News, Social Care

Accelerating remote monitoring innovation in social care


With the number of people who will require at-home care set to increase, innovation to boost capacity and drive efficiencies in social care is desperately needed, writes Fiona Brown, Chief Care Officer at Lilli.

In the ever-evolving landscape of social care, the need for transformational system-wide change has become increasingly apparent. Capacity and demand are reaching a critical level, with 73 per cent of healthcare leaders saying a lack of social care capacity is having a significant impact on their ability to tackle the elective care backlog. This is where new proactive care technology emerges as a vital ally in addressing challenges like workforce shortages and access to services.

However, navigating this path to technology adoption amid a stretched workforce, bureaucratic hurdles and a lack of long-term solutions to social care capacity, presents its own set of challenges. Procurement processes, often burdened by strict and outdated internal controls, can create barriers to meaningful change. Instead of embracing a holistic approach to technology integration, these internal barriers can lead to the development of tenders with narrow specifications, overlooking the wider system impact.

Pilots, while valuable for testing and refining solutions, often fall short of achieving lasting impact due to insufficient time for advocacy or momentum building, unclear outcomes and an organisational requirement for quick financial returns. In addition, lack of early engagement with the market further complicates efforts to drive systemic change. As a result, pilot fatigue can set in across teams. To counteract this trend, there needs to be a shift towards long-term commitment to proven solutions to see real transformation.

Across the sector, central government has launched several types of competitive and highly sought-after technology funds for organisations to apply for, including the Adult Social Care Technology Fund and the Digitising Social Care Fund. Yet more recently a new type of fund has been launched directly from the technology sector. The Proactive Care Fund (PCF) aims to expedite the adoption of home monitoring technology by offering local authorities and integrated care boards (ICBs) up to £1 million of matched funds, ushering in a new era of efficiency and efficacy in care delivery.

Home monitoring technology that discreetly monitors patterns of behaviour and indicators of wellbeing has been proven to help to address many of the key challenges in the system – from staff shortages to shrinking budgets – by supporting carers to right-size care packages, keeping people living independently for longer.

The technology can empower carers to be on the front foot and proactively respond to signs of health decline before conditions become acute. Data from remote monitoring company, Lilli, for instance, shows that it can generate thousands of additional carer hours, and accelerate hospital discharge by up to 16 days. Moreover, for every £1 spent on the technology, £9 can be reallocated into the care budget.

The PCF provides the necessary support and resources for organisations to break free from the reactive delivery of care and adopt a proactive care model to explore and implement innovative technologies with confidence while realising the benefits of saving money, time and resources.

Central to this paradigm shift is the creation of a conducive procuring environment within the sector. The PCF addresses this need head-on by streamlining procurement processes and providing matched funding to alleviate financial pressures. By facilitating quick and easy access to transformative technologies, the PCF empowers organisations to embrace innovation quickly without undue burden. G Cloud contracts, committed to a minimum of 12 months, offer organisations the time and flexibility needed to realise the tangible benefits and assess the broader impact on the care ecosystem.

Last year, several organisations – including borough councils, county councils and ICBs – across the UK saw successful applications through the first PCF. These included Hillingdon Council, Medway Council, Oxfordshire County Council and North Central London ICB, who embraced the initiative to support a variety of adult social care services and enable their residents to live safely and independently.

According to the latest research, the number of people who will require publicly funded care at home in the UK is expected to grow by 36 per cent between 2024 and 2035, so it is crucial that transformation happens now to prevent further crisis in the future. The PCF represents a significant step towards accelerating the adoption of proactive models of care, while having a positive knock-on effect across the rest of the health ecosystem, reducing pressure on emergency services, reducing hospital admissions and speeding up hospital discharge. In current times, where central and local government are struggling to fund basic services, private sector initiatives, with a track record of savings and efficiencies, could prove to be part of the puzzle to help a sector in crisis.

To find out more about Lilli’s remote monitoring technology, please visit