NEW technology which hopes to revolutionise homecare for older people is being extended across the district, after a pilot proved a success.

The system sees all information about a person’s care stored securely on a 4G internet-enabled tablet kept in their home, replacing hand-written paper notes.

This tablet acts as a care hub, giving real-time information to homecare workers, family members and medics.

The system has been developed by technology start-up Konnektis, based in the Digital Exchange in Little Germany, part of the city’s Digital Health Enterprise Zone project.

Bradford Council and local care providers Safehands Services and 06 Care piloted the technology in the homes of 10 people for three months last year and the Council is now rolling it out to 150 people across the district.

Businessman Mark Howells co-founded Konnektis with his father after experiencing poor care for his grandfather in the south-east of England.

He said: “As a family we found the communication between various carers to be poor as it tended to rely on paper-based notes.

“As my grandad’s health declined over time, the need for concise real-time information increased but the tools just didn’t exist. We wanted to build a product that should have existed for the network of carers that supported my grandad.”

Usually, the records of a client’s care plan, medical needs and homecare visits is handwritten and kept in a paper file in their home.

But this can lead to problems, such as medication dosages not always being clear or handwritten notes being difficult to read.

Under the Konnektis system, homecare staff use the tablet to access useful information and record the details of their visit, such as when someone last ate or took medication.

Relatives who are not living nearby can log on to a secure website to check when their loved one was last visited or send messages to the homecare staff.

And the clients themselves can check the tablet to see when their next visit is due.

Bradford Council has said the new technology complements its ‘Home First’ policy, which aims to help people stay at home for longer and reduce the need for more expensive care homes. The authority has to save £16m from its care costs in the next two years.

The new technology will not cost the service users anything, and Bradford Council will monitor whether the system costs the authority money or saves money in the long-run.

Kersten England, the Council’s chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that we are piloting such an innovative product to optimise the delivery of social care, the resourcing of which is a problem facing councils up and down the country. We need creative solutions like Konnektis to tackle this.”

Councillor Val Slater, executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “This is a much more efficient way of keeping a person’s care records, meaning information can be accessed quickly and easily by every professional who visits them which will lead to things being done more efficiently and important details being passed on.”

And Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said it was “exciting and revolutionary new technology that I believe will ultimately vastly improve the delivery of care services across the UK”.