2iC-Care: Caring for the Future

The TEC Fear Factor

March 27, 2024 Richard Keyse Season 4 Episode 4
The TEC Fear Factor
2iC-Care: Caring for the Future
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2iC-Care: Caring for the Future
The TEC Fear Factor
Mar 27, 2024 Season 4 Episode 4
Richard Keyse


  • Alex Fulcher, Marketing Executive at 2iC-Care
  • Hollie Jamison, Product Manager of Andi at 2iC-Care


This episode explores why some people fear technology in the health and social care sector, especially the three main psychological reasons: fear of the unknown, fear of risk, and fear of failure.

Let's unpack these issues and find out how to demystify the fear surrounding technological change.

Subscribe to the Caring for the Future Podcast and follow us on your favourite social media platforms.


Show Notes Transcript


  • Alex Fulcher, Marketing Executive at 2iC-Care
  • Hollie Jamison, Product Manager of Andi at 2iC-Care


This episode explores why some people fear technology in the health and social care sector, especially the three main psychological reasons: fear of the unknown, fear of risk, and fear of failure.

Let's unpack these issues and find out how to demystify the fear surrounding technological change.

Subscribe to the Caring for the Future Podcast and follow us on your favourite social media platforms.


Hollie: We could All completely play it safe and do something that is going to have very little to no risk of failure. But can you imagine how boring? The whole idea is innovation, experimenting, new technology and collaboration. So bringing two different solutions together to make one great story. 

Hi everyone. Welcome back to the show. To another episode of caring for the future. I'm Hollie Jamison, product manager for Andi here at 2iC-Care. And I've been around in the TEC sector for a while. 

Alex: And I'm Alex Fulcher, a new addition to the 2iC-Care marketing team. And, uh, this is my first intro to the TEC sector.

And right now we might sound a little bit different because we are actually recording at ITEC live. So that's a even bigger intro into the sector for me today. 

Hollie: So today, Alex and I are going to tackle a topic that's been on our minds recently. which is why are people afraid of technology in the social care sector?

Alex: That's right, Hollie. It's a question that often is overlooked, but holds significant importance in shaping the future of care. 

Hollie: I think it's important to note as well that not everyone is obviously afraid of technology, and others are, you know, super keen to embrace new tech. And this is exactly why we're here at ITEC

Alex: let's dive into the three main reasons behind fear of change. So, it's usually based on the fear of the unknown. The fear of risk and the fear of failure, which I'm sure all of us can appreciate. Those are things that we think about when we're worried about change. So we're going to start with the fear of unknown.

And I think that's a lot because people fear what they don't understand. And when they don't understand something, you have no control over that. And that is quite scary. 

Hollie: Yep, and new technologies can seem really complex and intimidating, um, and lack of knowledge with tech solutions can breed a lot of uncertainty and also resistance.

Alex: How can we sort of demystify technology in the social care sector and make it sort of more accessible to everyone? 

Hollie: I think that obviously, naturally, it starts with training. Training I need sort of involvement. It has to have people involved from, from the off. You have to have buy in because if they feel like they're part of the process, you're naturally going to have a smoother process when they start to use it.

And then hopefully they'll see improvements in it and they'll have development ideas. 

Alex: And that's part of the whole co-production thing. And especially today at ITEC, that's something I've heard so much about is co-production and getting people involved from the outset and starting with, um, the person that you're delivering the services to.

Hollie: Yeah, I mean it's very often that people are told right we're going to be using this kit or you're going to be having this kit and actually there's not necessarily always a lot of thought that goes into how does that person feel about that whereas if it was brought in at some point and they're on that journey with the person and that decision making you're naturally going to have people that are like oh okay I'll try this I'll try that and it's like a Starting small and working your way up.

And I think that, you know, going back to the training part about user friendly guides, the better your installation guides or your user guides are going to be, the more, you know, adoption that you'll have from people. And when it comes to installation training, to have feedback on those guides so that you can improve them and streamline them and just make them as easy as possible for everyone.

Alex: And that's something we've been working on at the moment is user guides. We're up to our ears in them at the moment. 

Hollie: We really are. I can't wait till it's over, but the problem is it's never over because you have to keep changing them because you have to roll with the times, you get feedback, but that's obviously what we want to get to.

Alex: Yeah, for sure. And there's different ways of doing things and that's what we're trying to do. And I think, obviously, based on the feedback point that you were making there, that's about open communication. Just making sure that there is a platform. Or people, because at the end of the day, if people feel like they can't actually ask those questions and have those conversations, then you're going to have problems longer down the line.

