2016 Conference Presentation
While we can be fairly certain that the global trend is for increased longevity and concurrently increased numbers of people living with chronic health conditions and needing long term care, the potential impact that emerging technology may play in coping with these trends is much less understood. One aspect of technology’s impact on the long term care sector could come in the form of technology that changes the mix of formal versus informal care, or the mix of institutional versus in-home care. A related but different aspect is the impact of technology on the productivity of workers in the formal care sector, an issue that becomes increasingly important with recognition of the constraints on the supply of labour for these formal care roles.
The proposed presentation will identify some of these emerging issues, report on relevant preliminary research, and identify a research agenda to address the major unknowns in the field. Developments in the care sectors in Germany and Japan highlight very different trends that suggest themes that require further attention. Both countries face rapid ageing and labour force constraints. Both have sought to upgrade the care workforce. But, whilst Germany is still reliant on using non-professional (often foreign) workers, Japan has tried to make use of new technology to deliver physical assistance and even supplementary services, such as attention and communication, to recipients of long-term care. How to incorporate greater use of technology into long term care services, and the potential impact of greater technology use on attracting and retaining a qualified work force, will also be addressed.