New Technology Will Support Independent Living

The Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety has said he wants to ensure there is support for people who want to live independently in their own homes. Michael McGimpsey was speaking at a conference in Belfast where the role of new technology in assisting people to live at home was explored.

The Minister said: “We live in the information and technological age where new equipment can play a huge part in the delivery of health and social care.

Tele-care, tele-health, tele-medicine and tele-monitoring are all tremendous strides forward for the better and can make wonderful differences for people’s lives.

“Such technology can also contribute to lots of schemes which provide support and care for people who do not want to go to hospitals or homes and who do not necessarily need to go there either but instead can live full and safe lives in their own environment.”

The Minister explained how such projects can alleviate pressure on the hospital system: “Too many people end up in hospital or have to stay in hospital longer because the correct care package is not available for them in the community. I want to break that circle – new technology can play a part.”

Mr McGimpsey also revealed the Department would be investing £1.5 million over the next two years so pilot projects can run to promote the development of new technologies.