Digitization of welfare technology has been on the agenda for many years but the tipping point for investments and focus in the area has really been triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. In a few years, when we look back, we will discuss Covid-19 as an important trigger for digitalization of welfare services.
Why invest in welfare technology?
There are many reasons for investments in welfare technology such as increased security, independent living, breaking social isolation and support for relatives to mention a few. Technologies have been available for a long time, but many solutions have required expensive investments in hardware and software. Furthermore, they rarely satisfy the required customer experience for elderly people. In fact, they are often built upon a monolithic architecture and maybe targeted for a totally different segment. As a result, the customer experience has been suffering.
If we compare the security industry with the healthcare segment, they both have needs for surveillance solutions. But a surveillance solution for a security company, maybe providing building surveillance, has quite different needs than a healthcare solution that provides surveillance of elderly people.
Software trends transforming the welfare sector
Microservices is an important software trend that enables much faster transformation into digital services and digitization of welfare technology. Another benefit using serverless microservices is the ability to make solutions contextual to the actual situation.
For elderly person this means that communication and interaction should be based on the current situation. It might be that the camera in the roof is triggered when the fall sensor on the wristband sends an alarm, or that the elderly person itself trigger a video call to the Alarm Receiving Center when needed. The old method of waiting until the care worker is doing its routine visits, is being replaced by contextual voice and video communication.
Solution providers who want to lead the digitalization of the welfare sector will, in order to focus on customer experience, put together best-of-breed solutions with building blocks from an ecosystem of suppliers. This ecosystem will consist of software companies building microservices and providing open and flexible APIs for integration.