Tech to support social care: expansion of 4D imaging to detect falls, medicine monitoring system and more

The UK government has announced the launch or expansion of projects stemming from the Adult Social Care Technology Fund, including the use of 4D imaging to detect falls; medication monitoring to support patient safety; and pain assessment tools and “robotic pets” to support communication challenges and independent living.

The wider roll-out of 4D imaging technology – designed to automatically alert carers to a medical issue in an effort to detect and prevent falls – follows a pilot from several care homes in England which reportedly led to a 66 percent reduction in falls. Whzan Guardian, a monitoring system utilising the 4D mapping technology to track movement around the house and detect falls through sensors, is to be rolled out across Redbridge ICS for further testing, with the government stating that “if successful, it could be rolled out to more care homes nationally”.

Other funded projects include Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB receiving £1.2 million for the development of a medication management system designed to monitor dispensing activity of tablet and liquid treatments in real-time; and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham receiving £1.1 million to support the roll-out of digital technologies designed to help older people, including video and communication devices, smart home tech and fall sensors.

At Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICB, £1.1 million has been made available to develop “pain assessment tools and robotic pets” intended to support adults experiencing communication difficulties, people with cognitive impairments and people who may face challenges with independent living.

Helen Whately, minister for social care, has commented: “Scaling up this technology is a vital part of our 10-year vision for social care reform. As the care needs of our population grow, technology will play an increasingly important part in social care that gives people the independence, freedom and security they deserve.”

Read the government’s announcement in full here.

We recently reported on the government’s budget for long-term growth, including funding for NHS digital transformation, here.

HTN also covered the news that 22 NHS trusts are to receive funding for sickle cell technology in South East London, following an injection of funds from NHS England Specialised Commissioning.