A report published this week by City University found that cognitive behavioural therapy delivered by computer has significant success in tackling symptoms of depression. The government is so keen on cyber-therapy that it has instructed all primary care trusts to make it available to people with depression or anxiety and is equally enthusiastic about the benefits of assistive technology, such as alarm systems which activate when an older person falls in their home.
Given that technology is always improving and installing machines is far cheaper than employing humans what does the future hold for social care workers? Will computers monitor the frail and vulnerable and conduct everyday tasks such as cleaning and preparing food, with humans only needed if something goes wrong? And if it works and helps meet our growing social care needs will there be anything wrong with that?