Communication Technologies For Health And Social Care Information Technology Essay

In this unit the term assistive technology encompasses all technologies high tech, low tech and no tech which aid people disabled or normal to go about their daily life effectively and independently. In order to properly understand the uses and importance of Assistive Technology, some examples are sited below:

A short sighted student puts on glasses so he/she can read, thus, the glasses are an assistive technology.

A dyslexia patient cannot read the prescribed course texts and hence needs text-to speech software to scan and hear the words. Therefore both the scanner and the text-to-speech software are assistive technologies.

Also it has being noted that managing money is not the only problem that we are being faced with in this present society. There are also problems of facilities, technologies and the need for health care professionals to work efficiently in satisfying clients wants and demands, which tends to be a vital issue.


You have been recruited to work in a care home for 3 months. The care home has a limited access and availability of today’s assistive technologies. The manager introduces you to staff and residents as an experienced and valuable member of staff who has a good background in today’s assistive technology that is used within the health and social care sector. Your main role is to develop an understanding of the value and the use of the assistive technologies, its applications and implications on service and service users.

In relations to the above scenario write a detailed assignment covering the following points:


Investigate the use of and access to appropriate assistive and communication technologies for health and social care by:

Describing a range of technologies and devices available for use within health and social care.

Firstly, a brief introduction should be made on the meaning of Assistive Technology. These devices can be devices that substitutes or enhances physical or mental ability. According to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Assistive Technology devices are termed as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities”. These devices can be any homemade or commercially sold device which helps individuals perform some daily tasks and hence ranges from low tech to high tech (pencil grips, Braille readers, etc)

In the UK, the government tend to encourage equal participation of all individuals especially those with disabilities and thus, extends the use of AT in the health and social care sectors. Prior to this, disabled personnel’s are considered as priorities in all cases which then lead to the term called Accommodation in the use of AT devices.


It might sound rather daunting in using this word here, but it also plays a vital role as it relates to a way of modifying tasks for the disabled so that they can participate equally regardless of the nature of their condition. For instance, the use of calculator for a disabled student that cannot remember mathematic figures is a way of accommodating his/her present conditions.

Describing a range of communications technologies available to services and service users.

Analysing barriers to the use of assistive technologies in health and social care

Poor short term memory in elderly ones

Lower motivation and learning level present at elderly age

Explaining benefits of technologies to organisations and individuals.

Wellford in (Birren, J. 1959) agreed with the importance of AT which makes life easier for the elderly, but was pessimistic as well saying that these devices deteriorates rapidly as the complexity increases. also,

Benefits of AT to individuals

We are all aware that whenever change is being made, everyone wants to know the benefits of it to us. For instance, in the political field, different parties campaign for election, but before people cast their vote, they will like to know the manifesto and intentions of various candidates and what they have to offer which will be beneficial. Similarly, these disabled ones will like to know the benefits of these devices before they can accept it and listed below are some of the benefits of AT to individuals;

Benefits of AT to an individual

This can be categorized into different sections as illustrated below;

Activities of daily life

Inner relations

Outer relations 

The category applicable to individuals is the inner relations which encompasses of;

Helping individuals to have a good self-esteem

Building up their confidence by the use of the devices

By also ensuring that they are safe from harm and risks

By relieving them of some or all of their initial pains

By eliminating discomfort in their lives

Below are list of devices and products of different assistive technology been used.


Architectural Access

Child Care


Computer Hardware

Computer Software


Farm Management Adaptations

Health/Medical Equipment

Hearing Technology

Home Management



Personal Care





Therapeutic Aids


Vision Technology


Working Animals



cane accessories


crutch accessories


walker accessories

Architectural Access

bath tubs

bathroom remodel

bathroom sinks


ceiling track lift

chair stair lift

doors/auto open

drinking fountain


house plans

kitchen remodel

kitchen sinks/appliances


pool lifts





wheelchair lifts

Child Care


high chairs






augmentative communication devices (electronic)

