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Rowcroft chosen as one of ten UK teams to explore technology in care

Rowcroft Hospice has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent organisation working to build a healthier UK, to be part of its exciting new innovation programme that will explore how technology can enable new approaches to care at home and in the community.

The ‘Tech for Better Care’ programme is supporting 10 care teams across the UK to develop, test and pilot promising new ideas and approaches to care over approximately 18 months.

The teams will develop approaches to care that focus on relationships between those who deliver care and those who receive care, and on care that is proactive in supporting people to live a better and more independent life where possible. The teams will be supported through a three-phase innovation process where they will initially explore opportunities and develop ideas. The most promising ideas will then be supported to test and pilot their new approaches.

The Rowcroft Hospice technology project aims to develop a wearable device or/and an app, particularly suitable for those living with end-stage organ failure, frailty, dementia, and other causes of cognitive decline, or those who may have no fixed abode or live alone and are not always able to express or communicate when they are in pain or distress. The technology will potentially monitor pain levels, vital signs (for example, temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation), levels of distress, movement, and possibly fluid intake. This information will be monitored by Rowcroft’s community triage nurse who, on identifying any changes in measures will make contact via a text message, phone call, or face-to-face visit to help manage symptoms, as well as providing support for loved ones. Digital technology has the potential to help the hospice to reach more patients who would benefit from Rowcroft’s care and support.

Rowcroft’s Dr Gill Horne, Programme Director – Care Services, who is managing the project said:

“We are so excited about the potential to co-design this transformative technology for patients and those closest to them. Digital technology has the potential to empower people to access community palliative care services and gain the proactive quality care and support when they need it before they get into crises. Moreover, by gathering data through a wearable device or app, we will be alerted immediately to a patient’s deteriorating condition, or a family’s need for assistance, and we can respond by offering the appropriate specialist care and support.”

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