The use of technology in social services for adults has large potential – but only if it is developed with partners


What re the most pressing problems facing those in the adult care system and those who rely on its services? And how can technology assist in tackling these issues? This was the theme of a roundtable held last week in the name of The King’s Fund, sponsored by Amazon Web Services.

The event was attended by those who use services, those working in social care, as well as representatives from social service providers as well as municipalities, integrated systems of care, and technology providers. The roundtable was conducted by Chatham House rules: we make public the comments, however, we don’t identify the person the person who the person who made them.

In such a large population, there was a reasonable consensus on the issues faced by adult social care, and the kind of system people would like to experience.

Numerous examples of technology were used to enhance quality and provide more control and choice in addition to generating efficiency. These examples provided insight into the potential for technology to benefit people who rely upon services, caregivers, employees, staff, and other organizations. We were informed of electronic notifications of patients ready to be discharged from the hospital, digital health care records, remote monitoring, fall prevention technology, and technology geared towards consumers, such as Virtual Assistant technology.

There was a discussion about how technology could enhance social services. However, it was apparent that most of the meeting focused on the potential for technology rather than its immediate application.

What next thing needs to change for the process to progress faster? The problems that emerged from the discussions were broken into four major areas: resources, systems, and infrastructure, as well as skills and culture, as well as co-production.


The main points mentioned regarding how systems can better use technology included the need for a proactive prevention-based health care model.

The wrong approach is to see this as purchasing items of technology, but in reality, it’s an exercise in figuring out the best service model.

Participants also felt there was a need for system-wide planning to allow for investments in a more preventative approach, which encourages the person-centered approach to care.

Sometimes, particularly in the case of tech-powered care options, the benefits could be from other parts of the system.

Infrastructure and Resources

Concerning infrastructure and resources, the discussion included the need for financial support, particularly for longer-term financing, to promote the use of proven beneficial equipment.

We must shift from a mindset of piloting to one of prototyping and then scaling.

The improvement of the skills of strategic management and knowledge was also emphasized.

We’re drowning in information but need the right insight or foresight, as well as the proper capabilities to utilize our data.

Local authorities need help to make investments in innovation by working with various partners. They need to be more confident in the tech industry and cannot make the money and manage change funds.

Others have also mentioned the necessity of putting the digital infrastructure essential to society at an equal level across the country.

Many shady areas in the United States don’t need high-quality or reliable Wi-Fi.

Culture and skills

Sure, participants believed that their skills and cultural beliefs were hindering growth.

Developing workforce skills and addressing concerns regarding technology are two of the most significant challenges within our team of employees. There is a lot of resistance.

As an industry, we need help with the environment and culture that drive this change and innovation.

Others disagreed, saying that the growth of digital social health records, like those for medical care, is not a result of cultural factors but rather the fee rates for care providers.

It was also recognized that the workforce issue might result from other deeply rooted problems.

With a workforce that needs to be recognized for its abilities beyond digital, What can we do to incorporate digital to the fullest extent?

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