From VR headsets to heart rate-tracking ‘smart socks’, 2023 was a big year for care tech innovation – and there’s more to come in 2024. By Paul Johnson, CEO, Radar Healthcare
Once the preserve of gamers and consumers, virtual reality devices are proving their role in the management of Alzheimer’s disease, when used in older adults. The technology can also boost memory, relieve anxiety,
and provide pain management. VR has become a vital technological asset within care – and is set to become more
mainstream in the care environment.
While artificial intelligence (AI) can’t replace people, it can – and is – transforming care. From tracking residents’ weight to analysing even the most subtle signs of resident decline, today’s digital systems can bring together disparate data points under one roof.
This sets us on the way to achieving the holy grail of care – actionable insight that can reduce avoidable hospital admissions.
AI analytics can point to trends and root causes of problems, such as falls. Data can help mitigate risk and reduce the administrative burden of paperwork – freeing up staff to spend more time to deliver care. We’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible with AI and 2024 is set to be another defining year for this technology
Sustainable technology helps patients and the planet at the same time and more organisations than ever before
are pushing hard to meet their environmental goals. Care homes are themselves responsible for the impact of their activities on the environment, and they are an energy-intensive sector by nature.
Buildings and operational sustainability are emerging as key requisites in care – from solar panels and more local procurement to care technology that is focused on preventing illness. Sustainability will be the name of the game in 2024.
For years many technology innovators created software and devices that operated in closed systems. But today’s care, and health, ecosystems will need to be interoperable. To achieve that we need a culture of collaboration – of true partnership. I believe 2024 will be one of the biggest years yet for this.