Health and welfare technologies are digital technology-based interventions that aim at maintaining or promoting health, wellbeing, quality of life and/or increasing efficiency in the service delivery system of welfare, social and health care services.
They improve the working conditions of caregiving professionals, if involved.
Some call them digital health technologies, others e-health or m-health technologies, and consumers might know them as health apps or wearables. Health and Welfare Technologies (HWTs) is a description commonly used in the Nordic countries that encompasses most of these. An established definition is found to the right.
HWT interventions include tools, services and ways of working. If caregiving personnel are involved, HWT serves to improve their working conditions in addition to other desired outcomes.
Some common categories of HWT are:
- Safety devices such as cameras and sensors for fall prevention or tracking
- Memory aids such as item locators and medication robots/reminders
- Social inclusion aids that promote social contact, robot companions
- Daily task aids for washing, cleaning, food preparation, and hygeine
- Physical activity and rehabilitation devices
- Leisure activity devices for gaming and creativity
- Knowledge tools providing education, training or skill improvement