Can Assistive Technology have an impact on the UK Healthcare crisis

The UK HealthCare crisis is frequently in the news, today (16th February 2017), was no exception with an announcement from Age UK saying that 1.2 million people do not receive the care they need and a staggering 696,500 receive no help, of whom 53,000 have trouble with at least three daily tasks such as washing, dressing and eating.

Increasing Healthcare costs funded by Spending Cuts to other vital services

Local Authorities spent £16bn last year on services for elderly and disabled people, after funding from central government was cut by a third in real terms during the last Parliament. Councils across the country are struggling to foot the bill for our healthcare and social care needs, finding it necessary to make budget cuts to other services including housing and road repairs.

Reducing costs should not be to the detriment of a person’s wellbeing

While it is considered by many that Assistive Technologies, specifically Telehealth, can help to reduce healthcare, there is no replacement for human interaction. Reducing care costs should not be to the detriment of a person’s feelings or wellbeing, or create isolation from the community. The Department of Health announced that “Telehealth” was the answer to reducing Healthcare costs by up to 1.2bn over 5 years. Results from a recent study led by Prof Stanton Newton of the School of Health Sciences, City University, London, measuring the quality of life of people using Telehealth products produced no measurable effect on feelings or wellbeing of those involved.

Assistive Technology prescribed/issued correctly has a positive effect on wellbeing

We are in a technological age where technology is part of everyone’s daily life. Everyone can appreciate the benefits provided a by TV Remote Control, a Cordless Telephone or a Mobile Telephone. The list is endless. These items are accepted by us because we have all grown up using them as part of our daily lives. Sadly, Assistive Technology, Telehealth, Telecare has not yet acquired that status due to lack of education from an early age. To console the sceptics, Assistive Care Technology is proven to improve the daily lives of its users and can aid independent living and if provided/prescribed correctly to a person, will have a positive effect on their daily lives and on reducing care costs. When a person feels safe at home, it is a positive effect on their wellbeing.

Medpage Limited T/A Easylink UK actively promote awareness of Assistive Technology and provide a diverse range of in-the-home care products.

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