Assistive Technology and Telecare: Forging Solutions for Independent Living

Assistive Technology and Telecare: Forging Solutions for Independent Living

Assistive Technology and Telecare: Forging Solutions for Independent Living

Assistive Technology and Telecare: Forging Solutions for Independent Living

Synopsis

Assistive technology and telecare are of increasing importance in government policy on healthcare provision. Based on user views and technological developments this report:
- looks at the need for assistive technology and telecare;
- highlights background and previous trial developments, as well as the emerging policy environment;
- defines new generations of telecare equipment and provision;
- provides a detailed cost analysis which sets out the implications and costs associated with the widespread introduction of telecare;
- makes recommendations for future development and deployment.
The report is aimed specifically at people involved or interested in supporting older and disabled people in the community. It is therefore of particular interest to community alarm providers, occupational therapists, health care planners and policy makers, clinical engineers, and academics and researchers in the field.

Excerpt

Governments around the world are waking up to the consequences of an ageing population. Issues such as older people’s care, health and housing are moving up the social and political agenda. Everywhere there are debates about the best and most cost-effective ways to provide these services.

Meanwhile, there has been the rapid and inexorable advance of information and communications technologies (ICTs), including the emergence of assistive technology and telecare. From humble beginnings – some sheltered housing tenants ringing a bell in a warden’s home in 1948 – it is now possible for these technologies to help older people live healthier, safer and more independent lives. They could revolutionise the delivery of health and social care to older people.

But policy makers face difficult questions. Are these technologies cost-effective? Will consumers accept them? Where and how are they best used? Accurate and credible information is required to make difficult decisions on how to take the new technologies forward.

This report provides exactly such information. It not only explains the nature of these innovations, but also addresses the technical, financial and some of the ethical questions they raise. Most importantly, through its conclusions and recommendations, it charts a way forward.

It is time for assistive technology and telecare to enter the mainstream of public policy affecting older people. the sooner policy makers and service providers recognise this, the better. I am confident this report will speed that recognition considerably.

John Belcher , Chief Executive, Anchor Trust . . .

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