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Care City evaluation highlights lessons for care tech adopters

Involving people in the implementation of technology, understanding how technology fits into a person’s  care and treatment, and how people will engage with it, are vital to its success in health and care, the Care City project evaluation concludes.

The research focuses on the Care City test bed project, which was established as a joint venture between North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, with the purpose of improving health and social care within one of the most deprived areas of London.

In care homes, evaluation focuses on Whzan technology, which is used in tandem with  National Early Warning Scores (NEWS) to detect deterioration in health status, in the long term aim of avoiding emergency hospital admissions.  

In conclusion, the evaluation urges policy architects to consider the following areas when implementing technology:   

  • Resources, funding and support required to roll out innovations more widely – promoting innovation through programmes that are designed centrally can result in greater challenges with implementation, due to imposed timescales or objectives
  • Digital exclusion and digital literacy when addressing a particular service need or problem. Not all individuals will have access to a smartphone, computer or the internet
  • Workforce development in the implementation of innovations. Clarity on whose role will change in order to adopt and implement innovations can help to accelerate progress
  • Disruption to current pathways or system-wide change that might be required to achieve the full benefits of an innovation. For example, while Whzan is implemented by carers, the care escalation process requires action from primary care.

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