology can promote independence and wellbeing for people using social care services. Our project with HCC involved trialling Amazon Echo with 50 adults in this situation.
We created and deployed skills designed to help those with care needs, from setting medication reminders to controlling their heating using simple voice controls. We also scoped and installed a variety of Internet of Things technology that would help each user.
After getting users engaged with the technology, we involved social workers and carers to understand how Echo can support the wider care system. This led to carers being able to add tasks and reminders to users’ devices remotely and securely. The ‘My Carer’ application we created also let carers record and share important information quickly and easily.
The project, which builds on our long-standing multi-award-winning relationship with HCC as their care transformation partner, has huge potential. Almost three-quarters of users felt Echo helped improve their lives, while 68 per cent said it helped maintain their independence. By refining and expanding the trial, we’ll be able to help even more people with care needs.
This Hampshire County Council and PA Consulting telecare trial won the 2018 ITEC Award for Innovation in Technology Enabled Care.
Argenti. Putting digital technology at the heart of social care and saving millions