Hollie: Yep. 

Alex: I always think of like building a piece of Ikea furniture and how difficult that is when all you want to do sometimes is just get on the phone to someone who knows what they're talking about. 

Hollie: Definitely, or just get someone to come and do it for you. That's the, that's what my scenario is. 

Alex: Yeah, definitely.

Hollie: Yeah, I agree with you. I think that, um, from my perspective as product manager, Yeah. I'm so close to the product, which is obviously great because I know it inside out, but also I can be very biased, like, I will put a guide together, you may read one of my guides and go, that just doesn't make sense, or someone else will use it and say, you should put that there, and that's all the stuff that we want to know about, I don't want someone to use one of my guides and go, oh, that wasn't that helpful, but not tell me, I want them to be able to communicate, and like you say, open communication is key.

So next question. I've got one for you. Okay. So what steps can we take or organisations take to educate and train staff on new technologies, basically alleviating the fears of the unknown? 

Alex: One thing that I have looked up before I have taught in, in the past, um, and so, you know, It's all about learning methods and how people learn because people learn in so many different ways So what is something that is really useful is having lots of different versions of the similar information.

Hollie: Love it 

Alex: so that's like having interactive learning which is obviously training hands on stuff because That's, some people really learn like that. Some people do learn visually, so you can have the diagrams, more audio methods, you can have people explaining, you know, now a lot of things are done on video.

You know, everyone learns in a different way. Like me personally, I often am a hands on learner, but I can take in quite a lot of information when I talk through something. So I often need to have a lot of conversations and ask a lot of questions, which is why doing this podcast is great for me.

Hollie: Absolutely. I love your questions. 

Alex: I learn a lot by doing them and having these conversations. And then I think another part of it is having a sort of peer network to support each other within your own organization and externally. So obviously we need that open communication. with, for example, one of our customers and us.

We need that open communication there and we need that support there, but we also need kind of someone to sort of represent our solution, be that person to go to who kind of collates the information, to sort of have that straight through point of contact, for example, so that it's not kind of, Coming from lots of different places, because I think that could be confusing as well.

And that means that information could get lost as well, which we definitely don't want. 

Hollie: No, and I, I, I totally agree with you about the different methods. I mean, I know that I even said to you before doing this podcast. I am someone who has to prepare. If you catch me on the spot, I will not be Um able to answer the questions as I would do so to have preparation time So in a training, I like to have things sent to me for a training because then I can read through I have a better understanding Whereas if I just turn up to a training course and I'm just sort of given information I already know it'll go in one ear and out the other there's literally no lie in that Um, so yeah, everyone's different.

I think it's important that we, um, offer different methods to people just so that we get the best buy in as well. Yeah, so and also going back to the, so comprehensive training needs to be based on proficiency levels and needs. So everyone's going to learn in a different way. Everyone's going to learn in a different, um, at a different speed.

And I think it's just important that we understand who we're training and who's involved, um, and to not single people out. Um, it's about inclusion. Um, and we don't want those people to, to feel like they just have to say, yeah, yeah, I get it. I get it when actually they may not get it. So, um, yeah, I think that's important.

Alex: And thinking about the jobs as well that they're doing and their level of knowledge, I mean, people's knowledge. The base is all different. I mean, take you and me, for example, if you asked me to try and install something in you, it would be a very different thing.

Hollie: Give it time, Alex. Give it time. Within a week you're going to be up there, out there, installing.

Alex: I can't wait. Um, so that's something that we need to think about as well. You know, what kind of position they're at, what knowledge levels do they have? 

Hollie: Yeah. 

Alex: And something that we're hearing a lot as well today is about making language accessible, because not everyone understands the exact same language.

And. That's the same for service users, also for people who are new to the sector. Yeah. I mean, it makes it feel like sometimes it's a bit of a barrier if you can't come into a new sector because you don't necessarily know all the language. 

Hollie: Mm hmm. 

Alex: So Hollie, I'd love to know if you've encountered any really successful strategies for sort of overcoming that resistance to technology adoption due to the, specifically due to the fear of the unknown.

Hollie: I think that what I said before about buying at all levels, whether it's management level, whether it's installers, whether it's customer service, you know, I've worked in all of those different sort of environments with those different people and obviously, obviously service users themselves, um, I think you have to.

Sometimes you have to test and learn. Um, you know, we talk about pilots. I dunno, some people have hate the name pilot or project or whatever you wanna call it. Um, but I think to, if you've got a service or a person or a team that are specifically resistant or particularly resistant, even, um, then doing a test and learn to really get them understanding and seeing the positive benefits that technology can bring.

