What makes a great tech innovation?

We’re excited by the growing amount of great products and services we see entering the care industry and the impact these innovations will undoubtedly have on the quality of care delivered in the coming years. So what makes great care tech innovation?

At KareInn, we’ve seen first hand the transformative power of technology, across many sectors. And some of our favourite innovations use the latest and greatest technology available, from virtual reality to Bluetooth to voice-activated artificial intelligence.

Fundamentally better

However, we really believe great innovation is something which makes life fundamentally better for its users (both care teams and residents). We founded KareInn to, among other things, bring that knowledge and perspective of innovation to the care industry.

“KareInn = Care Innovation”

That got us thinking about which innovative companies in the care technology space are as passionate as we are about putting service users’ needs right at the centre of their products.

So, over the next four weeks, we’ll be sharing our favourite care technology innovations and why we think they’re great. We hope you’ll share your favourites too – you can let us know your favourites here or get in touch on social media, by email or even old-fashioned telephone.

First up this week are a couple of innovations which are using digital to bring activities to life in the field of elderly care.

Tover Tafel

Tover Tafel (Dutch for Magic table), a table-based light show game which can be used with elderly care home residents as well as children and adults.

The idea behind the game came about through PhD research by Hester le Riche in her native Netherlands into Play Experiences for People with Alzheimer’s Disease. Her findings directed her towards creating an interactive experience to encourage older people to move around and have fun together.

The company name was created during an early test of the product when a user whispered:

“Het is… een tovertafel! [It’s a … magic table!]”

Tover Tafel’s commitment to user testing and continuous improvement through its ongoing links to scientific research make it one of our favourite care innovations.

Playlist for Life

Playlist for Life founder Sally Magnusson saw first hand the power of music for those living with dementia when she and her sisters were caring for her late mother. Sally and her sisters were best able to communicate and engage with their mother through the songs and music which had formed a part of their family life together.

Playlist for Life uses the established music streaming service Spotify as a basis for its playlist-making app, and also offers a series of tips for creating a playlist for creating the best playlists for your loved ones.

“If someone becomes very agitated or distressed listening to a certain tune, you should stop the session immediately and discard that music.”

We love this not only because it’s a great example of how to harness an existing digital product to create something even more user-centric.

What does it mean for your residential care home

We know it can quickly become a challenge deploying so many types of technology in a care home environment if they each come with separate hardware and software which don’t talk to one another. That’s why whatever technology you deploy in your care home should always be built for integration, like our digital care planning software.

Likewise, the amount of innovation coming to the care home industry can seem overwhelming and it is not easy to select the right provider for whatever digital solution you need. Read our guide to going digital here for tips on how to navigate that process. The most important thing to remember is, regardless of what the innovation does or how shiny the technology is: ‘does this make it fundamentally better?’

Finally, as always, if you would like to know more about what we are doing, evaluate our product, or pick our brains on industry best practice, please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you.