The findings of the research undertaken by Appello, the UK’s leading digital, technology-enabled care service (TECS) provider, supported by the Housing LIN, paints a promising picture for the future of digital care technologies with 74% of housing providers claiming that their requirements for wellbeing technology have changed as a result of the pandemic. The results come from a survey of 120 senior executives from providers of supported, sheltered and retirement housing. These are being published in a series of guides from Appello.
Guide One: 4 Reasons housing providers must revise their Telecare needs post COVID-19
In the first guide, the results found that 90% of those surveyed planned to utilise technology further to support residents who may have to self-isolate or shield as a result of the pandemic. As housing providers look forward, investing in better communication capabilities will be a priority, with 97% of respondents believing their usage of technology to communicate with residents will increase following COVID-19. The benefits of video communication have been evident in home and work life during the pandemic and housing providers are specifically looking to embrace these capabilities with their customers - 8 out of 10 housing providers feel video communication between staff and residents is becoming increasingly important.
Guide Two: 4 Critical factors to meet your vision for technology in supported housing
The second guide outlines four key critical factors to be considered when planning for, and delivering, your vision for technology in supported housing. They are:
- Embrace open standards
- Derive benefits from Cloud computing
- Expect innovation from external sources, and
- Avoid partners creating barriers
The latest findings from the survey also showed that 85% of housing providers asserting that COVID-19 had highlighted the importance of the technology they provide to residents and customers. Furthermore, 66% said that they would expect to see more usage of technology for managing wellbeing such as tracking exercise or food intake, 77% said that they would see more usage of technology for managing health such as monitoring vital signs or conditions and 57% said that they would see more usage of technology for controlling their environment such as smart lighting, heating and blinds following COVID-19.
Guide Three: 6 TECS trends you will see accelerate in 2021
This guide is the third in a series from Appello highlighting the changing landscape for the delivery of Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS). It is drawn from interviews and independent research undertaken with the Housing LIN of 120 senior executives from providers of supported, sheltered and retirement housing has influenced the series of guides.
The guide makes a number of observations on how TECS can transform lives and improve the delivery of services under Covid and details providers’ priorities for technology and their reasons across the following headings:
- Enabling staff to work from home, whilst maintaining visibility of property and customers
- Supporting residents to maintain their social networks
- Reducing residents’ risk of infection
- Enabling staff to remotely communicate with residents
- Monitoring physical and/or emotional wellbeing of residents
- Enabling residents to communicate with carers, family and/or friends remotely
- Enabling visual communication through video between staff and residents
- Enabling residents to communicate with healthcare professionals remotely
- Supporting residents to sustain socially distancing
- Enabling residents to communicate with each other through technology
- Enabling residents to communicate with housing professionals remotely
- Monitoring vital health signs of residents
- Supporting residents in obtaining and managing prescriptions
- Enabling inspections and maintenance of site assets to be undertaken remotely
4th joint publication: The Tech Pandemic: the long-term impact of COVID-19 on usage of technology in specialist housing
Following Guides 1 – 3, this report is the fourth joint publication in a series of Appello and Housing LIN papers, and draws on the results from a survey of 133 senior executives, from providers of supported, sheltered and retirement housing. Research found that changes in perception on digital care technologies from specialist housing providers will have a long-term influence beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey revealed:
- The large majority (89%) of specialist housing providers believe their frontline staff have a greater appetite for using technology in their roles due to COVID-19.
- 79% feel there has been an increase in interest in technology amongst customers living in their properties.
- 62% planned to increase their investment in technology to keep pace with these changing expectations.
- The survey also highlighted how the majority of housing providers (63%) expect to increase remote working amongst traditional site-based staff, with over 1 in 4 thinking this will increase significantly.
This research – conducted at the start of the pandemic to highlight how beneficial technology was in response by housing providers – and accompanied findings, are increasingly important for the specialist housing sector and the role of technology post-COVID, both to support people in specialist housing and inform how services will be further enabled.