While the benefit of automatic sensor taps, automatic opening doors, and other ‘no touch’ features may be marginal in terms of COVID-19 infection control, these features have benefits in terms of accessibility for a wide range of setting users.
Healthcare technology is always evolving, and new innovations such as robotic telepresence (Becevic et al., 2015) where remote controlled mobile robotic devices allow doctors to interact with other staff or patients from a distance. While this may be beneficial and effective in terms of delivering medical care, it is worth considering how such technology will be perceived by a person with dementia (Grey et al., 2018).
Technology can help residents access healthcare that may not be otherwise available during isolation or quarantine. Davidson and Szanton (2020), welcome advances made in the context of COVID-19 around the expansion of telehealth and telemedicine services to nursing homes, which may provide opportunities to improve care in the longer term.
Grindle (2021) points to the use of technology, in particular platforms supporting the audio and video assessment of patients that reduce the risk to the patient or the wider nursing community by reducing foot fall into the setting. Referring to her own experience, she describes a video consulting platform called ‘Attend Anywhere’ that has provided positive outcomes for patients, while also providing cost efficacy.