The Health Foundation has selected 10 teams to be part of its £2 million innovation programme that will explore how assistive technology can enable new approaches to care at home and in the community.

The Tech for Better Care programme is a new funding programme that will support 10 teams from across the UK to develop, test, and pilot promising new ideas and approaches to care over approximately 18 months.

These approaches to care will focus on the caring and enabling relationships needed between those who deliver care and those who receive care and on care that is proactive in supporting people to live a better and more independent life where possible.

Malte Gerhold, Director of Innovation and Improvement at the Health Foundation, said: “We’re very excited to launch this new programme and support these teams with their innovative ideas.

“Our aim is not only to get promising new ideas off the ground, but to demonstrate that by making the most of technology it is possible to deliver care in a way that is more proactive and focused on building supportive relationships, personally and with the community.

“Ultimately, we want to see the most effective piloted approaches scaled and spread to improve outcomes and experiences for those delivering and receiving care.”

Some of the most notable assistive technology projects include one from voluntary and independent sector partners, North/South Health and Social Care Partnerships, and NHS Lanarkshire.

This project is looking at how assistive technology can support both the human and preventative aspects of falls care. Currently, technology deployed only focuses on falls detection but does not identify or manage risk or cause. The project will focus on those who currently or may in the future access or draw on social care or telecare and are at highest risk of falls.

Another assistive technology project comes from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester Integrated Care Board.

Many older people are prescribed six or more medications and non-adherence can be a problem. There are assistive technologies that could support people with sensory or cognitive impairments to take their medications. This project will explore the potential for home from hospital link workers using these new digital technologies to provide personalised support for people who are taking multiple medications. Working with Bristol City Council, AgeUK Bristol and BANES, and The University of West of England, the initial focus will be on understanding the scale of the problem.

See all 10 projects here.

Social Finance is the support partner for the programme, supporting the teams to explore their ideas and develop their skills.

The chosen teams will be supported through a three-phase innovation process where they will initially explore opportunities and develop ideas. The most promising ideas will then be supported to test and pilot their new approaches. Currently, the selection of these projects is subject to contracts being finalised with the lead organisation of each project, according to the Health Foundation.

A recent Health Foundation survey revealed that 78 percent of the public would be happy to monitor their health at home instead of in a hospital.

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