My Action Points for the Transformation of Housing



February 10, 2022 12:43 pm

Professor Roy Sandbach, Chair of the Technology for our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (TAPPI) urges recruitment for action within the TEC sector to maximise on the “some of the key opportunities of our time” for TEC in Housing.

The TSA ITEC Conference in March gives us the chance to re-ignite shared efforts on some of the biggest opportunities now presenting itself to us relating to Technology & Housing. I just want to provide some food for thought ahead of this important face to face Conference…..

Last year, I chaired the TAPPI inquiry into the use of Technology in Housing for Ageing Population, expertly led by Housing LIN and funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust. I was fortunate to be able to work with a Panel of skilled, highly knowledgeable experts and witnesses from across the stakeholder community.

It is not a stretch but a reality to say that technology in housing is key to population health and wellbeing. By 2040, we’ll have around six million more over-65s in the UK; that is the equivalent of 10 cities the size of Leeds!

Existing health and care systems will not cope without step-change use of leading-edge technology in all aspects of housing.

We must think of housing and technology dovetailed as the principal living platform for better and longer lives and apply this concept to new and existing housing (given that 80% of housing that will exist in 2040 is already built). The majority of people will need technology to enable a wonderful, safe, secure and contented independent life in their own, existing homes.

But how to meet this challenge? We need to work together to tackle this multi-agency challenge, and deal with some fundamentals….

People must always be at the heart of care technology interventions

The population is increasingly heterogeneous as it ages, but independence is at the core. Individual insights, personalisation and choice are the key to really matching “what is needed” with “what is possible.”

And good design will always triumph!

Process silos must be broken down

The health and care system is complex and busy, across the board from the user/client/consumer through commissioners to supplier. Convening for success has its challenges, we must strive for a single platform for collaboration and a collaborative framework for action and I’m optimistic we can achieve this. There are some wonderful collaborative “people-centric” initiatives across the country, so sharing and replicating this best practice is vital…..

Simple Principles at a local level

We don’t need to wait for top-down policy to drive this. Simple Principles at a local working level must be part of every conversation about technology and care. The TAPPI principles can be applied and improved and a working framework developed.

We need to change the culture of just doing the minimum

Doing the minimum compliance build doesn’t go far enough. This approach won’t create housing that is tech-ready, providing the desired home experience that people demand. And interoperability of tech platforms is vital, openness is vital, especially as we create a dynamic home technology marketplace.

Beyond this, we need to build “technology learning” into the training curricula for the range of engaged professionals, from housing, planning, through to health and care professionals and of course, into lifetime learning for the population at large.

But how?

Everyone’s a Winner

There are win-wins everywhere if we get this right and do some proper systems thinking. Government savings in health and care costs, business opportunities in a housing tech market, and independent older people having more fulfilled lives.

I hope I’ve recruited you to come together on these challenges. Let’s get the discussion going at ITEC Conference.  I really look forward to seeing you all there.

Hear more from Prof Roy Sandbach on morning plenary on Day 2 at ITEC

Book your tickets to ITEC now! Early bird offer is available until Friday 11th Feb. Any organisations booking THREE passes can also receive a FOURTH free

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