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Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41

Assistive technology


About the glossary
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Definition (in a digital/TEC context)
Tunstall in-house glossary

Assistive technology enables people to live healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives, and to participate in education, the labour market and civic life. Assistive technology reduces the need for formal health and support services, long-term care, and the work of caregivers. Without assistive technology, people are often excluded, isolated, and locked into poverty, thereby increasing the impact of disease and disability on a person, their family, and society. [WHO definition]

Definition (in a digital/TEC context)

A subset of proactive services including: Equipment - community equipment; wheelchair; hydration solutions; robotic pets; audio books. Devices - medication management; mobile phone; tablet; automated systems; sleep/oxygen management; security solutions. Apps - health; wellbeing; exercise; language therapy.

Plain English definition
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Jargon Buster

Equipment that helps you carry out daily activities and manage more easily and safely in your own home. Examples include electronic medicine dispensers, memory prompts, 'big button' telephones or remote controls, and pendant alarms for wearing around your neck or wrist. It also includes equipment that can detect potential hazards in your home, such as a fire or flood, or that can alert a carer or the emergency services in the event of a fall or seizure.

Source: Stakeholder discussions

There is widespread confusion over the specific meanings of terms used in the Care Technology sector (Telecare, Tech Enabled Care, Care Tech, Assistive Tech, Telehealth, Telemedicine etc). There is an urgent need for a clear set of definitions covering (a) the different types of care tech (reactive vs preventative/predictive), (b) the distinction between technological products and physical aids, (c) the level of proactive input required from the care recipient.

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