UV-C equipment can be fitted within air conditioning units or as freestanding units at ceiling level or the upper part of a room (Upper Room-Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation or UVGI) to kill airborne pathogens.  

Automated room disinfection systems may also be effective as a COVID-19 related infection measure when used to decontaminate surfaces. Studies by Franke et al.  (2021) have shown the effectiveness of automated room disinfection systems using ozone and an integrated nebulizer (for controlled increase of room humidity) against surrogates for SARS-CoV-2, therefore pointing to potential solutions for COVID-19 related disinfection.  

Adjustable ambient lighting represents a therapeutic technology that can alleviate an austere and overtly clinical setting by changing the lighting colour temperature to create either a calming, restful, or stimulating lighting environment, as required.

(Grey et al., 2018)

Assistive technology is often used in terms of accessibility and safety in care settings. For instance, the main application of technology for people with dementia relates to safety, including assistive technology; ambient assisted living, and telecare or telehealth (Grey et al., 2015). The use of monitoring equipment (Andrews, 2013), and technology for the prevention and monitoring of falls (Cameron Ian et al., 2012) is also important.  

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. 

Technology can assist in social networking that enables residents to communicate with friends and family who are not able to visit on a regular basis.

(Department of Health (UK), 2015)

The secondary impacts of COVID-19 included isolation, loneliness, stress, and lack of engagement with family and friends. In this regard, information, and communications technology (ICT) has been promoted as a way to mitigate at least some of these impacts. 

There was no mention in literature reviewed about infection transmission from shared devices, further reviews on this issue may be required. 

Due to the potential high levels of disability, frailty, or cognitive decline in many RLTC settings, technology must be designed so it can be accessed, understood, and used to the greatest extent possible by all RLTC residents.  

There is no broadband in my bedroom, only in the dining room.

– Resident

Heating is controlled centrally and in zones. Staff can access these. Some bedrooms also have individual access – residents with no cognitive impairment can control these.

- Staff

The phone coverage is chronic at this facility. Very frustrating at times.

– Family Member

Key Findings


Case study sites appear to be well served by internet; however, connectivity issues were raised by both residents and family members. 


Poor phone reception was raised by family members as an issue in one case study site. 


Technology and ITC

  • Ensure building structure and materials facilitate Wi-Fi technologies, to allow for contact with family and friends via. ICT, and access to telehealth such as remote consultations with GP, etc.
  • While Wi-Fi may be suitable for many technologies, the provision of CAT 6 ethernet cables will ensure a stronger and more reliable connection, which may be vital during important health assessments.
  • For resident bedrooms consider the following technologies: infrared fall detection devices; pull-cord emergency call unit; movement sensors or bed pressure mats that turn lights on automatically at night if a person needs to use bathroom or move about.
  • Consider how the use of automatic sensor taps, automatic opening doors, and other ‘no touch’ features can help with infection control and accessibility.
  • Careful use of technology such as silent staff call systems to reduce noise within settings.
  • Ensure technology is accessible and usable by all residents including those with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities.

Download the report on Technology here.