Are you ready for a caretech revolution?

Amrit Dhaliwal, Founder and CEO, Walfinch Home Care
6th march 2024

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There are two huge differentiators for care providers now: one is quality of care and the other is technology. The question today is not whether a care provider uses technology, but how. Outstanding organisations will combine human care with technology so as to improve service quality. Amrit Dhaliwal

But how can providers use technology to deliver better care without wasting money?

This is a question providers must address now, or risk losing out to competitors.

When I started my first home care business as a franchisee in 2012, I was shocked to find that the care industry was around a decade behind in technology. Many care providers still used paper-based systems, and carers turned clutching clipboards of flapping papers.

By the time I founded home care franchise Walfinch, in 2019, I knew that technology was

essential for success. At that time there was little software specifically aimed at care providers, but as a self-confessed technology enthusiast, passionate about delivering high-quality care, I could see that technology would be essential in the future.

A tidal wave of new caretech

Now new solutions are thrown at care providers weekly – but buying without in-depth research risks wasting money on tech that may be unnecessary, unsuitable, or unacceptable to clients. This what I learnt:

  • Consider appointing someone to evaluate new care technology – including AI-based solutions – unless you are familiar with it yourself. Ideally all care providers should have a technology officer now, but they must be familiar with care sector applications. You may be able to find someone in-house.
  • Choose tech with robust data to prove it’s effectiveness and ensure that it comes with training and back-up in case things go wrong.
  • Don’t just speak to the supplier. Talk to users (not just those suggested by the vendor) about their experience with the technology and whether it has helped their business. Ideally get several independent opinions.

The future

Software that improves carer rostering is already available, and there is evidence that it helps achieve outstanding CQC ratings, but technology is already spreading into the hands of carers – and increasingly into the homes of clients.

Now new technologies are appearing, which use machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI) to gather data to monitor clients’ conditions and warn about present or future risks. Applications include telecare, which monitors clients to indicate when care is required, software that shows when the risk of falls is increased,  and systems that can  deliver diagnoses.

Take care with technology

Whatever new technology appears there is the risk that potential savings may place clients under pressure from providers, local authorities or even their families to accept technology they do not want.

Technology has the potential to transform human care – but providers must ensure that it never replaces it.

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