That's when you start to really just eat it up. Um, I know that we say a lot, you know, once you start to get a little bit of data, you go, Oh, what more can I get now? And then you add and layer it up, layer it up. And then when you start to see then financial savings, you know, that's obviously some people's, um, aims as well.

When you start to see the positive benefits roll in the case studies, it's exciting. And people are, you know, thanking you for, for that service. I think that's the thing that really, um, gets by in. Um, We've had that with loads of our pilots that we've done. We've had some really great outcomes. And as soon as you get to that point, people are like, okay, okay, I get it.

I get it. And now I want more. Um, and I think it's also about addressing misconceptions and dispel myths as well. Like there is, um, a lot of sort of. Uh, you know, rumours or misconceptions about how we use data and what we're going to do with it. Like people are so scared of certain voice activation systems that can be used in the home now.

And they're like, Oh, they're always listening. And I know my grandma thinks that. Um, so I think it's about, you know, really just helping people understand. The more they understand, the more they can make that decision about whether they want that technology or not. So I think it's about developing a culture of curiosity as well, and being able to experiment, being happy to experiment with technology.

And also service users really lap that up. Like when we did the trial in North Yorkshire with NRS, the people that I went to to install Andi, there was one particular guy who I always remember him. He was like, So what's, what is it? What's, what's it doing? And I was like, I explained to him, you know, about the Analogue to digital switch.

And he was just so into it. He wanted to know everything about it. And he was like, oh, he said, well, if this goes well, then I think that we could have more technology in our home to do this, this, that. He had ideas that were just like, you know, he was just spilling them off. And I thought, this is exactly what we want.

But I never would have, that's where we need to have access and those conversations with people to do that experimental phase. Um, so that, you know, people, you know, It just goes back to buy in, really. Um, and it's okay if things don't go right. Like, when we're doing Tests and Learns, the whole idea is to test.

and learn. The learn part is the bit that I think most people forget, of we might do something and it just doesn't go quite right, but actually, why didn't it go right? What can we do to improve? Um, and how can we get even better results next time, or as we move into (Business As Usual) BAU? And we, you know, we're open that, that our product is never, it's never finished.

If someone says, is this the finished product? No, never will be. You know, we'll have releases every, every month, every other month that are going to continuously develop. And that's all based on feedback, training, all the things we've just talked about. Um, so yeah, being out in that experimental culture is important, particularly for us, because we, we want, we want people to use it and break it and do whatever you like with it.

Um, as long as we can develop and use it and, and have people, um, really buy into it, then that's what we're here for. 

VO: And now for Hollie's Tech Hero of the Week. 

Alex: Okay Hollie, so who have we got for our TEC Hero of the Week? 

Hollie: So our TEC Hero of the Week, Alex, is Sir William Beveridge. Now, he believed in a state intervention to ease social and economic issues such as employment. So this was back in the 1900s, by the way. So he worked in a public policy in organizing social systems.

But in 1942, he published a government, well the government published a report authored by Sir William Beveridge. So this in effect created the National Health Service in 1948. So the National Assistance Act, which was what came from the report, was a framework that separated local responsibilities for welfare from national responsibilities for social security.

So basically his idea was that, um, it included free healthcare from cradling to grave, um, basically, um, so that basically his idea was that no families would ever go without healthcare for lack of no income or work. Um, I mean, the irony is that actually he, um, between 1942 when the report was published and to actually creating the NHS in 1948, he was actually, um, in effect sacked or, or dismissed and didn't actually get to be a part of it.

But the idea was all his, um, and that's obviously what created our lovely NHS for today. 

Alex: Oh, that's amazing. So how come he was sacked? 

Hollie: I think basically, um, I think it was that the Whitehall establishment, um, were not a fan of how he conducted his research and conducted the overall inquiry and how the report was published.

Um, so yeah, so basically after he had done all of that hard work, which obviously led us to the NHS, he was excluded from, um, the implementation of the plan. Um, and he was actually never, ever employed in the civil service again, which is, pretty mad and must have been really difficult for him actually to watch his idea come to fruition and not be a part of it or to not have any credit for it.

So that's our TEC hero of the week.

Alex: So the second thing that we wanted to talk about was the fact that there is a fear of risk and obviously implementing any new technology, especially when it comes to being in the health and social care sector, is a big risk. It carries inherent risks and I think a lot of the ones that we hear people talk about is obviously data security privacy breaches Uh and sort of system failures and that sort of paralyzes decision making because people are so worried about these massive things happening That you know, we're not pretending to be a medical device.