book holders

communication boards

electric page turners

head wands

light pointers

manual page turners

mouth sticks

personal voice amplification

reading machines

signal systems

telephone access

television adaptations


typing aids

writing aids

Computer Hardware

Braille printers

computer supplies

computer work stations

cursor control

expanded keyboards

interface adaptation


key guards

mini keyboards

other keyboards


special computer systems tactile printers

visual accessories/modifications

voice recognition systems

voice synthesizers

Computer Software




large print


special access

switch operated


tools/word processing/database

voice recognition


arm/wrist supports

back supports

CRT access

ergo joystick

industrial workstations

office workstations



Hearing Technology

alert/signal systems

audio loop systems

FM amplification systems

Hearing aids

infrared amplification systems

personal amplification systems


telephone adaptations

TV amplifiers

TV decoders

Home Management


food preparation


lift chairs/lift cushions

other furniture

protective bed/padding

shopping aids

special pillows

Health/Medical Equipment

blood pressure/pulse

diabetic equipment

dispenser aids

other medical equipment

pressure monitors


signal systems




adult bikes/trikes

adult light weight

adult travel chairs

car seats/bed

child light weight

hand operated trikes

manual stretchers

manual wheelchair

patient chairs

portable ramps

power stretchers

powered standing wheelchair

powered wheelchair



standing wheelchair


three-wheeled mobility devices

travel chairs



foot orthotics





Personal Care

bathing accessories




feeding accessories

feeding devices

grab bars/grips/handles



incontinent supplies

mechanical transfer lift


shower/bath chair


stationary commode

toileting accessories

transfer board

wheeled bath chair/commode


bolster chairs

corner chairs

decubiti’s cushion

other cushions

other therapeutic seats

postural support hardware

postural support systems

pressure monitors

wheelchair cushion


mounting hardware

other switches

wheelchair controls

Therapeutic Aids

ambulation training

balance training


elevated mat tables

exercise equipment

fine motor

gross motor



pain relief

Para podiums

perceptual motor


prone standers


sensory integration

sexual aids

side lying boards

stand tables


supine standers

treatment tables

upright frames


assistive accessories

driving controls



seat belts

vehicle access

vehicle conversions


wheelchair lifts

wheelchair loaders/carriers

wheelchair restraint systems

Vision Technology




large button phone

large print books

magnification systems



speaker phone

taped/audio books


other devices

talking equipment


adjustable tables

classroom equipment



office equipment


vocational assessment/training

work station/desks

(Word Count: 1250 Words)


Analyze how technology can be applied to support independent living by:

2.1 Analyzing how the use of assistive technologies may support independent living.

As we all know, AT can only be beneficial if the solutions have a usability value for the individual end user. Prior to this, clients who also are humans have different needs in life which they will want to be respected and considered when introducing any device to them. These needs are classified as below:

Physical (body) -Basics (food warmth, shelter), Protection, Medication

Intellectual (Mind) – Education, Stimulation

Emotional (feelings) – Support, love, respect

Social (people) – friends, mixing with others, seeing friends & family, translators,

Cultural-Ethnicity, religion, festivals, dress, language, diet, prayer times, community magazine

From the above, we can now ensure that all or some of these needs are considered when providing devices for them. Fortunately for us and them as well, different AT’s have being developed which supports them in the following ways;

Different ways in which AT supports individuals

Moving about in the home

Knowing what clothes to put on

Lifting up and holding a child

Getting up in the morning

Opening and shutting windows

Understanding and being understood

Dressing and undressing

Managing incontinence

Moving about for shopping and banking

Making food to eat

Managing medication


Playing various games

Access to educational material and school

Access to media

Access to computers and regular software

Weeding of garden, etc.

2.2 Evaluating the use of assistive technology for one specific health and social care service user.

Making recommendations of how assistive technologies might enhance services for individuals with specific health and social care need

Conclusions cannot just be made on how AT is important to the disbled without firstly, acknowledging that its efficiency is based on some criterions like;

Characteristics of the individuals user

Characteristics of the AT in use

The service delivery process

The integration of provision services into rehabilitation strategy

(Word Count: 1000 Words)


Evaluate implications of developments in assistive technologies which have potential for application in health and social care by:

Describing health and safety considerations in the use of assistive technologies.

Analyzing ethical considerations in the use of assistive technologies.

Describing the impact of recent and emerging technological developments on health and social care services, organizations and workers.

Suggest how assistive technologies might influence the role or workers in health and social care in the future.

(Word Count: 1000 Words)

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