Appello TECH Pandemic Report Cover image

The large majority (89 percent) of specialist housing providers believe their frontline staff have a greater appetite for using technology in their roles due to COVID-19, according to a new report by telecare specialist Appello.

Furthermore, 79 percent feel there has been an increase in interest in technology amongst customers living in their properties.

These are the findings of the research undertaken by Appello, a UK technology-enabled care service (TECS) provider, and the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (HLIN).

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They paint a promising picture for the future of digital care technologies, with 82 percent of specialist housing providers claiming that changes in perceptions will have a long-term influence beyond the pandemic.

The results were discovered from a survey of 133 senior executives, from providers of supported, sheltered and retirement housing. These findings are published in the report, ‘The Tech Pandemic: the long-term impact of COVID-19 on usage of technology in specialist housing’. From those surveyed, 62 percent planned to increase their investment in technology to keep pace with these changing expectations.

Iain Hockings, Head of Marketing at Appello, commented: “We conducted research at the start of the pandemic which highlighted how beneficial technology was in the response by housing providers to the challenges faced.

“Just over a year later, this latest research shows that the overwhelming majority are still experiencing the benefits technology can bring in delivering services to customers and want technology adoption to be one of the positives to come out of the last 18 months.

“At Appello we believe now is the time to ensure we put these learnings into practice, we need to build on this momentum. Technology will never be a replacement for human interaction; however, it can be a great delivery tool for them, and can unquestionably be a great compliment to the service delivered by dedicated people in supported housing.”

The survey also highlighted how nearly two-thirds of housing providers expect to increase remote working amongst traditional site-based staff, with over one quarter thinking this will increase significantly.

Jeremy Portus, Chief Executive of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (HLIN), said: “Throughout the last 18 months we have all experienced how technology can enable new ways of working. We have seen many positive stories of embracement and empowerment that have enabled specialist housing providers to continue their services.

“It is a real positive to see through this research a desire amongst housing providers to embrace change long-term. The results of this survey and findings outlined in this paper are increasingly important for the specialist housing sector and the role of technology post-COVID, as well how we live with COVID, to support people in specialist housing and inform how services will be further enabled.”

To download the report, The TECH pandemic, click here 

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