PA Consulting - What can the COVID-19 pandemic teach us about how to commission Care Technology?


The adoption of video-calling technologies mushroomed during the COVID restrictions. As illustrated in BBC WORKLIFE, they enabled virtual contact and helped people feel less isolated. Many who had not previously used FaceTime or Zoom turned to their iPads or PCs to connect with family and friends in a more engaging way than by phone.

Some of those who have only recently adopted video-calling will continue to use this technology post-pandemic. For clinical consultations for example, which have also spiked, as explained here: Effect of COVID on telehealth usage. Their aim will be to save time or enhance communication, and they will be largely disinterested in the device or software they use. I’m reminded of the UK mail strike in 1988, when 150m postal items languished in sorting offices. That year sales of fax machines rocketed, and the technology became ubiquitous.

The lesson is that whilst new technology may enable a change in behaviour, the driver is the user’s wish to achieve a particular outcome.

Paradoxically, when the focus is on the desired result, people can be more accepting of a new solution, as long as it works, because we are unforgiving of technology that doesn’t!

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