We can assist with medical decisions by medical professionals with Andi, but we cannot make medical decisions. But so people obviously worry about that side of things. But I think one of the main things that people talk about is this whole data security thing. We're not holding your data to use against you.

None of these companies really are, because at the end of the day, they're here to help people. That's what the sector is about, and that's what it is here for. So ask those questions. You know, that would be the advice, is to ask the questions, have those conversations with the providers that you're talking to, with the the council services that you're using, you know, talk to everyone and say, you know, what are your policies on this, this and this?

Hollie: Yeah. And it's all, it's about consent as well. You know, for the service users that are receiving the technology or having the solutions in their homes, um, they obviously need to, they completely have rights to understand what is being done with their data, what's happening with the information, but the whole idea of, you know, When you get to the point of they've had a referral and they're having a solution installed, there would have been a consent process to say this is what, this is what I'm having installed, this is what the data is going to do.

Um, and, and actually helping them understand what that data is going to mean for them, if that it's going to help them, it's going to help care, better care for them and support them. Um, then yeah, it obviously comes down to consent, which is in everyone's, you know, processes anyway. It's just doing things slightly differently because we're collecting more data.

So naturally you have to have some more security. I mean, I think, yeah, people just have the fear of making, making a wrong choice. And I think that's where this, you know, fear of risk matches with the fear of unknown of the, what if, what if we get this new solution? What if we get this new bit of data and we do something wrong with it, or we don't act upon it, uh, the way we should do.

But that's why you do tests and learns. That's why you have the experimental phase and then you have your processes that surround the use of that new technology. 

Alex: How do we look at balancing the potential benefits of technology and the associated risks in this sector? 

Hollie: I think that, I mean, risk assessments is something that anyone in social care listening to this podcast will know that risk assessments are super fun and they're super present.

Um, and yeah, I think that everyone's going to have their process of how they assess risk against benefits. But yeah, risk assessments is going to be key. Um, obviously, um, understanding where, you know, the data security of the solution and how, um, robust that is, um, and being up to date with industry best practices.

And those are just the first points. Um, I'm sure that we could probably do a whole podcast on data security, but I definitely won't be co hosting that one. 

Alex: We might have to co host it. We can just get someone in to help us. 

Hollie: Bring Prosecco and I'll be there. 

Alex: So what measures can organizations put in place to sort of mitigate and ensure the safe and ethical use of technology?

Hollie: So, I mean, obviously, processes, um, is, process is absolutely key, so having clear protocols and guidelines for the responsible use of technology, so naturally you're going to have, um, it goes back to that proficiency levels that we were talking about earlier. You're going to have people at different levels of understanding, um, and the way they use the technology differently, whether it's monitoring, installation, etc.

So I think if you've got processes that are obviously in line with manufactured guidelines, um, and we will obviously support anyone that's using Andi, we will support, um, um, With those, what those processes look like and how you can get the most out of the solution for any data point that you receive or any rule that fires, you're going to have to know what that response protocol is.

So I think that's really important. Ongoing training and support to reinforce those protocols. You know, naturally, we already know the painstaking process of every time a user guide changes. You have to change that documentation. Um, but every time it does change, you have to be informing those people who are using it that something's changed so they can be up to date.

Um, and yet it is just train, train, and retrain. There is never an end to it. You can't just train someone and then go, right, done, you're competent. There should be a, you know, quarterly, six monthly, whatever it is, review of how that technology is evolving. Because as we evolve, processes will need to evolve as well and obviously we'll be on that journey as well.

Um And I think it's just a culture of transparency and accountability, really.

VO: This is Alex's Analogue to Digital Deadline. 

Alex: So each week we do an A2D deadline countdown, and today we're going with a little bit more of a simple one, and we're just going with the number of hours from today to the end of the day on the 31st December2025, which, as we all know, is the end of the Analogue to digital deadline.

Hollie, can you imagine how many hours there are? 

Hollie: Um, quite, um, quite a lot, but not enough in some, in the same way. 

Alex: So there are 15, 528 hours, which it doesn't sound like enough. 

Hollie: It doesn't, it doesn't sound like a lot when you put it like that. 

Alex: So the last thing that we wanted to talk about was the fear of failure.

And obviously we spoke about test and learn, but Fear of failure, I think, stems a lot from either like past experiences or just this perceived pressure to have flawless results. And this industry, like many industries, isn't perfect and is still developing. So nothing's flawless at this point, but there's definitely a reluctance to invest time and resources in technology that might not deliver the expected outcomes.

