Innovating our services: the role of tech

by Gary Steen, chief technology officer at Tunstall Healthcare

If we are to fully harness the opportunities presented by digital, we must understand the crucial role of technology in innovating our services. The government has recognised the need for change, and its vision for greater digitalisation is featured heavily in the People at the Heart of Care: adult social care reform White Paper.

Gary Steen, chief technology officer at Tunstall Healthcare, shares his insight into how technology can shape the future of our health, housing and social care services.

Innovating for the future

With demand transforming the current market and technology innovation expanding dramatically, service providers must make sure that we continue to invest in technology to become global leaders in innovation and development.

We must strategise for the future and shift our mission to champion cutting edge yet robust, rather than knee jerk, solutions. Deploying disruptive technologies will enable us to deliver changes, and innovate from both a people and process perspective. In turn this will create solutions that are increasingly flexible and agile.

Shaping our services through innovative technologies

As the UK moves to a digital communications network, Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP) has been working to understand the impact on its equipment, services and customers, and evaluate the options available.

According to John O’Hanrahan,  customer service centre manager, at LHP: “Technology enabled care services play a major part in how LHP delivers excellent services for all stakeholders. Using technology has helped us to shape our service to become more agile and maximise the opportunities presented by the digital future for both our tenants and colleagues.

What’s next? 

Investing time in exploring emerging technology is key in enabling us to set the technical direction of our services and their development. Currently we’re looking at advanced AI in combination with technology which will support better detection of whether someone’s health could be about to deteriorate. New technology will take data from multiple sources and provide a clear picture of the risks someone faces, enabling us to develop a model of health and care which is proactive and predictive, rather than reactive.

Over the next five years we’re going to see both the technology industry, but also health and social care, experience massive disruption, and solutions will be revolutionised. Through future gazing and exploring key areas to innovate, we can drive the abilities of our services to ensure the future of technology within the digital health and care space and become better able to serve people in a fast-changing world.

The digital transition

The digital transition is impacting how a huge range of health and care services and solutions are delivered. In the UK, the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) that currently powers landline telephones and provides millions of vulnerable users with assistive technology will cease in 2025. UK phone lines will switch to voice over internet protocol (VoIP).

Integration and investment in technology is key to reconfiguring and innovating our services, and ensuring that service providers and end users can withstand and adapt to changes that are generated in the coming years.

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Tunstall are an awarded supplier on our Telecare and Telehealth framework, you can find more info on this framework here.