A huge procurement deal to promote the latest technology is being hailed as a way to transform the delivery of social services and bring their spiralling costs under control.
The Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation has set up the £250m framework for councils to buy cutting edge equipment and services from entrepreneurial suppliers.
It covers a wide range of 'technology enabled care solutions' which help elderly and other vulnerable people who need support.
These include systems to monitor people in their homes, equipment to help with rehabilitation after treatment in hospital and video communications tools.
Local authorities will be able to buy equipment and services through the online 'dynamic purchasing system' which will provide access to suppliers who have signed up.
Lesley Harper of the Wakefield-based YPO said new suppliers could join the scheme throughout the four years it is due to run so that the latest technology would be always available.
Councils would be assured that suppliers had been subjected to 'due diligence' before being registered.
She told LocalGov: 'As people get older they increasingly expect technology to help support them.
'This will streamline the process for local authorities to be able to buy the latest automated systems by putting suppliers and purchaser together in one place.'
Gus Tugendhat, founder of procurement data provider Tussell said: ’This deal marks a new departure for local government in the search for ways of keeping the rising costs of care under control while maintaining and improving services.
’Technology is evolving very rapidly and has a lot to offer those responsible for providing care to the elderly and other vulnerable people.
‘This initiative could usher in the transformation of care services as modern technology makes communication and monitoring faster and more effective.’