We’re currently setting up a small scale pilot looking at the potential of voice assistants to alleviate loneliness, improve well being and better understand their potential for supporting people to live independently. The pilot will consider how people respond to having a voice assistant in their homes and how they use it.
Bristol is already a significant telecare provider with its Bristol Careline Service which provides a range of services, including pendant alarms and sensors to give reassurance to relatives and helping people to live independently. With voice assistants and smart speakers becoming increasingly common place in people’s homes and with a growing range of health related skills and peripheral devices becoming available, our pilot will explore a field with many possibilities.
We will be following a user centred approach with our trial and making sure our volunteers receive a voice assistant in a form which best matches their needs. For instance, some participants may need more than one smart speaker in their home due to mobility problems. The voice assistants will be in addition to normal care visits.
The pilot is due to begin in Winter 2019 and is part of the council’s Better Lives programme aimed at helping improve people’s lives by focusing on their strengths, helping them to lead more fulfilling and independent lives for longer.