The UK department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety have invested £1.5m over the next two years in developing new technologies to help people live at home.
It hopes the venture will help reduce pressure on the hospital system.
Michael McGimpsey, the department’s minister, speaking at a conference in Belfast, said: “We live in the information and technological age where new equipment can play a huge part in the delivery of health and socialcare.
“Telecare, telehealth, telemedicine and telemonitoring are all tremendous strides forward for the better and can make wonderful differences for people’s lives.”
He added: “Such technology can also contribute to lots of schemes which provide support and care for people who do not want to go to hospitals or homes and who do not necessarily need to go there either, but instead can live full and safe lives in their own environment. “
He believes too many people end up in hospital because the “correct care package is not available for them in the community.”
He concludes: “I want to break that circle – new technology can play a part.”