COMMENT: Exciting to think this could be just the start

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Isn’t technology wonderful?

We report on page four today how revolutionary voice-activated technology is to be trialled on elderly people receiving social care in a world-first.

Amazon Echo’s ‘Alexa’ is going to be used by 50 adult social care clients receiving support from the county council.

So how will this work? Well, through the wonders of wi-fi and bluetooth connectivity, users will be able to ask the voice-activated gadget to remind them when to take their medication and to check when their carer is due to arrive.

It’s simple but brilliant. No more forgetting to take pills, or worrying about when help is on the way. Now a ‘virtual’ friend called Alexa will tell them.

The council is also pushing for the technology to advise users on remembering to drink by using motion sensors in their homes. Plus Alexa could be used to encourage users to keep fit.

What’s particularly great about this initiative is that technology is being used to benefit a section of the population who may have previously thought such ‘new-fangled’ equipment was only for the younger generation.

Not so. This proves that people of all ages can have their lives enhanced by embracing innovative hi-tech solutions such as this one.

There’s also a resources benefit. By giving such invaluable assistance to the elderly, it frees up social care staff to spend more time with those who are classed as the most vulnerable.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, the authority’s executive member for adult social care, said: ‘‘We are very excited about the possibilities this project could open up in the future and its potential to benefit the future of social care.’

We agree. It’s really exciting to think that this could be just the beginning.