the aim of raising awareness of the potential of technology for driving up care standards and encouraging services to improve.

Then the pandemic happened. What was startling was just how much the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of digital transformation within the home care sector. We know this anecdotally of course; nearly all of us have shiſted to more digital ways of working and the caretech space in particular has been awash with new projects.

But our data showed the jump to digital tools amongst home care providers in real terms.

Between Q1 and Q2 2020, there was a 285% increase in the number of digital tasks being used by our customer base. What we saw happening was care organisations relying on tasks to manage infection control and client and carer safety. In this state of emergency, care providers created mandatory ‘to dos’ and reminders within their carers’ mobile apps for hand washing, symptom checking and sanitisation.

Then as things started to settle a little between Q3 and Q4, we saw a 115% increase in the number of digital forms being created. Domiciliary care providers were now beginning to reshape their processes based on what they had learnt and experienced during the first lockdown. Care plans, risk assessments and induction documents were all being digitised, finally moving away from the paper binder in a client’s home, to a fully electronic care planning system.

Fast forward to the present day, and we have observed that our customers are more comfortable with technology than they have ever been, and are hungry for what’s next.

For us, that’s a data driven, connected and collaborative home care sector.

We want information about people receiving care to be connected, not siloed, to give a bigger picture of what they need to live a fulfilling life. For soſtware providers to work in collaboration, not confrontation, aligning their systems with the shared purpose of supporting the delivery of outstanding home care.

Thankfully, we are far from alone in this. NHSX has just released its draſt data strategy, ‘Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data’. It is the tipping point for bringing together all of the disparate pockets of innovation that have been happening all over the care sector and the NHS over the last few years.

The strategy’s main thrusts are: Using data to innovate within the entire health and social care system; making data sharing the norm; and, building the right technical, legal and regulatory foundations to make all this happen.

At last, it feels like we might be on the path to digital transformation in care, system-wide. Where data and digital can start to make a difference to the lives of people receiving care, wherever they are, and whoever they receive care from.

So, the next generation of our soſtware is all about interoperability and insight. Giving care providers access to meaningful intelligence about the people they care for, wherever that data comes from. Making care management systems truly person-centred will be the marker of the next decade – and where technology has the true power to transform.

To download our full research report into how technology has shaped and supported care delivery over the last decade, visit the website below. - 35 -

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