The Impact of Emerging Technologies on Long-Term Care and the Health Workforce


Susan Chapman, Jacqueline Miller and Joanne Spetz

August 1, 2019

New technological advances could mitigate rising health workforce demand, but will not replace the direct care workforce, according to this report. The report includes a taxonomy of currently available and emerging technology categories based on the products sold by 115 companies, in addition to targeted interviews with tech company personnel. The report assesses which of the technologies may facilitate, replace, or enhance recruitment, training, and retention of the long-term care (LTC) workforce.  Several companies emphasized their use of sophisticated computer science and statistical tools to achieve their goals. For example, Honor, a home care company, leverages machine learning to improve client-caregiver matches, enhance shift scheduling, and provide performance management roadmaps. Another company, Embodied Labs, provides education to caregivers via virtual reality. The VR experience simulates key problems and situations as well as demonstrates client, patient, parent, community member, and resident perspectives. While reimbursement for these kinds of technologies is not widespread, there is opportunity for emerging LTC technologies to enhance quality of life for patients, assist friend/family caregivers, and improve workforce efficiencies.

Key Questions

  • What types of technologies have been developed with an application in long-term care?
  • How might various categories of technology in long-term care affect the existing and future workforce needs?
  • What are some specific examples of the impact of technology on the long-term care workforce?