Why enjoyment must be front and centre in the digital care revolution

Carrying technology in our pocket can be a real pleasure, but we’re all guilty of lowering expectations when it comes to care tech for our most vulnerable people…

Tech is ubiquitous in the homes and lives of older people and, from the rise of online shopping to the explosion in Zoom chats, the pandemic has played a part in its spread. 

As hope starts to dawn with the latest news on vaccines, many of us – including a large tranche of over 70s – will be using digital devices to keep themselves abreast of developments as they’re reported. 

Yet when it comes to using tech to improve autonomy, care and outcomes for our most vulnerable people, there’s still much room for improvement.

At Rethink Partners our COVID-19 response has included implementing virtual care and health and wellbeing support, deploying video carephones to vulnerable and shielding people.

This incredibly rewarding project has enriched our understanding of an effect we’ve seen across multiple health and care settings, and in the homes of those who could most benefit from the transformative effect of intuitive, customised and well-designed tech.

Our work with older people in Essex and elsewhere has shown us those identified as at risk are as discerning as any of us when it comes to the technology they let into their lives. But, we see basic, fixable issues seriously hampering uptake and use of care tech.

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