Assistive technology event at Town Hall highlights use of AI in health and social care

The Council hosted an event last week at Hackney Town Hall demonstrating some of the most advanced products – developed using artificial intelligence (AI) – that can be used to transform how adult social care and health services are delivered in the future.

The event highlighted the latest innovative products on the market, such as self-pouring kettles, glasses that reads text and recognises faces for people who are blind and an app for children and people with disabilities that allows them to communicate and control their own environment in which they live, study or work. The products are designed to help increase people’s independence and safety in their own homes, especially when they need care.

The Smart Care Technology MarketPlace event was organised by Hackney Council’s Adult Social Care team to highlight how assistive technology can have a major impact on how the Council and health services support older and vulnerable people in their own homes.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Feryal Demirci who is the Cabinet member for Health, Social Care, Transport and Parks, said: “I’m really pleased that we have hosted this event, the first of its kind to be held in Hackney. Assistive technology is something that we as a Council are keen to invest in, for the future to ensure that older and more vulnerable residents enjoy a better quality of life.

“Technology and artificial intelligence has huge potential in enabling people to retain their independence and remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Assistive technology also has the potential to help us meet some of the greater challenges we face in the future of health and social care in Hackney.”

Hackney Adult Social Care is facing increased funding pressures with a growing older population in the borough - people are living for longer but have more complex needs. Assistive technology could transform how social care is delivered in the future through radical new approaches, which could improve the quality of life for older and vulnerable residents.

The event was hosted in partnership with UK Telehealthcare, an independent professional membership body for the technology and care industry.

Companies that were exhibiting and presenting included My LiferaftFall Savers, Amazon and OrCam Technologies which has invented glasses that uses AI to help people with sight problems. Technology firm SmartBox have created different apps for children and adults of all ages with limited mobility and speech problems. Their GridPad device enables someone to control electronic devices, heating or doors in their own homes and enables them to speak to or write to anyone through the GridPad.

Service users of Hackney’s Adult Social Care services also attended the event to help shortlist products that will be used for a trial period before potentially being rolled out across the borough. Service users, including carers from the Making it Real Board, helps the Council shape its services through co-production and will look at how useful some of the assistive technology products could help local residents, living with disabilities or reduced mobility.