Conversation starter: Meshell Heelbeck
There are already plenty of ways we can use technology in prevention. You can get falls detectors, bed sensors, epilepsy sensors, and lots more. Data can help us work out when people need help, monitoring how quickly and slowly people are completing tasks to work out if they need any additional support, physio etc.
The downside is that all of these things have costs attached. If you pass that cost to the person who needs it, many will be unable to afford it.
There are other issues around getting tech working well for prevention. You need people on the ground to help adoption and show people how to use things properly. This needs investment too.
You need a trusted person to guide and explain the technology to vulnerable people. A family member might not be the best person to do this. You have to take into account that people’s cognitive processing may be different. Pacing is key. If you want to help people to adopt tech, you need to be patient.
There are disadvantaged and vulnerable sections of society who don’t have access to smartphones. For them, access to these things would be preventative technology, because you’re giving them the tools to help themselves. Ian gives the example of giving refugees an ipad, they can use it to learn language, work out how to rent a bike to get to the immigration office. Because it’s online, they can access this information in their own language. It’s empowering – it shouldn’t be a luxury.