Hollie: Yeah, it's also not, you know, not just a reluctance. It is genuinely that people can't invest the time, um, or all the, all the finances, all the resources. Um, I've been there before, you know, being on the service provider side, it is no joke when, you know, you have operational fires to put out every single day.

Resistance to change can also be an issue as well. Looking on this side now, not being on the service provider side, being on the supplier side, um, something that, you know, I think is quite. I think the biggest thing is the fear of people feeling like technology is going to replace them. We've had that in some of the pilots we've done.

When there is a resistance to be taking part in that for carers, for example, when they think, Oh, gosh, you know, you're suddenly going to take away that sleeping or waking night or whatever it may be. But it really, I cannot stress enough how much it is to support those people not to replace. I think there's also a fear of like when, you know, But we talked about the test and learn thing, if there's a failure in that it's reputational damage, you know, I don't agree with that at all.

I think that we're all here to learn, and we're all here to lean on each other and work together. This is, I wouldn't want to see a competitor fail when I could have said, oh we tried that and it didn't work quite well, maybe you should try this. And 

Alex: also if we don't make these changes, then it's going to fail anyway.

Yeah. Because we've got a change that we need to make with obviously the agency deadline, and these things need to change. In order for all of the services to keep getting better and for care to keep getting better. Because at the moment I think everyone agrees that we are failing people in some ways, you know, as part of this sector.

And that's a scary thing to admit. 

Hollie: We could all completely play it safe and do something that is going to have very little to no risk of failure. But can you imagine how boring the whole idea is? Innovation, experimenting new technology and collaboration. So bringing two different solutions together to make one great story.

And I think it's really important that we celebrate efforts regardless of outcomes. So we should celebrate that a competitor, for example, is trying something new. We should learn from it. Um, and it doesn't matter if a, like I said earlier, it doesn't matter if a pilot doesn't go the way you thought it might actually go away that you really didn't think it would, but you learn from that as well.

Um, so I think it is really important to celebrate those efforts, regardless of whether it, the outcome was what you thought it was going to be, or it was something completely random, or if it just didn't go very well. The thing is, is I love it when things break because you can fix them and you can make them better.

That is the whole idea of like regression testing and experimenting with technology. 

Alex: So obviously you just said about celebrating efforts, and I think that that most likely comes from top down. So I wondered whether you thought about the role that leadership might play in sort of encouraging this innovation and risk taking, but also sort of acknowledging the possibility of failure.

Hollie: I think it's a funny one. I was actually speaking to someone earlier, obviously we're at ITEC, um, and we were talking about how there's consortiums or there's councils that work together in more like a vision group or, you know, like a working group sort of thing. And a lot of the time, um, there is a lot of talk about how we can innovate, how we can move forward, especially with Analogue to Digital, but there is often this culture, I'm not sure if it's really a culture, but where people are waiting to see what other people do.

So I think that's something to do, um, something to consider is leading by example. Someone has to make the first move. And yes, like we said, it may not go exactly how you planned, but you will have tried it and then others will definitely follow. And I think it's making that jump together. So when we talk about a collaborative environment, of sharing learnings.

You know, if you have, um, if you're a local authority, for example, and you've got two neighbouring local authorities, why not work together to test those things and share the learning so you can move forward? Um, and I think it's also just about having clear direction, um, and support. And that needs to be, like you said, top down from an organizational level and a team level.

Um, everyone has to be, um, on board with, with, with what that innovation is. Um, 

Alex: and if your leader is willing to. Own up to the fact that they've made mistakes in the past and what they've learned from them and ask questions and ask support because even if they are the leader of an organization, they're not going to know the answers to everything because that's just not possible.

So if they're willing to ask those questions and have those conversations, that does trickle down through everyone and that has a big effect, I think. 

Hollie: Yeah, definitely. Well, that's it for today's episode of Caring for the Future. We've explored some of the key reasons behind the fear of technology in the social care sector and discussed potential strategies for addressing these concerns.

Alex: The great thing is that the A2D deadline means that people have to make a change already, so it does limit some of that fear because they have no other option. 

Hollie: Exactly, and Andi's technology is not brand new and is being used in the defence sector, so it's not unknown and there is less risk involved.

Remember, understanding our fears is the first step towards overcoming them. 

Alex: Very motivational. And as always, it has been a pleasure delving into these important topics with you, Hollie. And to our listeners, thank you so much for joining us. Don't forget to subscribe to hear our next episode. And until next time, take care.