Gren Paull, CEO at Lilli: “How Remote Monitoring Technology Can Drive a Shift Towards Preventive Care in a Stretched Health and Social Care Ecosystem”

Healthcare has seen huge digital advances in recent years, and while new and shiny technology is exciting to have, it can’t be just a ‘nice to have’ – it must serve a purpose and deliver real, lasting benefits. This has become critical as the UK faces a pressure-cooker of challenges; from budget cuts and scant staffing to the complications of an ageing society and the yet-to-be-felt long-term ramifications of Covid. 

While the focus is often on hospitals and frontline healthcare, the social care sector must not be an afterthought. Indeed, the UK government is recognising this, with an announcement from The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) at the end of last year communicating its intention to spend £150 million on greater technology adoption in social care.


Delivering a shift change towards preventive care

The DHSC wants technology that supports independent living, allowing staff to focus care where it is most needed. This shift towards preventive care solutions is positive, as by focusing on identifying issues before they happen, not only does this avoid unnecessary incidents for individuals, but it also negates more complex and costly treatment after, for example, a slip, trip or fall that could result in hospitalisation and leave the individual unable to live independently in their own home.

With this renewed focus, more cutting-edge remote monitoring solutions are showing promise in being able to transform the overstretched health and social system. The more advanced of these solutions use machine learning (ML) algorithms to deliver rich insights to care professionals, allowing them to make informed, data-based decisions earlier than previously possible. ML technology can help identify changes in conditions, which when analysed by care practitioners enables them to provide the best and most suitable care package. 



A juncture for change

According to an industry report from ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services), social care directors reported more than a shocking 1.5 million hours of commissioned home care could not be provided between August and October 2021, and a more recent ADASS report published in spring highlighted that 82% of social care directors identified increased referrals for care of people discharged from hospital, and yet many more cannot deliver the increased care and support needed due to staffing shortfalls. 

Social care leaders recognise they must develop a detailed understanding of how technology can help them and understand they will need to move quickly to embrace the potential, implement and embed the technological solutions that can support them to transform the system in a way that can have a real and lasting positive impact.

Remote monitoring solutions are already demonstrating how they can reduce the cost of care hours and unnecessary hospital visits, and the benefits don’t just stop there. There is the potential to have the benefits felt all across the sector, making care assessments easier and more accurate, as well as reducing paperwork or unnecessary journeys.

With the drivers for change never more apparent, now is the time for investors to be jumping on board to ensure they are part of this crucial journey to deliver a future of better care.